Guatemala: Thousands of jobs abroad at risk due to lack of passports

by EFE

The passport shortage in Guatemala puts approximately 2,000 to 3,000 jobs at risk for people who need to renew their contracts and future immigrants with insured temporary work abroad, particularly in the United States and Canada, and also condemns companies involved in these processes.

More than one hundred Guatemalans protested Thursday in front of the passport-issue center facilities of the Guatemalan Immigration Institute over the lack of passports that would enable them to comply with said employment contracts. About 150 people who claimed to represent more than 3,000 workers, supported by eight recruitment firms, Which requires speed or speed in the appointments for the issuance of the passport, because in most cases they have to wait eight to ten months, which is the most that may mean losing opportunities for regular immigration.

The recruits emphasized that the lack of government support to expedite the renewal or issuance of new passports “shows that they are not interested in this type of immigration, which is legal, legitimate, regulated and temporary, and contradicts their supposed efforts to stop irregular immigration, mainly towards the United States.”

especially, People apply for agricultural jobs, but also in other sectors such as construction, gardening, blacksmithing, welding, catering, laundries,Butchers, packers, and auto mechanics, among others, have contracts ranging from four months to two years depending on the sector.

One protester, Minor Ardon, a foreign labor recruitment entrepreneur, asserted that workers “can’t wait, they travel between January and June, in the first half of 2022 to Canada and the United States, and once they get the passport they need to on average from Four to six months of visa and permit procedures.”

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He confirmed that companies and future temporary migrants have lodged protests this year with the Guatemalan Migration Institute. “In the early months of the year they were helping with the appointments, but we’re really going for three months because we haven’t had support and at that time we’ve really lost requests.”

in danger

Each year, the eight companies participating in the protest on this day send about 15,000 Guatemalans to Canada, the United States and Spain to do temporary jobs and carry out the so-called “circular migration”.

“Unfortunately, some workers have had to resort to other options, such as buying airline tickets in order to get their passports quickly or succumbing to the web of corruption between processors and immigration, and pay up to about $234 for an early appointmentAnd he got his card right away,” the congregation voiced in a joint statement.

A Guatemalan Migration Institute spokeswoman, Alejandra Mina, told Efe that the said entity “has an agreement signed with the Ministry of Labor to follow up and respond to this type of request. In this particular case, recruiters were required to comply with the requirements set by the Ministry of Labor, which is why they were not It is possible to follow up on requests.”

The requirements, according to Article 34 of the Labor Code, are data such as the type and name of the employer they go to; The address at which they will provide their services; the amount of the payment they will receive; the time at which they will provide the service; And what kind of work they will do. Mina added it The immigration authorities, in coordination with the authorities of the Ministry of Labor, “contacted the representatives of the recruitment offices.” To incorporate a conversation table on Friday so that they can fulfill the requests and that people can follow the work procedures they have established.”

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North Central America, where Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador are located, is considered one of the most violent regions on the planet, and according to international organizations, at least half a million citizens of the three countries immigrate to the United States. States every year illegally in search of better life opportunities.

Aileen Morales

"Beer nerd. Food fanatic. Alcohol scholar. Tv practitioner. Writer. Troublemaker. Falls down a lot."

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