Colombia clarifies requirements for regularization before the arrival of thousands of Venezuelans this weekend

View of a group of Venezuelan migrants in C cuta (Colombia). EFE / Mario Caicedo / Archive

The arrival of thousands of Venezuelans to Colombia by means of trails was recorded on video, after the announcement by President Iván Duque, on February 8, where he declared the regularization of thousands of Venezuelans who are in Colombia through the Statute of Protection Temporary for Venezuelan Migrants.

The president noted that Venezuelan immigrants currently living in the country without authorization will be eligible to obtain residence permits for 10 years, while immigrants with temporary residence may extend their stay.

“The Venezuelan migratory crisis surpasses the migrant crisis that Syria has experienced. There are more than 6 million Venezuelans who have left their country as a salvation for the dictatorship, but also for poverty ”, President Duque said.

It should be noted that currently the border with Venezuela in Cúcuta is closed, however migrants are looking for alternative routes such as to enter the country in search of regularization.

After the fact, Lucas Gómez, manager of Frontera, in dialogue with Blu Radio, made it clear that only those Venezuelans who have arrived irregularly before January 31 of this year will be covered with this new measure.

“We have been very clear that this is a measure to favor regular migration. People who are entering at this time would not be beneficiaries of this statute. The message is to wait for the border to open and make the crossing regularly ”, the official pointed out in the interview with the media.

Regarding the implementation of the Temporary Protection Statute, it will be done in two phases. In the first place, the unique registry of Venezuelan migrants will be created through which information will be obtained for their identification and characterization, the entire process will be carried out virtually. In phase two, the temporary protection permit will be issued.

This regularization is a complementary mechanism to the international refugee protection regime that the Government has decided to implement to offer protection to people who flee their country of origin and who are in a high condition of vulnerability, taking into account the reality of migration.

The Colombian government estimates that around 1.8 million Venezuelans currently reside in the country, and that 55% of them do not have the proper residence documents. Most of them have come since 2015 to escape the problems that plague their nation, such as runaway inflation, food shortages and an increasingly authoritarian government.

In light of Duque’s announcement, Pope Francis today thanked the Colombian government for the “courage” for the creation of a Temporary Protection Statute for Venezuelan migrants despite the country’s internal problems.

I join the bishops of Colombia in expressing appreciation for the decision of the Colombian authorities to implement the Temporary Protection Statute for Venezuelan migrants present in the country, ”said the pontiff. after praying the Angelus.

Francisco, leaning out of the window of the Apostolic Palace, said that this initiative could favor “the reception, protection and integration” of migrants. In this sense, he valued the “courage” of the country’s authorities.

“This does not make it a very rich and highly developed country, but one with many problems of development, poverty, peace after almost seventy years of guerrilla warfare. But with this problem, he has had the courage to look at those immigrants and make that statute “, appreciation.

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