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Employment

Colombia - Employment


In order to receive a work permit it is necessary for a worker to have a firm offer of employment. There are a number of professions in which the skills of foreign workers are in demand. These are mostly in areas such as the medical profession, and there are many foreign doctors and nurses working in the hospitals there. Other professions where foreign skills are needed include teaching and construction.

The teaching profession is in need of qualified, experienced teachers, particularly in the more rural areas of the country. Language teachers to teach English and other foreign languages are required as many of those teaching English at the moment cannot actually speak it. The continuing development of the country and its infrastructure means that skilled construction workers will be in demand for some time. There are a number of agencies and organizations that can help you to find employment in these fields and in some instances the employer can provide suitable accommodation for you and your family as well as several other benefits.

There is a gas and oil industry which recruits foreign workers, although these are usually workers that are already employed by the company in another country and who just transfer to Colombia. In these cases the workers are well looked after by the employer and may qualify for added benefits such as bonuses and pension contributions.

Those who have a firm offer of employment can apply for a work permit. In order to apply the worker must have at least six months left to run on their passport, a copy of the employment contract, a letter of goodwill from the company and must also be able to prove the qualifications that they have are suitable for the job. The worker must also provide a copy of police records to prove that they are of good character and have never been in trouble with the police.

Work permits are renewable providing the work is ongoing. Employees are able to join trade unions but these are mostly unregulated and a lot of workers do not bother. Foreign employees do have the same rights as Colombian citizens though as they are usually on fixed term contracts industrial tribunal involving foreign workers are very rare.

There are also benefits to being a worker in Colombia. The amount paid in taxes is far lower than in many other countries so even with the difference in the cost of living it can prove to be worthwhile.


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