VENEZUELA – New Mandatory Insurance for Tourists and On-going Delays to Immigration Processing
According to new regulations coming into effect on 31 March 2014, all tourists travelling into and out of Venezuela must have a medical and travel insurance policy. In other developments, the on-going political violence in Venezuela has led to significant delays in immigration processing.
From 31 March, all tourists travelling out of Venezuela will be required to demonstrate to the airline or other transportation carrier that they have a travel insurance policy covering medical assistance and luggage loss or theft. From 1 May, all tourists travelling into Venezuela will also have to show proof that they have medical and travel insurance. In practice, proof of travel insurance may be requested before 31 March by Venezuelan authorities at border crossings.
The insurance policy must cover medical costs of at least 26,500 SDRs (Special Drawing Rights), equivalent to about USD $40,000 , as well as at least 900 SDRs (USD $600) of baggage loss or theft.
As a result of the recent political violence, strikes and protests in Venezuela, services continue to be disrupted at several government offices, including those involved with immigration processing. Time frames for several immigration documents to be issued are therefore currently longer than usual.
Currently, work permit applications are taking at least three months (up from about two months previously), local registration is taking about one month (up from ten days) and residence cards about six weeks (up from 10 days).
- Note the new requirement for travel and medical insurance for all tourists into and out of Venezuela, and the increased travel costs this may entail.
- Note that the new insurance requirement may also affect visa holders entering or leaving Venezuela.
- Note that there are on-going delays in immigration processing, and adjust plans accordingly.