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What is the process for removing Colombian visas for travel? There is a new proposal

It has been known since last year that one of the purposes of the Colombian ambassador in the United States. Luis Gilberto MurilloColombians should move as far as possible in the process of getting the country to eliminate the need to hold a visa to enter its territory.

(You may also read: Visas to work in the US: Colombians can apply for H-2A and H-2B)

Last Sunday, Murillo spoke with EL TIEMPO and explained how the request is progressing. In addition, he led it They contemplate two propositions that may occur in a close periodAs the exemption of that document may take a long time.

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The ambassador said it was necessary to “maintain the right expectations” on the issue. He said he is working with the Department of Homeland Security to request a review of each of the required indicators.

(Read the full interview with Ambassador Murillo here)

Sooner or later (it will be achieved), Colombian tourists will be eligible for a visa waiver

Next step to follow Create an inter-agency team in March with each agency responsible for complying with the requirements. “With the help of the United States, we will carry out this process so that when we meet the requirements, progress is registered so that the work can be done in a short time. It will take years, I insist, but it is not. “You can put it aside. Sooner or later (it will be achieved), Colombian tourists will be eligible for visa exemption.”

However, while this whole process moves forward, the ambassador told this newspaper that they are considering putting two proposals on the table that will benefit some Colombians.

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One of them has to do with the fact that groups of citizens who regularly travel to the United States can get exemptions earlier. “There are groups that have been coming to America for years, they have never had a problem, they have not stayed, they don’t want to come to this country and they have additional motives to do their tourism and business activities,” he said.

The initiative will be defined at a panel that will formally begin its work next month.

Another option they want to raise, but it’s not discussed with the North American country, is that the people in Colombia can do it.”Complete your immigration document review process, called pre-entry, once in Colombia. That’s already happening in countries like Canada,” says Murillo.

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On the other hand, the ambassador said what his request was for migrant relief for Colombians. To that end, he replied:

“We’re discussing it. The truth is, we have some differences, and we’re working on them. The U.S. government has been very open to us discussing it. We’ve reached a mechanism that requires DED, which is immigration relief. In President Biden’s hands, Liberia, once at peace The agreement was signed, and once free elections were held, the DED mechanism was given to Liberians in the United States so that they could return with dignity to their country or live a peaceful life in the United States. I think it is on the right track.”

By March, the plan is to prepare a rationale to explain to the country why Colombia can have this mechanism.

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Finally, Murillo sent a message to those thinking of migrating to take advantage of this advantage.: “We ask the Colombian people who want to risk these rounds of irregular migration, please don’t, this is not the purpose. The purpose here is for the Colombian people who live in very difficult and undignified conditions. Who sometimes need answers. They are the ones we work for”.

As for the timing, he said it was up to the US government because it was President Biden’s preferred decision. “We’re going to continue to push for immigrant relief for Colombians from the United States because we think it’s a matter of interest in our foreign policy objectives,” he concluded.

Ara Saavetra Alvarez

Political writing