February 9, 2015
Colombia has introduced the new TP-15 visa category that streamlines the immigration process for MERCOSUR country nationals and their dependents. Under the new visa rules, qualified dependents of MEROCSUR country nationals can now be directly included in the MERCOSUR Residence Permit of the main visa applicant regardless of the dependent’s own nationality. Previously, MERCOSUR country nationals who wanted to claim dependent status for family members were limited to the traditional work authorization process or their dependents had to qualify for a MERCOSUR visa in their own right.
It is important to note that the while dependent TP-15 status extends to spouses (married and unmarried), children under the age of 25-years-old, and dependent parents of the main applicant, the status only confers permission to reside or study in Colombia and does not provide work authorization. Fundamentally, dependent family members must maintain economic dependency to the principal TP-15 visa applicant in order to qualify for the dependent TP-15 visa themselves.
The benefit of the new TP-15 visa extends to all MERCOSUR member countries except Venezuela.
Based on the principle of family reunification, the new TP-15 visa category is a welcome change in the region particularly for companies and/or MERCOSUR country nationals looking to relocate to Colombia who may not have the appropriate corporate sponsorship in place for the traditional work authorization process. In addition, the TP-15 visa allows for an easier immigration route for MERCOSUR country nationals to be accompanied by any dependents who do not hold MERCOSUR country nationality.
This alert was prepared by Pro-Link GLOBAL’s Counsel team. Pro-Link GLOBAL worked with our PLG | KGNM Correspondent Office in Colombia to provide you this update.