Crisis Severity The severity score from 1 to 5 is based on 31 indicators aggregated into 3 pillars (impact, conditions, and complexity)3.90 Very lowVery high 5
Impact This measures the impact of the crisis itself, in terms of the scope of its geographical, and human effects.3.60 Very lowVery high 5
Humanitarian Conditions This measures the conditions and status of the people affected, including info about the distribution of severity.4.00 Very lowVery high 5
Complexity This measures the complexity of the crisis, in terms of factors that affect its mitigation or resolution.3.80 Very lowVery high 5
Access Constraints This measures the level of humanitarian access constraints.4.0No constraintsExtreme constraints
As at February 2022, around 4,990,000 Venezuelans have fled their home country. Considering the deteriorating political and economic situation in the country, there is no indication that the outflow of Venezuelans will lessen in the near future. The Regional Refugee and Migrant Response Plan (RMRP) expects the overall number of Venezuelans fleeing the country to reach 8.90 million by the end of 2022 ?
Many Venezuelans in host countries are in urgent need of food, nutrition, health, and WASH assistance; the exact needs vary depending on the country. Protection assistance – including legal help with documentation to access healthcare and employment – is also needed. A significant number of Venezuelans remain in an irregular situation caused by lack of documentation, long waiting periods, high application fees, and other challenges. These populations are experiencing limited rights and access to services and are vulnerable to exploitation and abuse. As the nationwide crisis continues to unfold, host countries struggle to respond to the influx of Venezuelan migrants. The rising number of people entering neighbouring countries is placing a strain on basic services – particularly in border areas. ?
To respond to the influx of Venezuelan migrants, the RMRP will support and complement national authorities in Latin America and the Caribbean. ?
No significant recent humanitarian developments. This crisis is being monitored by our analysis team.
IMPACT OF COVID-19
The COVID-19 pandemic has led to significant regional population movements in Latin America, both inside countries and across borders. As at November 2020, 4.6 million Venezuelan refugees and migrants – of the total 5.4 million living outside their home country – were hosted within the region. Many Venezuelan refugees and migrants working in the informal economy in Colombia, Brazil, Ecuador, and Peru have lost their livelihoods and face poverty, eviction, food insecurity, and increased protection risks. As a result, a growing number of Venezuelans are returning to their home country. Dependency on humanitarian assistance has increased among the migrants who remain in host countries. There have also been cases of xenophobia and stigmatisation against Venezuelan migrants. This prejudice is associated with the perception that their migrant status leads to a higher risk of spreading COVID-19. ?
Approximately 40% of Venezuelan refugees and migrants in Latin American countries were evicted during the pandemic. As at February 2021, an additional 38% of Venezuelan migrants were at risk of losing their homes. In some countries, the percentage of evicted Venezuelan migrants and refugees was as high as 59% (Brazil) or 69.5% (Colombia). An estimated 11% of evicted households in the region have ended in homelessness, increasing the risk of COVID-19 transmission.?
Entry requirements and legal status of Venezuelans
BRAZIL: On 23 June 2021, the Brazilian Government approved Ordinance 655, introducing changes to the entry conditions for Venezuelans affected by the humanitarian crisis in their country. With this ordinance, free transit is allowed between Venezuela and Brazil, as well as the entry into Brazil of Venezuelan citizens and their subsequent regularisation (taking into account health restrictions related to COVID-19). Ordinance 655 also allows for a process of regularisation for all Venezuelan nationals who have entered Brazil irregularly between March–June 2021. On 17 August, the Federal Police extended until 15 March 2022 the deadline to complete the regularisation process for those who failed to enter the country before 16 March 2020.?
