Canada to grant passport waiver to Venezuelans caught in border limbo

Government will recognize passports as valid for up to 5 years after expiry

Immigration and Citizenship Canada has reached an agreement that will allow Venezuelans caught up in their country's administrative meltdown to remain in Canada even if their passports and other documents are no longer valid, CBC News has learned.

Canada to grant passport waiver to Venezuelans caught in border limbo

As millions of Venezuelans have poured out of the country, questions of establishing identity and verifying documents have plagued migrants and host governments alike. Venezuelan consulates either cannot or will not replace expired documents, leaving many citizens in limbo.

In Canada, some Venezuelans who came to the country on legal student visas have found themselves unable to continue their studies or graduate because they've been unable to update documents. Others with permanent residence have seen their progress toward citizenship interrupted because their Venezuelan documents are no longer valid.

The Canadian government is expected to announce shortly that it will recognize Venezuelan passports that are about to expire, or have expired in the last five years.

Those documents will be accepted in applications for Canadian visitor visas, study and work permits. They also will be considered valid for the purposes of obtaining permanent residency, or applying to extend a Venezuelan citizen's stay in Canada.