Canada recognizes the decree released by the Venezuelan government on June 7, 2019, regarding the validity of expired Venezuelan passports.
As millions of Venezuelans have left their country, the problem of establishing identity and verifying documents have troubled migrants and host governments alike. Venezuelan embassies and consulates either cannot or will not replace or renew expired documents, leaving many citizens in a prolonged uncertainty.
In Canada, some Venezuelans nationals who came to the country on a legal study permit or student visas have been unable to continue their studies or complete their programs because they’ve been unable to renew their documents. Others with permanent residence have seen their progress toward citizenship stalled because their Venezuelan documents are expired.
However, with the recent announcements made by the immigration Minister, Ahmad Hussen, Venezuelan passport holders wishing to travel to or live in Canada can now continue to use their international passport if it expired less than Five (5) years ago or will soon expire.
“Canada remains seriously concerned by the critical and worsening economic and political situation in Venezuela. The inability of Venezuelans to renew or replace their expired documents (passports) has posed enormous challenges, which were mentioned in my discussions with members of the Venezuelan community residing in Canada. The Canadian government is resolved to continue it’s commitment to and steadfast support and assist the people of Venezuela.”
—The Immigration Minister, Ahmed Hussen.
Venezuelan citizens can now use these passports to apply for an extension of stay, a study or work permit, a visitor visa, or permanent residence in Canada.
Candidates must meet all requirements and entry criteria to travel to and stay in Canada.
Citizens of Venezuela who wish to travel to another country should contact the consulate or embassy of that country to know about its specific travel document requirements.
Broken bureaucracy Affects Renewal of Venezuelan passports
The Canadian Immigration department said the decision basically recognizes a decree announced on June 7 by the Venezuelan National Assembly, extending the validity of Venezuelan passports.
Venezuela’s mass departure has risen to the point where the Organization of American States (OAS) recently forewarned it could top eight (8) million by the end of 2020. That would make it the world’s largest outflow of refugees, exceeding the 6.7 million who have fled Syria.
Many of the migrants have found refuge in other South American states, including Peru, Brazil and Colombia. Some of those countries have eased documentation requirements to mirror the fact that the dysfunctional government of Nicolas Maduro is not issuing sufficient supply of new passports.
This month alone, Colombia issued citizenship to about 20,000 children born in the country to undocumented Venezuelan mothers (Colombia is one of those few nations in the Southern Americas without automatic birth citizenship).