Over 70 Venezuelan Immigrants Stranded on Panama-Costa Rica Border as Officials Ramp Up Controls
Most of them reportedly live in Panama, but went to Costa Rica with the intention of reentering with a renewed tourist visa. However, authorities prevented them from entering.
Alfredo Cordoba, Commissioner of the National Immigration Service in Panama’s province of Chiriqui reported that the mass movement of people during the Carnival holiday led them to implement a stricter strategy, as it was clear the Venezuelans were living and working in Panama illegally.
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“The computer system that we use for verification determines when people have entered and exited several times in order to renew their six month tourist permits. When that time ends, foreigners must use other alternatives that allow them to legally remain in the national territory.”
Cordoba explained that some Venezuelans did not meet the stipulated requirements needed to enter the country again. The requirements include having a return ticket to your home country or country of residence, having a successful interview with the pertinent authority at the time of entry or proving an economic solvency of $500.
The group is part of a total of 89 people who were prevented from entering because they did not meet immigration requirements.
Governor of Chiriquí Hugo Mendez said he will hold a meeting with immigration officials for an update on the group’s situation, some of which claim to have been trying for more than three days to enter Panama with their papers in order.
Source: La Patilla