Venezuela, the United States and Ecuador were the top three nationalities of newcomers in 2020. Among the top 15 countries of origin, Venezuela registered the largest decrease (-121 000) in flows to Colombia compared to the previous year.

In 2021, the number of first asylum applicants increased by 34% to reach around 16 000. The majority of applicants came from Venezuela (12 000). The largest increase since 2020 concerned nationals of Venezuela (4 000). Of the 6 950 decisions taken in 2021, 8% were positive.

Since 2015, Colombia has received massive migratory flows, including an estimated 1.7 million Venezuelan migrants as of January 2021. This prompted the Colombian Government to adopt different measures for migrants such as the Temporary Protected Status for Venezuelan Migrants (TPSV) in March 2021.

This far-reaching protection mechanism grants a legal status for migrants to stay in the national territory, and the possibility to apply for a permanent resident visa after ten years.

The regularisation consists of a registry process in the Unified Registry for Venezuelan Migrants (RUMV, for its acronym in Spanish), which consists of an online pre-registry (in which biographical, demographic, facial biometrics, immediate family members and preliminary evidence of permanence in the territory are collected), an online socio-economic characterisation survey, and an on-site biometric registry (which includes facial, fingerprint and signature data, as well as the validation of the information provided by the migrant during pre-registration).

After completing the RUMV, the next step is authorisation and issuance of the Temporary Protection Permit (TPP), which accords the holder a valid identification document granting rights and duties within the Colombian territory, including the possibility to exercise any legal activity or occupation and access to a variety of public and private services.

As of May 2022, 2.3 million Venezuelan migrants filled out the socio-economic survey, there were over 1.2 million granted TPPs and over 1 million permits were delivered to Venezuelans.

The Colombian Government lifted the border restrictions implemented as a response to the COVID-19 crisis with neighbouring countries and has reopened its borders progressively with Peru, Ecuador, Brazil and Panama, which had been closed since March 2020. In June 2021, there has been a gradual reopening of all borders with Venezuela.

In August 2021, the Colombian and Panamanian authorities concluded a binational agreement on border management co-operation. It establishes a daily quota system to control the flow of irregular migrants transiting through the common border of the two countries. The measure seeks to regulate migrant flows, mainly from Cuba, Venezuela, and Haiti on their way to the United States through the Darien Gap. Furthermore, it aims at facilitating the exchange of information on migration flows between the two countries.

Moreover, the Colombian Government enacted the new Integrated Migration Policy (IMP) law in August 2021, which establishes a permanent legal framework on migration policy in Colombia. It aims, inter alia, to promote regular migration, improve the socio-economic integration of migrants and offer a better protection to vulnerable migrant populations and also includes an entire section of Colombians living abroad. In line with the objectives of the IMP, the Colombian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Office for the Attention and Socio-economic Integration of the Migrant Population of the Presidency of the Republic adopted a new mechanism to facilitate the recognition of foreign qualifications.

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