Venezuelan Passport Holder That Expires Within The Next Year, Apply Now For Renewal.
Venezuela is in a bad way. Since April 2017, political rallies and demonstrations occur daily throughout the country, disruptions to traffic, public transportation and food shortages are common.
It is a sad situation for a country that used to be one of Latin America’s wealthiest and one that was used to seeing people flock to, not away from.
Along with basic food, medicine and even toilet paper, Venezuela now lacks the materials to meet to the soaring demand for new passports – making it almost impossible for those few Venezuelans with the monetary means of escaping the troubled Latin American nation to do so. While estimates of how many passport requests the socialist government received last year vary from between 1.8 million to 3 million, only 300,000 of the elusive documents were doled out. Every day, hundreds of people line up outside the passport agency, known as Saime, in the capital of Caracas in the hopes of obtaining one.
Saime has stated that the backup in processing passport applications is because the agency lacks enough “materials,” but did not specify what that means. Observers say that while the government may not be able to afford the paper to make the passport. Paper products in the country, including toilet paper, are in short supply in Venezuela.
The government has acknowledged the issue of the chronic shortages in passports and last week launched a new “online” option that will rush a passport to customers within 72 hours for about double the price of waiting in line. The website, however, has crashed numerous times and it is unclear how many passports have been expedited through this process.
The difficulty obtaining passports has led those wealthy enough to pay off government officials or those with connections to fixers to cough up hundreds of dollars to expedite the process. Most of Venezuela’s 30 million resident, however, don’t have that kind of money as the monthly minimum wage in the country comes to less than $30 a month on the black market.
If you are already in Australia, it may be impossible to apply for a new visa without a valid passport. Therefore, if you happen to have a Venezuelan passport that expires within the next year, you should apply ASAP to renew it now as there are significant delays due to the current political climate.