As of Wednesday, the citizens of Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador and Peru will be able to stay, work and move freely between these four countries, a “historic milestone” in regional integration, as the General Secretary of the Andean Community (CAN) told Efe. Jorge Hernando Pedraza.
The so-called “Decision 878” promoted by the CAN, which establishes the Andean Migration Statute, opens the door to a “new integration” of the 111 million inhabitants of the regional area, with social and economic implications that speak of “solid” progress in the conquest of the Citizenship of the Andes “.
Question: The Andean Migration Act comes into force. What does this step mean?
Answer: This is an illuminating norm, it is a “hit”, a very important episode benefiting 111 million Andean citizens and which consists in creating the possibility of mobility in every sense. We will have the option to allow our tourists to enter for 90 days, which can be extended to a further 90 days; that temporary residents can stay for two years, which can be extended for a further two years. And it’s a mechanism by which you can get permanent residence right away. It is a novelty that makes it possible to really contribute to the integration of the Andean people.
Q: What can the citizens of CAN do from now on?
A: This milestone will enable real citizenship integration. (…) As soon as this has been fulfilled, you can complete the permanent residence procedure with a quick and expeditious procedure at the consulate of the country in which you are staying.
It will also give you the opportunity to work in the country you are in. It is a very facilitating norm that will not only help in a very effective way in these post-pandemic times to ensure that we also have better social connection and integration of Andean societies, but it also gives some regulations that justify ours Business.
Q: What impact does a level of this caliber have on the CAN?
A: This statute creates a real integration of Andean society. It is a real action of human mobility and integration that allows us to be the same no matter where we are. That everyone feels that this is their home, citizenship and territory and that, as a result, they have the opportunity to move or settle freely, be it for tourism or for temporary or permanent residence. It is a much larger and more advanced step in which we could speak of solidly gaining Andean citizenship.
Q: And what remains after this milestone?
A: In addition to this milestone or others such as the exemption from the costs of international roaming for telephone calls or the environmental letter, there are new developments that complement these decisions.
We will work “pro tempore” with the Presidency on job search and academic transferability. This means that a person who works in Colombia has the same rights, entitlements and access to social security when moving and can work with the same rights and privileges as if they were in their country of origin. That is, to extend the same conditions to employees.
And also with students, that a young man who is studying at a university and has to move due to a situation, does not have to validate his degree or his degree again. That your job title and your grades and credits are of course sufficient to be accepted at another university, or that your academic title has the same value and is equivalent to another in the host country.
That they have the same validity and allow entry to a source of work under the same conditions as any other national.
Q: How close are we to it?
A: We are making progress now, a lot of work has been done and we hope that after overcoming some educational quality difficulties to bring our countries under this austerity, we can move forward quickly and systematically.
It took 8 years to approve the immigration statute mechanism and although there has been debate and inequalities, we have achieved it and we already have mobility with a purpose.
Q: What about economic integration?
A: We made progress with the standards in the pandemic; We act quickly to turn difficulties into opportunities. We have one strength, which is that we produce food while others such as China, Japan and Germany produce technology.
We’re not going to compete with them. We have a pantry that we hope will be the pantry of the planet, and several trade facilitation standards have been agreed for MSMEs that tone down aspects to avoid human border contacts …
In other words, the digital transformation, which turns into competitiveness and strengthens the value chains so that we have more and better economic returns that enable us to convert them into social stability.
Q: All this despite a complicated situation in the CAN countries …
A: The CAN is not a body that has political expressions as a power or function. This is an integrating body, the most solid in Latin America and with strong powers in many areas of trade. Our mission is the norm, integration and the search, how we can improve the lives of the Andean people through every action, that’s what they created us for. And that’s none other than Bolívar’s dream now that we’re on the independence dates.
Q: I mean that in spite of everything, the CAN is still strong and that the governments support the organization.
A: The four governments (Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador and Peru) have recently and permanently confirmed their solidarity and their conviction to strengthen and support the integration process. Also in the modernization path imposed by us (at the CAN), which has made us an up-to-date, dynamic and citizen-oriented body today. With things like the immigration law, we ratify what we say what we do.