In Venezuela, to travel abroad, even though the Civil Aeronautical Institute issued an official statement indicating that restrictions on commercial flights will remain in force. However, some flight routes have been approved, only through the following countries: Dominican Republic, Panama, Bolivia, Mexico, Iran and Turkey.
Internally, since the general pandemic decree in the first quarter of 2020, the Venezuelan Government has decreed a national quarantine scheme of one week with restrictions for public offices, commercial activities and public transportation and one week with easing of such restrictions. Some commercial sectors, such as tourism, restaurants and other recreational areas have begun to operate.
Regarding aspects of legalization of documents for Venezuelans abroad, most public offices, such as the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Civil Registries and notaries public have resumed their activities and are currently issuing documents with reduced working hours.
As for those non-nationals who are hired to work in the country, the outlook is very limited, since the labor migration office has limited services and the analysis for expatriate visas is done on a case-by-case basis.
For those nationals and non-nationals wishing to avail themselves of foreign consulates in Venezuela, the Saudi Arabian embassy has begun accepting visa applications and legalization requests. Other consulates, such as Qatar, Kuwait and Panama are receiving legalization requests under a special schedule.
Regarding the issuance of Venezuelan passports and Venezuelan IDs, the Venezuelan immigration authority SAIME has begun accepting applications for the renewal of Venezuelan IDs and is currently processing applications for passport extensions. As for new passport applications, there are currently delays in assigning appointments.
On the other hand, on January 15, 2021, the president of the Venezuelan National Assembly, Juan Guaidó, decreed the extension of validity of Venezuelan passports for an additional five (5) years. Said term will be taken into account from the expiration date of the passport.
The extension of validity of Venezuelan passports has been recognized by other countries in the region, such as Argentina, Colombia, Peru, Brazil, among others. However, each country has specific rules regarding the expiration date of the passport and the time of validity recognized for the document since its expiration.
In summary, the mobility of Venezuelans abroad is possible, although with difficulties, among which are the practical difficulty to obtain new passports or extensions of the same and the limited number of air routes for travel. For foreigners entering the country, entry conditions remain open, except for those nationals of countries that previously required visas to enter the country.
Jose A. Graterol