A group of Venezuelans collect their passports at the Venezuelan embassy, Victoria Avenue, Port of Spain on Friday. – Photo by Grevic Alvarado
The Venezuelan embassy received a delivery of 688 new passports last week and is distributing them as quickly as possible.
Venezuelan ambassador Álvaro Sánchez Cordero told Newsday the new documents had been delivered to the embassy on Victoria Avenue, Port of Spain, and embassy staff were authorised on Thursday and Friday to expedite their distribution.
“It is a special day, so our compatriots are receiving prompt attention and may already have their passports in their hands,” he said.
Venezuelans had applied for their new passports, through the Administrative Service for Identification, Migration and Immigration (Saime), between the end of September and the beginning of March. They can apply for passports that are valid for five or ten years or have their old ones extended.
Those expecting passports who did not go to the embassy on Thursday and Friday can do so over the next few days. The next batch of new passports is expected to arrive in TT in the fourth quarter of this year.
One applicant, Marisela Romero said, “I am happy because I have my passport now. The process was fast and I only had to wait a few months for it to reach TT. Now I can legally go abroad.”
She told Newsday she had just been waiting for her passport to leave TT for Brazil.
Hundreds of other Venezuelans are also planning to leave this country in the coming days.
Romero said, “The passport is essential to be able to go overseas. TT is a beautiful country, but it isn’t giving us legal opportunities to stay here.”
Her two children received new passports in October 2022. Her husband got his extended, so the whole family can now travel abroad legally.
Venezuelans now hope the authorities in their country approve their obtaining ID cards by applying online while they are in TT.