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MERCOSUR Residence Agreement


Granting of residence and work permit to citizens of signatory States with no requirements other than nationality, upon presentation of a valid passport, birth certificate and police clearance certificate. Citizens benefited by the Agreement may apply for a temporary residence permit of up to two years in another country of the block, and may apply for permanent residence before expiration of the temporary residence permit.
The beneficiaries of the Residence Agreements will enjoy the same rights and civil, social, cultural and economic freedoms as nationals of the host country. They have, for example, the right to engage in any activity - on their own or for third parties - under the same conditions as nationals; the right to family reunion; and the right to make remittances. The children of immigrants born in the territory of one of the signatory States will have the right to birth registration and to a nationality, according to the legislation of each country.

Implementation period

In force since 2009.

Background of the Agreement:

  • Treaty of Asuncion, signed on 26 March 1991 between the Argentine Republic, the Federative Republic of Brazil, the Republic of Paraguay and the Oriental Republic of Uruguay; and Ouro Preto Protocol on the institutional structure of MERCOSUR, signed on 17 December 1994 by the aforementioned States;
  • Decision of the Common Market Council of MERCOSUR No. 14/96 ''Participation of Associated Third Countries in MERCOSUR Meetings'' and No. 12/97 ''Participation of Chile in MERCOSUR Meetings'';
  • Decision No 07/96 (XI CMC - Fortaleza, 17/96), which led to the need for progress in developing common mechanisms to deepen cooperation in the areas of competence of the respective Ministries of Interior or equivalent agency;
  • Desire of States Parties of MERCOSUR and Associated Countries to strengthen and deepen the integration process and fraternal ties between them;
  • Conviction that the implementation of a policy on the free movement of persons in the region is essential to achieving these goals;
  • Willingness to define the immigration status of nationals of States Parties and Associated Countries in the region, in order to strengthen the ties that bind the regional community;
  • Importance of combating trafficking in persons for labour exploitation and situations involving degradation of human dignity, seeking joint and conciliatory solutions to the serious problems plaguing the States Parties, the Associated Countries and the community as a whole, in line with the commitment undertaken in the General Plan of Cooperation and Regional Security Coordination;
  • Commitment of States Parties to harmonize their legislation in order to strengthen the integration process, as provided for in Article 1 of the Treaty of Asuncion;
  • Search to establish common rules for processing residence permits for nationals of States Parties of MERCOSUR and Associated States.

Results/Impacts achieved

Today, the Agreement benefits the citizens of all South American countries, except Venezuela, Suriname and Guyana.

Innovation or Creativity

The Agreement inspires the consolidation of a South American citizenship for the free movement of persons.

References for Contact

Secretariat of MERCOSUR
Dr. Luis Piera 1992 Piso 1 - Edificio MERCOSUR C.P. 11.200 - Montevideo/República Oriental del Uruguay – Phone: (+ 598) 2412.9024 - Fax (+ 598) 2410.0958/2418.0557

last updated on 15.11.2017^ top