Buenos Aires Times

Argentina loosens immigration requirements for Venezuelans

The Macri government’s decision, it said, was a result of the “complex political, economic, social and humanitarian crisis” in Venezuela.

Wednesday 30 January, 2019
Venezuelans cross the border from San Antonio del Táchira in Venezuela into Cucuta, in Norte de Santander Department, Colombia, through the Simón Bolívar international bridge.
Venezuelans cross the border from San Antonio del Táchira in Venezuela into Cucuta, in Norte de Santander Department, Colombia, through the Simón Bolívar international bridge. Foto:AFP-SCHNEYDER MENDOZA

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The Argentine government has gone one step further towards simplifying the legal requirements for Venezuelans to arrive and stay in the country.

The Macri administration on Wednesday authorised the so-called “Assistance to Venezuelan Migrants Programme” which is aimed to “facilitate the arrival to the territory, the regulation of their migratory condition and their social insertion into the community”.

The decision, the government said, was necessary because of the “complex political, economic, social and humanitarian crisis” in Venezuela, where opposition leader Juan Guaidó last week declared himself interim president with the support of the US, Argentina and other nations.

CHANGES

Venezuelans can now enter the country with a national ID document or passport with an expiry date of no less than two years. Children under the age of nine can enter the country via land borders in the company of their two parents and at the very least a birth certificate.

Among other changes, those Venezuelans wishing to obtain residency in Argentina will no longer be required to legalise their criminal record check and instead can verify it online or at the Venezuelan consulate in Argentina.

In 2016, Argentina loosened requirements for Venezuelans wanting to secure residency in the country by dropping pre-requisites for documentation.

Around 2.6 million people have left Venezuela since 2015, the United Nations’ International Organization for Migration (IOM) reports, of which 130,000 are currently living in Argentina, according to official data.

“If you imagine that millions of people are leaving Venezuela, then you understand how their system for producing legal documents is collapsing too. We see it in Migraciones where there is an inability among Venezuelans to provide complete documentation,” said Dr Horacio García, the Director of the National Migrations Direction, in an interview with the Times earlier this month.

-TIMES/NOTICIAS ARGENTINAS

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