María Elvira Acosta of Parra, Rodríguez & Cavelier outlines simplification of certain immigration procedures in Colombia.
Due to the existence of unnecessary proceedings in Public Administration, the Colombian Government issued Decree 1122 of 1999 last June. Article 340 of this Decree eliminates some requirements for the issuance of the foreign identification cards, specifically the submission of warranties. On the other hand, Article 341 eliminates the requirement to submit a certification from the Ministry of Labour for a change of employer.
In order to suppress unnecessary proceedings and contribute to the efficiency and efficacy of the Public Administration, the Government issued Decree 1122 of 1999, dated June 26, 1999.
Amendments regarding Immigration Law were the following:
A. Registration of Foreigners:
Except for the holders of tourist visas, once the holder of a visa enters the country or once the visa is issued in Colombia, the foreigner has 30 days to register with the Direction of Foreigners of the Administrative Department of Security (DAS).
The registration process serves two purposes:
1. To have a database of all foreigners that have entered the country.
2. To serve for issuance the foreign identification.
Before this Decree, pursuant to Article 64 of Decree 2371 of 1996, the applicant of a Colombian Temporal Visa needed to submit a warranty, which consisted of a bond (fianza), bank deposit (depósito bancario) or a performance bond (póliza de cumplimiento) in favour of the Administrative Department of Security DAS. The purpose of the bond was to cover all the expenses for the return of the foreigner to his country of origin.
Now, according to Article 340 of Decree 1122 of 1999, foreigners will not have to submit said bond. Thus, the foreigner’s identity card should be issued immediately upon the foreigner’s presentation of a valid visa. This article applies to all the temporal ordinary visas in their different varieties: Contract Visa, Technical Assistant Visa, Academic Visa, Journalist Visa and Public Employee Visa. Additionally, no bond must be submitted when a change of employer occurs.
B. Change of Employer, Occupation or transfer of Visa
Before Decree 1122 of 1999 was enacted, foreigners that wanted to effect a change of Employer or occupation needed to submit a certification of proportionality issued by the Ministry of Labour to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs; under Article 341 of Decree 1122 of 1999, this requirement has been eliminated.
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