Virginia, US

Feb 12 2019

Update on Immigration Effects of Situation in Venezuela

Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Mexico, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay, Venezuela

At a Glance

  • The policies implemented by many Latin American countries in September 2018 to handle the influx of Venezuelan nationals remain in place and some new rules have been added.
  • Document procurement issues continue in Venezuela and some Venezuelan consulates are experiencing delays.

The situation

See this chart for details of the updated policies implemented in September 2018 by Latin American countries to handle the influx of Venezuelan nationals since Fragomen’s last report.

Summary of issues

  • Legal status issues in other countries. Due to the continued suspension of the issuance of new passport booklets in Venezuela, many Venezuelan nationals still cannot maintain legal status in some Latin American countries, since a valid passport is often a prerequisite for a visa extension.
  • Temporary solutions remain in place. As a temporary solution, most Latin American countries are still accepting a passport stamp as proof of a valid passport extension at ports of entry and for visa processes. Certain countries are still allowing nationals with valid residence permits to remain under an expired passport as long as their local identification is valid. Other countries are recognizing the Venezuelan identification card, cedula, as a valid travel document to enter the country and for visa processes.
  • Document procurement delays. As reported in December 2018, foreign and Venezuelan nationals continue to experience processing delays for filings at the Venezuelan Immigration Office (SAIME), including visa renewals, cedula renewals and transfers of Venezuelan visas to a new passport, which must be filed in person and can take several months to process.
  • In-person appearance for legalization still required. Applicants still have to apply in person to request apostille or legalization of documents and show proof of travel within 15 calendar days of arrival. Applicants should check with their immigration provider to review their specific situation and should be prepared for delays.
  • Consular delays. Some Venezuelan consulates are experiencing delays in processing visa applications and other document requests. Those seeking the services of a Venezuelan consulate should contact their immigration provider to determine whether there are delays.


Looking ahead

Solutions for issues surrounding the high influx of Venezuelan nationals into Latin American countries are fluid and governments are changing their approaches and practices regularly.  Affected individuals and employers should contact their immigration provider in the receiving country for further information on that country’s practices.

This alert is for informational purposes only. If you have any questions, please contact the global immigration professional with whom you work at Fragomen or send an email to lar@fragomen.com.