In January 2003, the Venezuelan government and the Venezuelan Central Bank (VCB) restricted the free trade of foreign currency and established an Exchange Control Regime.
The Venezuelan Constitutional Assembly enacted new Exchange Agreement N° 1 on 7 September 2018. The Exchange Agreement provides for new mechanisms for the settlement of transactions of acquisition and sale of foreign currency for the public and private sectors and abrogates the Exchange Agreements issued under the previous regime.
The VCB and the Popular Power Finance Ministry are authorised to determine the actions for development of the foreign exchange policy in accordance with Exchanage Agreement N° 1:
The following three mechanisms of operations are provided for the private sector:
- Acquisitions and sales of positions in foreign currency by persons of the private sectors and through the authorised exchange operators, presumably provided for high-value transactions.
- Retail exchange transactions up to 8,500 euros (EUR) of the equivalent value in other foreign currency per transaction.
- Negotiations in Venezuela currency of foreign currency-denominated securities issued by the private sector. In addition, special considerations are provided for export activities and tourism.
To date, regulations for implementation of the above-mentioned mechanisms, which are to be issued mainly by the VCB, have not been published. A new means of currency exchange was created by Resolution N°19-05-01 published in the official Gazette N°41.624 on 2 May 2019 whereby national banks sell to natural and legal persons through exchange tables.
Visas and permits
Visas must be obtained prior to entering Venezuela. In order to gain access to Venezuela, international assignees must have a valid visa issued by the Venezuelan Consulate. Obtaining a visa can take several months, so applications should be submitted well in advance. Please also note that visa applicants must have a valid passport that should not expire for at least six months from the application date.
The Venezuelan government issues various types of visas (in total 13 various types of visas); the most important are Transient Work Permit Visas (TR-L), Transient Family Visas (TR-F), and Resident Visas.
Transient Work Permit Visas (TR-L)
Companies or individuals wishing to hire a non-resident foreigner for work must apply for a work permit (TR-L). To obtain the TR-L visa, the foreigner must prove one’s work qualifications by means of study certificates and/or degrees and proof of work experience. In order to apply for this work permit, the contracting employer must submit the following documents to the Ministry of Labour:
- Job Offer Form.
- Job Declaration Form, including hours worked and salary paid for the last quarter.
- In the case of transfer of qualified personnel, a Letter of Transfer issued by the headquarters must be submitted. It must state the motive for the transfer and the job description.
- In the case of direct contract of foreign personnel outside Venezuela, a document explaining the motives for contracting foreign personnel must be submitted, along with a job description.
- Notarised work contract.
- Resume of the foreigner.
- Full face photograph of the foreigner.
- Copy of the passport of the applicant.
- Study certificates and or degrees.
- Certification of existence of employer.
- Power of Attorney or authorisation issued by the employer to the person in charge of requesting the work permit.
- Tax stamps.
Once the work permit has been granted, the entry of the foreigner into the country with the TR-L visa must be requested from the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Justice of Venezuela.
Once the TR-L visa has been issued, the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Justice will inform the respective Consular Section of the Embassy or the Consular office of the Republic of Venezuela about the granting of the authorisation. This visa will be stamped on the passport of the person wishing to enter the country legally. This authorisation will be valid for six months from the reception date.
The TR-L visa is valid for one year, with multiple entries, and will allow permanence in the country for the same period. It can be extended in the country by the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Justice, for the same period, upon ratification of the work permit by the Ministry of Labour.
Transient Family Visas (TR-F)
The foreign employee with a TR-L visa can apply for a transient family visa (TR-F) for one’s spouse, non-emancipated children under 18 years of age, parents, and in-laws upon certified proof of the family tie and economic dependency. One then must present the following documents:
- Entry Application Form of the foreign family member.
- Marriage licence of the spouse.
- Birth certificates of the children.
- Full face and profile photo of the applicant.
- Passport copy of the family member.
- Power of Attorney or authorisation issued to the person in charge of requesting the TR-F visa.
- Tax stamps.
The TR-F visa is valid for one year, with multiple entries, and will allow permanence in the country for the same period. It can be extended in the country by the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Justice, for the same period, upon ratification of the work permit by the Ministry of Labour.
The foreigner who has remained in Venezuela for at least one uninterrupted year with a TR-L or TR-F visa may apply for residency with the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Justice. Resident visas are valid for five years and can be renewed every five years.