Greenlight for Venezuelans: Cabinet sets two-week registration process

Cabinet has agreed to open a two-week registration for Venezuelans in Trinidad and Tobago, to allow then an initial stay of six months in which they can also work in Trinidad and Tobago.

The decision is for Venezuelans who arrive here legally or illegally.

The two-week amnesty will begin on May 31st and run until June 14th.

Government Minister Stuart Young told today's post-Cabinet media conference that five registration centres will be set up with interpreters for the registration process.

The centres will be located in Port-of-Spain San Fernando, Arima, Cedros and Scarborough. 

The Venezuelans will undergo medical examinations and at the end of the six months, will have their situations evaluated before another six-month period becomes available to them.

The minister said they will also be able to access emergency medical care as well as primary and public care, inclusive of treatment for heart attacks, strokes, diabetic comas and so on.

However, the minister says anything beyond that will have to be paid for.

He said the Cabinet also agreed that there will be no guarantees to a right of education or social services.

Minister Young said that the government's first priority for the provision of education is to Trinidad and Tobago citizens but he notes that if there are extra spaces in schools, then Venezuelans could be accommodated.

They will not be required to pay NIS but if he says that if qualify to pay PAYE, then they will.

The registration cards will have photo identification and security features.

The minister said that when the process is complete, national security will revert to the normal applications of immigration laws.

He added that this is not a process to allow more Venezuelans to arrive here illegally.

He said the Cabinet also agreed to review the situation with respect to other persons in the Immigration Detention Centre.

 - with reporting by Akash Samaroo

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