ECUADOR: Since 26 August 2019, Venezuelan citizens require a visa to enter Ecuador. This requirement is a barrier to entry because many Venezuelans do not have a valid passport and cannot initiate the visa process. The cost is also very high, with the price depending on the type of visa (work, tourism, UNASUR, or study, among others). The most affordable process costs USD 250. On 13 August 2020, the Government of Ecuador announced the end of the ‘temporary residence visa for humanitarian reasons’ for Venezuelan migrants and refugees already in Ecuador. Ecuadorian consulates in Bogotá (Colombia), Caracas (Venezuela), and Lima (Peru) are still authorised to process visa requests under this category. Venezuelans residing in Ecuador who have not regularised their situations may be subject to a fine of USD 800 (the equivalent of two minimum wages). On 17 June 2021, the President of Ecuador announced a new regularisation process that involves allowing Venezuelan citizens in Ecuador to legalise their migration status and work freely in the country. As at the end of August, this process had not begun; on the contrary, a regulation that could lead to arbitrary deportations is awaiting presidential approval .?
PERU: Since 15 June 2019, Venezuelan nationals require a humanitarian visa and a passport (not necessarily valid) to enter Peru; they are no longer allowed entry with only Venezuelan identification documents. Since 30 August 2021, the Peruvian migration authorities have made the procedure for the temporary permit to stay application more flexible. This new measure makes it possible again to regularise a person’s migration status only with the identity document, regardless of whether it has expired.??
COLOMBIA: On 8 February 2021, Colombian President Iván Duque Márquez issued a temporary protection statute for Venezuelan migrants. This statute will support the regularisation of around one million Venezuelan refugees and migrants living in Colombia. This effort benefits Venezuelans with entry and stay permits, asylum seekers, holders of the ‘SC-2 laissez-passer’ document who are in the process of obtaining a visa from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and migrants in irregular situations who can prove that they were in Colombia before 31 January 2021. Other Venezuelans will require a valid passport to obtain an entry and stay permit. The statute will facilitate access to healthcare and legal employment opportunities for Venezuelan migrants and refugees. It will also allow Venezuelan migrants in Colombia to transition from a temporary protection regime to an ordinary migration procedure, giving them ten years to acquire a resident visa ?
TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO: On 9 April 2021, a one-month registration period for migrants in irregular status in Trinidad and Tobago ended. Several thousands of Venezuelans were unable to register, as the process was only available to migrants who had registered during the migrant registration process in 2019. Since 17 June 2019, Venezuelan nationals require a visa to enter Trinidad and Tobago. This requirement is a barrier to entry because visa applications are expensive and require documents that many Venezuelans do not have. This may lead migrants to seek unsafe, informal routes into the country. ?
UPDATE FROM THE FEBRUARY 2022 RISK ANALYSIS
MEDIUM RISK LEVEL
The intensification of armed conflict on both sides of the Colombian-Venezuelan border and in Venezuela increases the number of internally displaced Colombians and Venezuelans in Colombia needing assistance
The risk has materialised; the conflict between armed groups at the Colombian-Venezuelan border intensified in the last six months. Increased disputes over territorial control – mainly between the National Liberation Army (ELN), dissidents of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, Las Autodefensas Gaitanistas de Colombia (AGC), and La Segunda Marquetalia – drive the escalation of the crisis?. Arauca, Cauca, La Guajira, Norte de Santander, and Vichada departments (Colombia) and Amazonas, Apure, Bolivar, Tachira, and Zulia states (Venezuela) are the most affected regions as these departments and states are strategic for narcotraffic?.
On the Venezuelan side, there have been reports of extortion, homicide, forced displacements, confinements, and other actions by armed groups?. Bolivar state is the most affected by conflict escalation owing to the increased presence of armed groups and their activity in the region. In Apure, the trend of armed conflict remains stable, but the population is facing enforced disappearances and arbitrary detentions by the Venezuelan military, that is in the area to fight the armed groups?. In Apure, Bolivar, and Tachira, there are heightened concerns over the recruitment and trafficking of Venezuelans irregularly crossing the Colombian border?.
On the Colombian side of the border, individual displacement increased from 763 people in all of 2021 to 11,000 over January–June 2022. Regarding mass displacements, 30,000 people were displaced over January–June. 61,000 people have been confined, including over 2,630 Venezuelan migrants and refugees?. The Venezuelan population displaced to Colombia are mostly in Arauca, Norte de Santander, or Vichada?. The number of people displaced puts a strain on services and resources and has exhausted the capacity of local authorities?.
Read the February 2022 Risk Analysis here.