Haiti - As part of its commitment to facilitate migration, IOM, on behalf of the Brazilian embassy, has inaugurated this week its first Humanitarian Visa Application Centre in Port-au-Prince, Haiti.
The Brazil Visa Application Centre (BVAC) opened its doors to the public on 29 September 2015. The Centre is exclusively dedicated to Haitian citizens applying for special humanitarian permanent visas (VIPER), which aim to ensure a safe, dignified and legal migration channel to Brazil.
Two categories of humanitarian visas will be processed by the BVAC – Special Permanent Visas and Family Reunification Permanent Visas.
IOM will support applicants in filing their online applications, as well as verifying supporting documentation. The applications will then be submitted to the Brazilian embassy for adjudication and actual visa issuance.
“IOM Haiti is actively involved in the migration dialogue between Brazil and Haiti, with the aim to strengthen regular migration channels, improve information flows and provide the greatest possible protection for migrants,” explains Gregoire Goodstein, IOM Chief of Mission in Haiti.
After the January 2010 earthquake in Haiti, the number of Haitians migrating to different countries on the continent increased. In addition to the traditional migration flows to the United States, Canada, and France and its Caribbean territories, Brazil emerged as a new popular destination for Haitian migrants, followed by Chile and Argentina.
As numerous Haitian migrants were falling prey to migrant smuggling and trafficking networks who promised to help them reach Brazil through what is known as “the jungle route”, the Government of Brazil established mechanisms to enable migrants to obtain visas in countries of origin and transit. Since 2011, Brazil has issued humanitarian permanent visas to Haitians coming to the country, which allow them to work and enjoy the same rights of any other foreigner in a regular situation.
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