Santiago – IOM, the UN Migration Agency and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Chile signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to facilitate family reunification visas in Haiti to relatives of Haitian nationals residing in Chile.
According to data released this year by Chile’s government, Haitians represent the largest group of foreigners residing in the country, with Venezuelans the second largest group. The Haitian population appears to be growing; one government official recently noted the need to regularize this flow more efficiently citing a statistic that in 2017 over 120,000 Haitian nationals entered Chile as tourists while only 4,000 of those were recorded as leaving the country.
The MoU signed this week (31 July) specifies that IOM will collaborate by providing support in visa management in Haiti and will provide assistance to the Consular Section of the Embassy of Chile in Haiti to assist visa applicants through the establishment of a Visa Assistance Centre managed by the IOM Office in Haiti.
The main support services that IOM will provide are: design and equipment of facilities for visa-related processing; customized development of secure computing solutions that include tools for applicants such as scheduling online appointments and monitoring and updating of visa applications, distribution of contact information and requirements for the granting of visas by the consular authority of Chile in Haiti, in Spanish, Creole and French; assistance, reception and review of visa applications, and return of documents to the applicants, among others.
Norberto Girón, IOM Chile Chief of Mission, said: “This MoU is happening at a moment when the Migrant Regularization Process led by the Government of Chile has confirmed the large number of Haitians who remain irregular in the country; thus, the opportunity for them to meet with their relatives in Chile is enormous.”
Girón added: “I reiterate IOM’s commitment to collaborate with both governments, Chile and Haiti, to support a safe, orderly and regular migration between both countries.”
At the signing of the MoU, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Chile, Roberto Ampuero, highlighted that the MoU will allow a better service provision to visa applicants and thanked IOM for the technical support which will strengthen the Chilean consular services in Haiti.
This agreement is in line with Article 44 of the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families, which establishes that States must adopt “the appropriate measures to ensure the protection of the migrant worker’s family unit to facilitate the reunification of migrant workers with their spouses or with those persons who maintain with the migrant worker a relationship that, in accordance with the applicable law, produces effects equivalent to marriage, as with their unmarried children under age that they are in charge of, and with other relatives, for humanitarian reasons, if the host State considers it.”
For more information, please contact José Estay, IOM Chile, Tel. + (56) 2 2963 3710, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org