Peru: Venezuelans Race To Country Before New Passport Requirement

Many Venezuelans are now rushing to Peru to enter the country before it is too late. The South American nation recently announced that Venezuelans will be required to have a passport to enter the country. The new rules come into effect on Saturday.

Before the changes announced by Peru, Venezuelans had the chance to enter the country with just their national ID cards. The new requirement will make it difficult for some Venezuelans to enter the country since obtaining a passport there can be very hard.

Some Venezuelans say they have not been able to obtain passports for years. Some accuse those working in registry services of charging money to receive the passports.

Millions of Venezuelans are estimated to have fled the country in recent years. A high percentage have moved to neighboring Colombia but the rest of South America has also seen thousands enter.

Venezuelans are escaping the economic and political crisis that started years back. The IMF estimates that inflation will reach one million percent by the end of 2018. The government recently announced new measures, including new bills, but experts believe this will only make things worse.

Peru is not the only country to announce a passport requirement for Venezuelans. Right around the same time of the announcement, Ecuador also announced that it would require passports. Earlier today, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi asked the two countries to continue allowing them to access safety and seek asylum.

Peru’s Prime Minister Cesar Villanueva said the requirement did not mean his country was closing the door on Venezuelans. He explained that ID cards from Venezuela did not provide enough information. Peru’s Foreign Minister said his country will issue humanitarian visas in exceptional cases. He said people can apply for those visas at Peruvian consulates in Venezuela, Ecuador or Colombia.

Hundreds of Venezuelans are currently making the journey to Peru. The new requirement will begin on Saturday, which is less than two days away. Many of the Venezuelans are making the journey on foot since they don’t have money for the bus fare. Argentina is now one of the few countries which Venezuelans can enter with just their national ID cards.