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Ecuador grants undocumented Venezuelans a migratory amnesty

Ecuador began an exceptional process of regularisation on September 1st. The Guillermo Lasso administration, which is in charge, made the announcement at the beginning of the summer.

The legislation specifically targets Venezuelans; although exact figures are unavailable, the Venezuelan Refugee and Migrant Platform estimate that there will be about 502 thousand Venezuelans living in the nation in August 2022. Of them, over 60% are undocumented. The majority of them are regarded as displaced people, 4,000 of them are applying for asylum, and fewer than 1,000 have been granted refugee status.

Around 6 million Venezuelans left their nation owing to political, economic, and social unrest, according to the United Nations Refugee Office.

Most Venezuelans enter Ecuador over the border with Colombia before continuing on to Peru, Chile, and Argentina. Ecuador has historically served as a major transit country. However, a few of them also relocated to Ecuador.

The Andean nation has previously been interested in controlling the status of Venezuelan migrants. Earlier in 2019, a similar procedure was followed. According to Deutsche Welle, the administration promised 200.000 Venezuelans a temporary, two-year visa for humanitarian grounds.

The new migratory amnesty procedure would consist of three distinct stages, according to the BBC. The Ecuadorian government will initially concentrate on migrants from Venezuela who entered the country legitimately through recognized sites. The person will be added to a permanent record. Applicants with visas that expired up to five years ago are eligible.

Later the process will open to legal migrants of other nationalities, and finally, in February 2023, to Venezuelans that entered the country illegally or have no passport.  

The process is divided into two stages: first, immigrants must register online at the Interior Ministry website, which has a special page called "Estoy aquí," which translates to "I'm here." After that, they must appear before one of the 19 Permanency Record’s points.

Around 300,000 Venezuelans are expected to be regularised during the at least one-year amnesty. Additionally, it will enable the government to have a more accurate understanding of the quantity, nationality, and needs of the migrants it manages.

The duration of the permanent permission is two years, and it can be extended. They will be given rights that are not even included with a passport. They will be allowed to create a bank account and enroll their children in school.

However, the authorities ruled that immigrants with a criminal history in either Ecuador or their own nation would not be welcomed.

Silvia Espíndola, vice minister of human mobility, declared that Ecuador wants to uphold the same rights that Ecuadorians abroad have.

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Tags: #Migration #Passport #Ecuador #Visa #Venezuela


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