The UNHCR has recently reported that people continue to leave Venezuela in order to escape violence, insecurity and threats not to mention the lack of food, medicine and essential services.  It is reported that over 4 million Venezuelans are now living abroad which represents the largest exodus in the region’s recent history.  Regrettably, ongoing difficulties in Venezuela compel growing numbers of children, women and men to leave for other countries.

In May 2019, the UNHCR issued a guidance note on International protection Considerations for Venezuelans which acknowledged that the vast majority of Venezuelan nationals who are habitually resident in Venezuela are in need of International Protection on the basis of threats to their lives, security or freedom resulting from the events that are currently seriously disturbing public order in Venezuela. 

In the guidance note the UNHCR outlined that persons originating from Venezuela who seek international protection in member states of the European Union and are found not to be refugees under the 1951 Convention, may qualify for Subsidiary Protection under Article 15 of the qualification directive if there are substantial grounds for believing that they would face a real risk of serious harm in Venezuela.  The UNHCR has called upon states to ensure that Venezuelan Nationals or individuals who were habitually resident in Venezuela will not be deported, expelled or in any other way forced to return to Venezuela in accordance with international refugee and humans rights law.  It went on to stipulate that the guarantee would need to be assured either in the official residence document issued to Venezuelans or through other effective means such as clear instructions to law enforcement agencies.

There is a strong Venezuelan community in Ireland and there are currently thousands of Venezuelans living and working in Ireland.  Most of them came to Ireland in light of the profound economic, social and political humanitarian crisis which lead to the Venezuelan community addressing the Minister for Justice calling for migratory protection in 2018 after the UNHCR published a guidance note on the outflow of people from Venezuela in March 2018.  That note has now been superseded by the guidance note on international protection considerations for Venezuelans which was published in May 2019.

Those living and working in Ireland are extremely concerned for their relatives that remain in Venezuela.  We believe that the guidance note on international protection considerations for Venezuelans published by the UNHCR in 2019 at least provides a persuasive obligation upon Ireland to ensure that those arriving from Venezuela are not deported.  There is certainly a very strong argument to make application for those arriving to Ireland for permission to remain here on the basis of the current situation and international guidance published by the UNHCR.

Sinnott Solicitors have made a number of leave to remain applications in respect of nationals of Venezuela on the basis of the humanitarian considerations which should be taken into account to ensure the protection of individuals.  We have also seen an increasing number of individuals who arrived from Venezuela as students and who now wish to make applications for permission to remain on humanitarian grounds.

The guidance note on international protection considerations from Venezuelans can be found here:-

If you wish to discuss any aspect of the above with a view to making an application for permission to remain on humanitarian grounds, please do not hesitate to contact with Sinnott Solicitors.