Venezuelans migrants will begin receiving their registration cards from Friday.
The announcement was made by National Security Minister Stuart Young at yesterday’s post-Cabinet media conference,
He stressed that they will be required to keep them on their persons at all time.
Young said that 16,543 Venezuelans, including 2,300 children, registered in the exercise over May 31 to June 14. The registration will allow them to work in Trinidad and Tobago for a year. Following this period the arrangement will be reviewed by the Government.
Young said in the period since June 14, his ministry had been doing ing due diligence and other checks on registrants to ensure they were Venezuelans. He said some applicants had lacked passports and ID cards.
“We’ve completed this now and we start the roll out of cards (today),” Minister Young said.
The number of cards to be distributed is approximately 13,000. He said the cards have security features, including a barcode for the registrant, a photo, a National Security signature, and a PIN for the person.
There is no cost for the cards.
Young said if a card is lost, the owner will have to report it to the police, adding that “whoever isn’t registered, T&T’s normal immigration laws will apply”.
Attorney General Faris Al-Rawi, commenting on queries regarding refugee law, said data from the registration exercise will be used to help assess what may have to be done. He said Government had a meeting with the United Nations High Commission on Refugees (UNHCR), the International Red Cross and US Secretary of State who all told the Government, “job well done” on treating with economic migrants and Venezuelans.
He said Aruba and Curacao which are now receiving Venezuelan migrants and are examining T&T’s registration model.