Migrant and refugee Venezuelan crisis: IOM regional response overview (Reporting period August 2019)
4,307,9301 Venezuelans are living abroad,
3.5 million (81,5%) of which are in Latin America and the Caribbean countries, according to the most updated official data2 . Due to complex and unpredictable developments of the Venezuelan situation, the increase in mixed flows of Venezuelan migrants and refugees in the region has continued. As part of the region's ongoing efforts to adjust the national mechanisms established to address the Venezuelan migratory flows, countries continue to make adjustments and modifications in their migration policies.
In this context, the Brazilian government will accept expired Venezuelan passports for five years from the date of expiration, accepting the statement of the President of the Venezuelan National Assembly, Juan Guaidó to extend the validity of the documents.
The Government of Canada also recognizes the decree published by the Venezuelan National Assembly on June 7, 2019, regarding the validity of expired Venezuelan passports. Venezuelan passport holders wanting to travel to or stay in Canada can now continue to use their passport if it expired less than five years ago or will soon expire.
In Colombia, children of Venezuelan citizens born as of August 19, 2015 will be Colombian as per Decree 8470 of 2019. This will include more than 24,500 children born in Colombia over the last four years, as well as those born during the next two years. It is also noted that Migration Colombia announced an extension of the period of renewal for the Special Permit of Permanence (PEP) document until October 31st.
Health Ministers of the Americas, including Ministers and delegations of 10 countries, approved the adoption of a single regional vaccination card for Venezuelan migrants during the III Regional Conference of Health Ministers on in Colombia. The regional vaccination card will be implemented as of mid-October with the support of international agencies.
In Panama, a working group in charge of writing the articles of the new Migration Law was formed on August 8th through the Ministry of Security. Guidelines regarding entry and establishment of any foreigner in Panama expect to be completed within a one-month period.
The National Migration Service in Panama reports on August 12th that the immigration status of foreigners who obtained their temporary residence through the Extraordinary Regularization Process will be respected and pending applications that entered the system by this means will be analyzed. If all requirements are met, the residence permit will be approved. Citizens of various nationalities who wish to remain in the country must apply to some immigration category of those existing in Decree Law 3 of February 22, 2008.
The Chilean Senate unanimously passed the Migration and Immigration Bill on August 14th. Issues to be addressed during a September meeting include among others, change of migratory category once within country; the principle of non-refoulement; mechanisms for the validation of titles; measures for the inclusion of migrant workers; opportunities and tax charges access.
The Government of Chile allows Mercosur Temporary Visa and Visa of Democratic Responsibility Extension to be done online, only for applications in the Metropolitan Region.
The Government of Ecuador began the process of issuing a humanitarian visa for Venezuelan citizens. This visa includes two steps: the first applied to those who want to enter the country. As of August 26, every Venezuelan citizen who wishes to enter Ecuador must present in his passport a temporary residence visa for humanitarian reasons, the consular tourist visa or any other visa provided for in the Organic Law on Human Mobility. The second refers to the process of regularization by granting a temporary residence visa for humanitarian reasons for Venezuelan citizens in country. This measure will benefit those who have not violated the laws of Ecuador and who have entered the country through regular steps, having duly registered their entry until July 26, 2019. This process will begin to be implemented in October.
According to official available data, around 1.9 million residence permits, and other forms of regular status have been granted in Latin American and the Caribbean countries since 2014. As for some of the current ordinary and extra-ordinary regularization mechanisms, the latest update official figures of granted visas and permits are as follows: