Special Permit to Stay for Venezuelans: everything you need to know

permiso especial de permanencia para venezolanos

In order to control and regulate the increasing migration of Venezuelans to Colombia, who migrated in search of a better life opportunity, Migration Colombia issued the Special Permit to Stay (PEP).

For many Venezuelans, it represented an opportunity to prosper in the neighboring country, but there are still many who wonder what exactly is the PEP?

In this opportunity, we want to focus on the Special Permit to Stay, what it is, who can access it and some important considerations about the procedure.

What is the Special Permit to Stay?

Also known as PEP, it is a measure designed by Migración Colombia (the entity in charge of regulating migratory activities in the country) that allows Venezuelans to live, transit and develop their lives in Colombia.

Part of the benefits provided by the PEP is that it allows Venezuelans to work in any legal activity; however, in the development of professional positions, it is required to request permission from the corresponding professional council or to validate the degree before the Ministry of Education.

For Venezuelans interested in pursuing their academic education (from primary school to professional education), the PEP allows them access to different educational institutions during the period of validity.

Who can obtain the Special Permit to Stay?

Although this permit is aimed at all Venezuelans who wish to stay in Colombian territory, they must meet certain requirements in order to apply:

  1. To be a Venezuelan citizen.
  2. Have entered the country through an authorized immigration post, which will have stamped your passport.
  3. No criminal record or arrest warrants.
  4. Not having deportation or expulsion orders in force.

If you meet these requirements, you can access the Migración Colombia website and go through the entire application procedure.

The completion of this procedure is not a guarantee that you will be granted the Special Permit to Stay; Migración Colombia will investigate your case to decide whether or not you will be granted the permit.

If you are a beneficiary, you will receive the PEP document via e-mail, which you must carry at all times while in Colombian territory.

Does it cost anything to obtain the Special Permit to Stay?

No, the process of obtaining the PEP is totally free, even Migration Colombia itself has confirmed on multiple occasions that there is no associated cost for the applicant.

Due to the situation of many Venezuelans, there have been scams and forgeries of this document. You must be careful with this type of activities in order not to be harmed.

How long is it valid when the Special Permit to Stay has to be renewed?

The PEP may be valid for a minimum of 90 days and a maximum of 2 years, as deemed necessary by Migration Colombia.

The deadline for renewal is the expiration date shown on the document.

The renewal procedure is done through the Colombia migration website, once there you will find the renewal section, enter there, renew the data requested and that’s it, you can print your updated PEP.

In a nutshell

The Special Permit to Stay (or PEP) is a guarantee provided by the Colombian government to help all Venezuelans to be able to live with dignity in Colombia.

It is perfect for those who want to stabilize their situation and wish, in the future, to be able to return to their country, but for the moment they can be legally in Colombia.

It should be clarified that the PEP does not replace the residence visa (type R) or migration visa (type M), nor can they help you with the time of residence necessary to apply for these documents.

Lawyers specialized in immigration procedures

At Servicio Legal, we have lawyers specialized in procedures before Migration Colombia. Tell us about your case and we will help you to solve it successfully. Let’s talk now