OVER 1,300 Venezuelans received their passports for their home country this week at the Venezuelan embassy, Victoria Avenue, Port of Spain.
Venezuelan Katiuska Pantoja, who came to TT 14 years ago, received her passport on Thursday, which she needed for legal proceedings here.
“I am really happy I can have my passport. It was several months of waiting but it was worth it,” said Pantoja.
She is speeding up her paperwork to obtain Trinidadian residency. She needed a valid Venezuelan passport to continue the procedures.
Pantoja had two options for her passport: new or an extension. Both can be valid for five or ten years.
“The attention they gave us at the embassy was good. Both at the appointment and at the delivery of the passport they explain each step of the process to the person,” she said.
Álvaro Sánchez Cordero, the Venezuelan ambassador, told Newsday all the staff working at the embassy had been working tirelessly since the printed passports arrived from Caracas.
Cordero said the Venezuelans must first register on the website of the Administrative Service for Identification, Migration and Immigration of Venezuela (SAIME in Spanish). Depending on the country where the person is located, they will then request an appointment at their embassy.
"The appointment is confirmed by the electronic system, people come to present their identity documents, take their photo, signature and fingerprints to confirm the issuance process."
Venezuelan passports have different prices for varying applications (extension or new), for adults or children, and the duration of the document.
According to data from the SAIME website, the passport extension process costs US$102.7. In the case of new passports with three years of validity, it costs US$ 102.7. For a document with five years of validity, in this case for children, it costs US$154. The price for a passport with a validity of ten years is US$205.57.
Cordero said this week 1,203 new passports between adults and children arrived at TT, as well as 99 extensions.
He said passport appointments were suspended owing to the pandemic, but since they resumed in June 2021, “we have received 1,928 new passports with an expiration time of ten years, and 426 extensions.”
Cordero said they will continue with applications to issue new passports and extensions. The next batch of Venezuelan passports is expected to arrive at TT in early 2023.