Due to current political and economic upheaval, it is not recommended that expats consider Venezuela as a potential destination for employment at present. Shortages, as well as a drop in oil production, have had a significant impact on the nation’s economy. Over the last couple of years, 40% of the country’s teachers have left the profession, and many Venezuelans have left the country altogether.
The US State Department has warned that Venezuela is currently considered to be dangerous for expats and investors, who are at risk of being kidnapped or falling victim to extortion. Similarly, the UK’s FCO has advised against any travel to the nation, unless it is unavoidable.
Hopefully, the situation will soon change, and Venezuela will become a desirable destination for expats once more. Read on to learn about the steps you will need to take in order to relocate there.
What are the legal requirements for foreign employees?
The US State Department reports that the Venezuelan Embassy is currently not open for visa processing.
Under normal circumstances, you can apply for two main types of working visa:
• The TR-L (Transeunte Laboral) visa and non-resident work permit: this is intended for temporary work and is valid for up to a year, but can be renewed. You will need a job offer from a Venezuelan-based firm in order to apply for this
• The TR-N (Transeunte de Negocios) visa can be used for up to 180 days and is intended for non-immigrant traders, executives, representatives of enterprises or industries and micro-entrepreneurs. You will need to apply for this before you enter Venezuela
Are any skills in particular demand?
The country’s main industries are manufacturing and oil. Petroleum makes up more than 50% of the country’s total GDP. Ordinarily, this provides scope for employment for expats with a background in the oil industry, but given the current travel advice, it is unwise to consider employment in this sector.
What are typical working hours and annual holiday entitlement?
Venezuela works eight hours a day for five days a week (Monday to Friday). This means that the official working week is 40 hours.
Businesses are typically open from 8 a.m. to 12.30 p.m. and from 2 p.m. to 5.15 p.m. Retail companies tend to close later.
You will be entitled to take 15 working days of paid annual leave after one year’s employment. There are 10 public holidays.
Maternity leave consists of six weeks’ leave before giving birth and 20 weeks’ leave after giving birth. You will be entitled to 66.66% of your salary, paid by social security.
Although Venezuela has an official minimum wage, hyperinflation entails that this is constantly being hiked and devalued. The economy is basically in ruins.
Can my spouse work?
See above for advice regarding travel restrictions. It is inadvisable to bring dependants to Venezuela at present.
Are speculative applications to companies common?
Under normal circumstances, you can make speculative applications to companies.
What is the best method of finding a job?
There are recruitment agencies that cover Venezuela under normal circumstances.
What is the recommended format for CVs/resumes and covering letters?
A one-page CV/resume is acceptable, but you may wish to translate any salient details into Spanish.
Which questions are illegal / can be asked in an interview?
Venezuela has anti-discrimination legislation, but this is piecemeal.
Qualifications and training
You may wish to translate your qualifications into Spanish and also have them apostilled.