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December 2, 2022

United Nations agencies welcome the Government of Belize’s extension of the amnesty exercise

Posted: Friday, December 2, 2022. 11:37 am CST.

By Aaron Humes: It was rather briefly announced during Thursday’s Cabinet brief that the application period for the Immigration amnesty would be extended a further three months to February of 2023, with no reason given as to why.

But the news has been welcomed by the organizations aligned with the United Nations that assist persons directly impacted by the move – The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR), and the International Organization for Migration (IOM).

The agencies claim that between them, nearly 6,700 applicants, more than half the total applicants for the program, were supported by their agencies to prepare requirements for their applications. Most of these were approached through mobile clinics in remote areas.

Assistance included covering costs for translations of foreign documents, photographs, medical services, and police records needed for their Amnesty applications as well as the actual applications and will go on to cover costs for acquiring permanent residency as guaranteed by the amnesty for the “most vulnerable.” The help will not stop beyond permanent residency, as the access to social services including water, sanitation, education and child protection will also continue.

The Government has said that following the end of the amnesty it would remove persons still not qualified to be amnestied.

 

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