From 2017 to 2019, Ecuador delivered 187,830 visas to foreigners from 169 countries. Of this number, 99,103 visas were granted to Venezuelans, according to information provided by the Foreign Ministry.
Following the issuance of Decree 826 of July 2019, which entered into force last August, 12,410 Venezuelans have obtained the humanitarian visa until January 2020.
The massive exodus motivated the Ecuadorian authorities to establish a census that will end on March 31. The objective is to know how many foreigners are in the territory, motivate an orderly migration and delineate public policies in favor of these foreigners and nationals.
This gave way to the 15 Units of Migration Support Service (SAM), remain full of foreigners trying to obtain the Temporary Residency Visa for Humanitarian Reasons ( VERHU ).
At the SAM offices in Guayaquil, an average of 200 Venezuelans per day is received. 80% have no passport and are unaware of the process , although it has been in September.
“The vast majority do not have a passport, one of the fundamental requirements to apply for a visa . But this majority is already processing it and waiting for it to arrive; we advise them how to proceed, ”said Henry Loor, one of the brigades volunteers of the Norwegian Refugee Council and Acnur.
Antony Santana is a Caracas resident who has lived in the country for two years. You are applying for the VERHU visa , but it is very expensive and you will choose to get the work visa. He lives with his wife, but his children are still in Venezuela. He does not plan to bring them because “the cost of a visa is very expensive in Ecuado r” and he will continue to send resources so that they live better next to his grandmother.
The picture is different for Yaycira Guillén . She is a doctor and was waiting for a shift at the SAM to complete documentation and get the citizenship card. He also left two years ago, but had saved money for his departure from the country and processed the work visa from Venezuela.
He says he has not had any problem in Ecuador. “Unfortunately, countries have to regularize the migratory flow , they have to see how far they can support and how much they can offer to the migrating community and how to distribute resources .”
Betzabeth Jaramillo , spokeswoman for the Venezuelan embassy in Quito by the Government of Juan Guaidó , said that in December there were about 4,000 Venezuelans returning to their country and in some cases, to Colombia.
The reasons are the decrease in job opportunities and because December is a month in which they seek family unification . “Let’s say employment is limited and living conditions are not the best, some left to not return, because the visa is needed,” he said.
Jaramillo believes that another variable for the return is to process the visa from Caracas and avoid legal complications . According to the last court of the Ministry of Government , since on January 10, 179,059 Venezuelans were registered on the website and in the SAMs , there are 82,093 foreigners.
They are currently holding talks with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Human Mobility to request that the passport request be eliminated . “No country is capable of issuing 300,000 passports in 5 months, however it is being processed but it takes five to six months,” he said.
However, the Foreign Ministry has not ruled on this request and organizes for the next week the XII Global Migration Summit , in which news on this subject is expected. ( I )
Humanitarian visa request
From August 19, 2019 to January 8, 2020, 12,410 emergency visas have been issued for humanitarian reasons (Verhu) to Venezuelans. The census does not determine the legal situation or the type of visa that each person has registered.
80 percent of Venezuelans do not have a passport, according to organizations in that country.
Number of VERHU issued
9,264 visas issued in Quito, 2,714 in Caracas, 291 in Bogotá and 21 in Lima; 120 visas in zonal coordination.