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Saturday 19 October 2019
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Govt issues 1,932 visas to Venezuelans

An official visa application form from the Trinidad embassy in Caracas.
An official visa application form from the Trinidad embassy in Caracas.

More than 1,900 visas have been issued to Venezuelans since Government introduced the immigration policy in June.
The Ministry of National Security, in a statement on Tuesday, said as at October 4, 1,932 visas have been processed, with 403 visas issued at the TT Embassy in Caracas, and assured applications continue to be reviewed at the embassy. The visa policy took effect on June 17, after the end of a registration drive which granted amnesty to more than 16,000 Venezuelans.
"The Ministry of National Security reiterates that Venezuelan nationals wishing to visit Trinidad and Tobago can continue to submit applications for visas at Trinidad and Tobago’s Embassy in Caracas. Visa applications can also be submitted online at immigration.visas@gov.tt," said the statement.
The ministry gave this response to reports out of Caracas that visas had been stopped at the embassy generating uncertainty among applicants and their refugee relatives, already in TT. At the time, of a Newsday online article, there was no official statement on if the process had been suspended.
For the past month, there have been numerous complaints among Venezuelans that visas were no longer issued by the TT embassy in Caracas.
There was one report in Caracas that on September 17, the embassy had suspended issuing visas.
“It is presumed that more visas will be delivered until January, that is what they tell us now at the embassy,” said María Rodríguez, a Venezuelan who got her travel permit yet when she arrived at the port in Cedros, she was ordered back to her homeland without explanation. “I did all the paperwork, I obtained my visa but in Cedros, the immigration officials ordered me to return to Venezuela without giving me reasons. When I returned to Caracas, I went to the Trinidad embassy to make the request again and the workers there informed me that the process was stopped,” Rodríguez said via a telephone interview from Caracas.
She came to Trinidad to visit her husband who has asylum status. “At the embassy in Caracas they asked a lot of questions about the travel, but especially about the economic income that the Venezuelan person has.” She said Venezuelans are treated well at the embassy in Caracas but that changes if there are problems with the documents.
Among the documents visa applicants must submit to the embassy are: a copy of their passport, a copy of their national ID card, a letter from their place of employment in Venezuela, a work permit, bank statements for the last four months, a copy of the flight ticket reservation, a copy of hotel reservation, two passport-sized, white background photos, for children 16 and under, they must submit a copy of their original birth certificate and the visa application forms must be filled in English and printed on a page on both sides).
Notices at the embassy in Caracas stated that the cost for a TT visa is Bs.597,022, while for people who register multiple entries it amounts to Bs.953,212.
“At the beginning they requested 300,000 bolivars in bank deposits, and this was later raised, apparently due to the increase in the price of the United States dollar in Venezuela,” she said. The deposit must be made at the Provincial Bank located on San Juan Bosco Avenue, Altamira Center Building, 1st Floor, Altamira, Caracas. The embassy of Trinidad and Tobago in Venezuela is located on the Third Avenue of Altamira, between 6th and 7th cross, Quinta Poshika, Chacao Municipality.
Prime Minister Dr Rowley, asked about the suspension of the process recently, said that visas are available and that Venezuelans living outside Caracas would probably have a harder time getting them.
“Venezuela is a big country. Visas are available in Caracas, so I would not be surprised if someone from another place in Venezuela has difficulty getting there,” he said. Efforts to get a statement from the Maduro regime in Venezuela on the visa issue proved futile.

This story has been updated with additional details. It was originally published under the headline Visas for Venezuelans stopped.

THE interruption in the delivery of visas for Venezuelans who want to come to TT is generating uncertainty between applicants and their refugee relatives, already in this country, and there is still no official statement certifying suspension of the process.
On June 17, two days after the registration for Venezuelans was closed, Government imposed visa requirements for people from the south American country, entering at ports and airports.
For the past month, there have been numerous complaints that the issuance of visas has been stopped at the Trinidad embassy in Caracas.
There was word in Caracas that on September 17, the TT embassy announced that the process of delivery of entry permits to Venezuelans wanting to go to TT was suspended. This could not be officially confirmed.
“It is presumed that more visas will be delivered until January, that is what they tell us now at the embassy,” said María Rodríguez, a Venezuelan who got her travel permit formally yet when she arrived at the port in Cedros she was ordered back to her homeland without explanation. “I did all the paperwork, I obtained my visa but in Cedros, the immigration officials ordered me to return to Venezuela without giving me reasons. When I returned to Caracas, I went to the Trinidad embassy to make the request again and the workers there informed me that the process was stopped,” Rodríguez said via a telephone interview from Caracas.
She visited Trinidad to visit her husband who has asylum status. “At the embassy in Caracas they asked a lot of questions about the travel, but especially about the economic income that the Venezuelan person has.” She said Venezuelans are treated well at the embassy in Caracas but that changes if there are problems with the documents.
Among the documents visa applicants must submit to the embassy are: a copy of their passport, a copy of their national ID card, a letter from their place of employment in Venezuela, a work permit, bank statements for the last four months, a copy of the flight ticket reservation, a copy of hotel reservation, two passport-sized, white background photos, for children 16 and under, they must submit a copy of their original birth certificate and the visa application forms must be filled in English and printed on a page on both sides).
Notices at the embassy in Caracas stated that the cost for a TT visa is Bs.597,022, while for people who register multiple entries it amounts to Bs.953,212.
“At the beginning they requested 300,000 bolivars in bank deposits, and this was later raised, apparently due to the increase in the price of the United States dollar in Venezuela,” she said. The deposit must be made at the Provincial Bank located on San Juan Bosco Avenue, Altamira Center Building, 1st Floor, Altamira, Caracas. The embassy of Trinidad and Tobago in Venezuela is located on the Third Avenue of Altamira, between 6th and 7th cross, Quinta Poshika, Chacao Municipality.
When contacted on the matter, Chief Immigration Officer Charmaine Gandhi-Andrews said National Security Minister Stuart Young is expected to address the issue. However, the ministry’s communications unit had no information about this when contacted yesterday.

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