Venezuelans collect extended work permits

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

Venezuelan immigrant Carlos Luis Africano shows his registration card with the new sticker valid until December 31, 2023 – Photo by Grevic Alvarado

Venezuelan immigrants began to obtain extended work permits on Monday from the Immigration Division.

The first 815 selected by the TT government to update their registration cards have until September 8 to do so.

On Tuesday, hundreds of Venezuelans were at the immigration office early in the morning, despite the rain.

“I came early so I could get back to work on time,” said Carla Martinez.

She was one of those selected in a statement issued by the National Security Ministry last Friday.

Martínez lives in Diego Martin and works in a supermarket.

“It is important to have the card updated quickly in order to continue working legally here.”

Carlos Luis Africano was another immigrant who was waiting for his call for the new sticker. After being dealt with, he said he was satisfied with the process.

“I already have my valid work permit. With this I can be calm at least until January,” he said.

Hundreds of Venezuelans were on Tuesday in front of the Immigration building on Henry St, Port of Spain waiting to update their work permits. – Photo by Grevic Alvarado

Africano and other Venezuelans with a work permit issued by the government are receiving a new sticker on their cards to show they are valid until December 31.

This is the fifth extension of work permits for Venezuelans since 2019, when they were approved through an amnesty.

The Venezuelans applied for updates between June 21 and August 11. Now they must wait for the ministry to tell them when to collect their updated cards.

In January, National Security Minister Fitzgerald Hinds said there were about 9,000 Venezuelans here legally and another 4,000 were still being evaluated.