SPONSORED:

Colombia to register thousands of Venezuela migrants in bid to give them legal residency

Colombia to register thousands of Venezuela migrants in bid to give them legal residency
© Getty

Colombia on Monday announced that it is launching an effort to register hundreds of thousands of undocumented Venezuelan migrants within its borders and provide them with legal residency.

Colombian President Ivan Duque said the shift will allow Venezuelans in the country illegally to become eligible for 10-year residence permits. Migrants who already have a temporary residence in Colombia will also be able to extend their permits.  

The move could allow some migrants to access resources such as health care, including COVID-19 vaccines, and legal employment more easily in Colombia, The Associated Press noted. It is expected to aid as many as 1 million undocumented Venezuelan citizens in Colombia. 

ADVERTISEMENT

“As we take this historic and transcendental step for Latin America we hope other countries will follow our example,” Duque said Monday alongside the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi, according to the AP.

Grandi called the policy an “extraordinary gesture” for human rights.  

Duque tweeted that the country hopes to provide “care to those fleeing the dictatorship.”

ADVERTISEMENT

U.S. Secretary of State Anthony Blinken tweeted Monday commending the policy.

“The U.S. stands with Colombia in support of refugees and migrants as we also work to rebuild and expand our humanitarian programs worldwide,” he said.