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Mercosur Nations Offer the Best Benefits for Migrants in Latin America

By: Sabrina Martín - @SabrinaMartinR - Feb 9, 2017, 12:39 pm
South America's Mercosur makes it easy for its members' citizens to work or travel throughout the region (
South America’s Mercosur makes it easy for its members’ citizens to work or travel throughout the region (La Patilla).

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The member countries of the Common Market of the South (Mercosur) offer the best conditions and facilities for immigrants. South American nations impose the least restrictions on each other.

The largest agreement is that of residence for nationals of the Mercosur States Parties, which include Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay, and Venezuela (currently suspended from the bloc). Bolivia, Chile, Peru, Ecuador, and Colombia have also joined the agreement.

People from these countries have the possibility to apply for a two-year residency with the right to work. For this permit to become permanent one of the main requirements is that the person has no criminal record.

Although Argentina has tightened up its immigration policy, it still offers preferential treatment to South American foreigners. In the case of Ecuador, immigration law only requires visas for citizens from Cuba and Haiti.

Bolivia, Ecuador, Peru, and Colombia offer migrants from their collective countries a series of benefits, such as entry without the need for a passport, within the framework of the agreements of the Andean Community of Nations.

Other countries in the Americas have more complicated conditions for migration.

Mexico, for example, is one of the most demanding countries and the process of obtaining a residence is complicated. Most South America nations, with the exception of Bolivia and Ecuador, must apply for a visa in order to enter.

Panama, for its part, has an agreement with Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Costa Rica, Mexico, Paraguay, and Uruguay to grant preferential migratory treatment. But it maintains a list of 27 professions in which a foreigner can not work, a similar scenario to that which exists in Costa Rica.

Professions such as engineering, dentistry, medicine, nursing, journalism, accounting, social work, veterinary medicine, sociology, and chemistry, among others, are professions reserved only for Panamanians.

Source: El Deber

Sabrina Martín Sabrina Martín

Sabrina Martín is a Venezuelan journalist, commentator, and editor based in Valencia with experience in corporate communication. Follow @SabrinaMartinR.