The Venezuelan crisis has generated the largest exodus in the region’s recent history. As of April 2020, 5.1 million Venezuelans are living abroad of which 4.2 million (82%) are in Latin America and Caribbean countries.
Countries in Latin American and Caribbean have made significant efforts in providing humanitarian protection assistance and to migrants and refugees from Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela (hereinafter Venezuela) in their territories, but the outflows are not expected to decrease.
Host governments and donors continue to demonstrate solidarity and cooperation towards the provision of assistance for refugees and migrants from Venezuela. Migration Colombia, the national migration authority, announced the implementation of a series of measures aimed at the regularization of those Venezuelan citizens who are in the national territory without fulfilling the requirements of the law. One of the first measures announced is the issuance of a new Special Permit of Permanence (PEP as per its Spanish acronym), which targets those Venezuelan citizens who entered in Colombia before 29 November 2019 with a valid passport. This measure, adopted through Resolution 0240 on 23 January 2020 by the Colombian Foreign Ministry, would benefit about 200,000 Venezuelan citizens.
The second measure is the issuance of the Special Permit for Permanence for the Promotion of Formalization (PEPFF as per the Spanish acronym). It consists of a work permit, created by the Ministry of Labor and Migration Colombia, which would be granted only to those Venezuelan citizens who are in Colombia and have a formal job. The idea of the PEPFFT is that the Venezuelan citizens with a formal job begin to contribute to the social security system, reducing the social security burden, while promoting the economy and generating new labor force for those productive sectors that are in need.