March 2015

This summary is intended for informational purposes only and should not be considered an authoritative guide on how to obtain work authorization in Venezuela. The intent is to give the reader a general overview of the process only. Procedures and requirements may have changed since the writing of this article. For current and detailed information regarding the topics below, as well as documentary requirements, processing times, post-arrival and departure requirements, penalties for non-compliance, allowances for accompanying family members, and any other information pertaining to your specific needs, please contact your Pro-Link GLOBAL immigration professional.

Overview

BUSINESS VISITOR

Permitted Activities – Business visitors must generally limit their activities to the following:

• Attending business meetings or discussions;
• Making sales calls to potential clients provided that the visitor represents a commercial entity outside of Venezuela (except for workers of banking institutions which do not have a branch in Venezuela);
• Attending seminars or “fact-finding” meetings.

The business visa is granted to merchants, executives, representatives of companies or industries and microenterprises, as well as to non-immigrants who enter the country to engage in commercial, mercantile, financial transactions or other lucrative legal activities related to their business.

Type of Business Visas – Nationals of all countries, who visit Venezuela for business purposes will need a Business Visa.

Basic Requirements

1. Intention of a genuine visit for business and not for paid employment;
2. Valid passport with no less than six (6) months before expiration;
3. Evidence that there are no restrictions on his or her traveling to Venezuela;
4. No intention to permanently reside in Venezuela;
5. A ticket for onward travel from Venezuela;
6. Proof of funds;
7. Invitation letter from the Venezuelan company.

Estimated Processing Times – This varies by diplomatic post and country.

Maximum Time On Visa – This Visa is valid for one (1) year, allows multiple entries, and a maximum stay of 180 days in Venezuela.

Typical Documents Required – All travelers need to present the following documents to officers in immigration clearance:

• a valid passport or other acceptable travel document and in some cases;
• a valid business visa or authorization to enter Venezuela.

EMPLOYMENT AUTHORIZATION

Basic Requirements – The common category for temporary employment in Venezuela is the non-resident work permit category. This visa is for non-immigrants who are hired or transferred to Venezuela by organizations incorporated or domiciled there. Foreign nationals must obtain a work visa and a work permit in order to work in Venezuela.

Process Overview – The process for obtaining a non-resident work permit involves a four-step process summarized below:

• Work permit – Submitted to the Ministry of Labor in Caracas;
• Visa authorization – Approval for the visa is granted by SAIME in Venezuela. The application will be forwarded directly to SAIME from the Ministry of Labor. Once SAIME has approved the application, the approval letter will be sent directly to the Venezuelan Consulate;
• Visa Endorsement – The applicant must visit the consulate in order to obtain the visa stamped in his/her passport;
• Registration (orden de cedulación) and ID Card (cédula) application – Upon arrival to Venezuela.

Estimated Processing Time – 14-18 weeks.

Validity periods – The work permit and the work visa are valid for one (1) year, and extendable for additional periods of one (1) year.

Family Members – Dependents cannot work in Venezuela without separate work authorization. They may only ask for a Family Work Visa, which allows them to stay in Venezuela for one (1) year.

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