|February 26, 2014|
Previously published on February 19, 2014
The government offices responsible for immigration processing have closed due to ongoing political demonstrations in parts of Venezuela, especially in the capital city of Caracas. Processing delays will likely result from the closures.
The government has not confirmed its policy on work permits that expire during the closures but is expected to give work permit holders a grace period during which to renew the expired permits once the offices reopen.
The immigration agency (SAIME) reopened today after closing on Monday, February 17, 2014. SAIME is not accepting applications or processing cases and has not stated when processing will resume. The Ministry of Interior, which is responsible for document legalizations, closed for two days last week but has since reopened. If the political demonstrations continue, government offices may close at any time without prior notice.
At this time, there are no reports of other countries closing their consular posts or issuing travel advisories for Venezuela.
What This Means for Employers and Foreign Nationals
Employers should account for delays and suspended processing when planning to relocate foreign workers and to renew their work permits.
If the demonstrations continue, foreign nationals in Venezuela are advised to carefully consider international travel in the coming weeks and should ensure that they possess a valid work and residence visa (TR-L visa) to facilitate their return.