A Winding Path to Integration: Venezuelan Migrants’ Regularization and Labor Market Prospects
The movement of more than 6 million Venezuelans to other countries in Latin America and the Caribbean has challenged the region’s governments to rethink how they manage mobility across their borders and the integration of immigrants within them. Many have launched programs to regularize Venezuelan newcomers. However, the status offered by regularization measures has varied enormously, including in terms of duration and the rights granted. These differences have had implications for Venezuelans’ ability to find work, access services, and plan for the future.
This report examines how regularization efforts have affected Venezuelans’ labor market integration. It looks closely at the case of Colombia, which has received the most displaced Venezuelans and operated the region’s largest regularization program, as well as at other countries that make up the Quito Process, which has made Venezuelans’ socioeconomic integration a top priority.
Among other sources, the study draws on interviews and focus groups with policy and regional experts, migrants, integration-focused organizations, and private-sector stakeholders. Topics explored include the impacts of granting short- versus long-term regular status, varying rates of labor market informality and labor enforcement, and the significant human capital Venezuelans have brought to many countries. The report also offers recommendations for countries as they continue to refine their strategies for granting Venezuelans regular status and fostering their integration.
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2 Regular and Irregular Migrants and Their Economic Integration
A. Formal and Informal Economies
B. Different Routes to Irregular Status
C. Regularization Mechanisms
3 Venezuelans’ Regularization and Labor Market Integration in Colombia
4 Venezuelans’ Regularization and Labor Market Integration in Other Quito Process Countries
5 Final Remarks and Recommendations