Visa Asistencia analyzes the new Special Complementary Permanence Permit PECP for Venezuelans citizens who applied for refugee status in Colombia. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs, through Resolution 3548 of July 3rd, 2019, created the Special Complementary Permanence Permit PECP, to Venezuelan citizens who requested refugee status in Colombia or to those who denied the refugee application. These are the key points of the measure:
Who can access the permit?
All Venezuelan nationals who have requested recognition of refugee status in Colombia between August 19th, 2015 and December 31st, 2018 may apply for the permit, as well as immigrants who were denied the application for articles 3.8 and 9 of Decree 1067 of 2015. In addition, Venezuelan citizens cannot have a judicial record or a deportation measure in force.
The idea is that the permit only covers those who request refugee and have not been able to regulate their situation. Therefore, those who have another special permit, such as the PEP, or a Colombian visa, cannot access the PECP. The Special Administrative Unit of Migración Colombia will be the entity in charge of determining who meets all the conditions to issue the permit.
Why only refuge seekers
Every two seconds a person on the world is forced to move through a conflict or fear of being persecuted. This data from the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) reveals one of the greatest dramas in these times, because in the last 70 years there was not known such a high number of displaced people in the world, which reached 70 millions of people in June 2019. Among that immense number are the Venezuelan immigrants.
So far, according to UNHCR data, four million Venezuelans left their country, some to seek a better future and others to escape from an unsustainable or dangerous situation. UNHCR considers refugees who immigrated due to armed conflict, violence, persecution or well-founded fear of persecution.
As Colombia is part of the Convention on the Status of Refugees, it has an international commitment to assist all those who escaped from a dangerous situation and arrived in the country. Although the Government must guarantee their rights to all those who inhabit the national territory, the population seeking refuge normally faces more vulnerabilities and needs to regulate their immigration status soon.
What is the permission for?
Venezuelan citizens who have the PECP will be able to work regularly in Colombia and the only obligation different from the people who hire them is to report to the immigration authority the activity that the refuge applicants develop through the SIRE platform of Migration Colombia and RUTEC of the Ministry of Labor.
How long does it last?
The PECP will be granted for 90 calendar days, extendable for the same time, without exceeding (2) two years.