Venezuela halts acceptance of criminal background check petitions

20 Apr 15

VENEZUELA

IMPACT – MEDIUM

What is the change? Venezuela’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs has stopped accepting petitions for criminal background checks due to internal reorganization.

What does the change mean? People living in Venezuela who are trying to obtain visas or work permits for countries that require criminal background checks have had their processing delayed. It is unclear when the ministry will begin accepting petitions again.

  • Implementation time frame: Immediate and ongoing.
  • Visas/permits affected: Any visa or permit for which a criminal background check from the Venezuelan government is required.
  • Who is affected: Anyone in need of a criminal background check from the Venezuelan government.
  • Impact on processing times: Processing has been delayed for dozens of people living in Venezuela who are trying to obtain visas or work permits from other countries.
  • Business impact: Businesses in countries that require Venezuelans, or foreign nationals who have lived in Venezuela, to obtain a criminal background check before applying for visas or work permits should note that there is a strong likelihood of delays.

Background: Venezuela’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs stopped accepting petitions for criminal background checks about two months ago. No reason was given, though the change appears to be due to internal reorganization. It is unclear when the ministry will begin accepting the petitions again. In the meantime, people who live in Venezuela who need a criminal background check should expect delays.

Other Ministry of Foreign Affairs services – such as the legalization and apostilization processes – have not changed dramatically, but remain relatively slow. Legalization and apostilization of documents required for visas and work permits currently takes about five weeks, sometimes longer.

BAL Analysis: Policies vary from country to country regarding whether criminal background checks are required from people living in Venezuela. In some cases, background checks are required even for people who lived in Venezuela years ago. The Ministry of Interior’s refusal to accept petitions for background checks has delayed visa and work permit processing for many people, and it is unclear when processing will resume.

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

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