Colombian companies must register workers online

11 Nov 14

COLOMBIA

IMPACT – MEDIUM

What is the change? Colombia has launched a new online system for employers of foreign nationals to report on the status of their workers. The new system has specific measures in place for foreign workers in positions that require licensing in Colombia (e.g., attorneys, business people, and engineers).

What does the change mean? Notification of a foreign national’s start and termination dates must now be completed through the online process rather than in person. Company representatives or third-party immigration providers will be required to register for the new system on Migración Colombia’s website.

  • Implementation timeframe:Immediate and ongoing.
  • Visas/permits affected:Any visa or permit required to work in Colombia.
  • Who is affected:Foreign nationals and employers of foreign nationals working in Colombia, including foreign nationals holding visas that do not require corporate sponsorship (such as Mercosur, Resident and TP-10 visas).
  • Impact on processing times:Registering for the website should take three business days. Ultimately, the online system will allow for faster immigration-related updates on foreign nationals working in Colombia.
  • Business impact:Employers will have to invest a small amount of time to register for the new system (or hire a third party to do it for them). The new system should also have a business impact by helping root out foreign nationals working in Colombia without proper documentation or licensure.
  • Next steps:Employers or their third-party providers should register on Migración Colombia’s website as soon as possible.

Background: The new online system is designed to enforce registration documentation and professional licensing requirements. Employers or their representatives must register by uploading their company’s Certificate of Existence and Legal Representation as well as identification cards of the company’s legal representatives. Once Colombian officials have been notified that a foreign national has started work for the company, the company or its representative is required to upload a letter signed by the employer’s legal representative, a procedure that previously was done in person. When the employee in question requires a professional license, the license’s validity will also be checked as part of the notification process.

Foreign nationals who hold visas that do not require corporate sponsorship are also required to register. In such cases, both the employer and employee are required to notify Colombian authorities of the employee’s start and end dates.

BAL Analysis: The new online registration requirements present employers with a small logistical hurdle to clear in properly registering foreign workers. The program could help Colombia root out employees who do not have the proper documentation or licensure. Employers in Colombia should register on Migración Colombia’s website as soon as possible to avoid any difficulties.

This alert has been provided by the BAL Global Practice group and our network provider located in Colombia. For additional information, please contact your BAL attorney.

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