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Ministers must intervene to resolve passport crisis for Venezuelans in Ireland - John Brady TD

21 October, 2020 - by John Brady TD

Sinn Féin spokesperson on Foreign Affairs and Defence, John Brady TD today called on the Minister for Justice to intervene to address the dilemma faced by Venezuelan citizens in Ireland.

Speaking today, Teachta Brady said:

“The situation has arisen where Venezuelans living in Ireland are unable to renew their visas to remain here after their passports have expired, due to the fact that the Venezuelan government have all but ceased to issue new passports due to capacity issues.

"It is acknowledged that immigration services in Venezuela have stopped operating at anything like a functional level. This leaves it almost impossible for Venezuelan citizens here in Ireland to obtain extension stamps on their passports, with waiting lists of up to two years.

"At present there is no Venezuelan Consulate in Ireland. This means that Venezuelans living here are forced to travel abroad to obtain extension stamps on their passports.

"However, that option is impossible to do if your passport is out of date, never mind the fact that we are entering a second lockdown and want to curb all unnecessary travel within and from the state.

“We have a group of people here, although relatively small, nonetheless make a very positive contribution to our country, who run the risk of being classified as illegals here in the near future, if nothing is done.

"I believe that with a little good will, that this problem can be easily resolved.

"I would ask that the Minister for Justice Helen McEntee, and the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Defence Simon Coveney reach out to the Venezuelan Community here in Ireland and take the necessary measures to avoid undue hardship for this community."

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