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  • Over 350,000 Venezuelans are living in Ecuador.

    Over 350,000 Venezuelans are living in Ecuador. | Photo: Twitter / @Informe21

Published 29 July 2020
Opinion

The economic crisis prevents migrants from having enough money to pay for their visas.

Ecuador's Foreign Affairs Ministry Tuesday told Venezuelan citizens living in this Andean country that the process to apply for the humanitarian visa (VERHU) will end on August 13.

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To get this visa, each applicant must pay US$50, although senior citizens could pay US$25. People with proven disabilities, however, are exempt from payment.

Human rights defenders criticized the decision made by the Ecuadorian government arguing that the economic crisis prevents migrants from having enough money to pay for it.

In March, President Lenin Moreno signed a decree granting a 60-day extension to Venezuelan migrants to regularize their situation in the country.

Foreign Affairs authorities specified that such an extension would be valid from the end of the state of emergency. On June 15, however, the deadline for completing the procedure was extended by another 60 days.

In this context, Venezuelan migrant associations consider as "arbitrary" the deadline granted by the authorities to process a humanitarian visa which would coincide with the end of the current state of emergency.

According to official data, over 350,000 Venezuelans who entered the country through official ways are living in Ecuador. If the people who entered through irregular channels are added, that figure could exceed 400,000 people.

From August 2019 to May 2020, however, Ecuador has just registered the issuance of 33,822 emergency visas for humanitarian reasons.

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