Friday, July 12, 2024

Amnesty mobile clinic held in San Pedro


An amnesty program designed to legalize undocumented immigrants in Belize held mobile clinics over the weekend of April 2nd. Over 200 islanders looking to address their legal status in the country visited the San Pedro High School, where they were assisted with residency applications. The amnesty program is available to Central American and CARICOM citizens.

The program is supported by Belize Rural South Area Representative Honourable Andre Perez, who made it part of his manifesto while campaigning. Perez visited the mobile clinic, spoke to those applying to change their immigration status, and met with the officers and volunteers running the services. Besides the Immigration Department and other government officials, other entities assisting in the event included members of the United Nations Human Rights Commission, the International Organization of Migration, and the San Pedro of Justices of Peace. The immigrant station screened applicants to determine if they qualified for the program or needed other documents. Perez indicated that it is the right thing to do, as Belize and its neighbors have a lot in common.

Registered asylum seekers automatically qualify as irregular immigrants who have resided continuously in Belize for five or more years. Other conditions considered are those with Belizean children, persons who may have completed primary and or secondary studies here, and those married to a Belizean for at least one year or in a common-law union with a Belizean for a continuous period of five years or more. Any person who has resided in foster care homes and recommended by the Ministry of Human Development can also qualify. People that have maintained gainful employment in the country for at least five years can also apply to change their immigration status in Belize.

Other services offered at the mobile clinic included assistance with police record applications and a photo booth for the applicants. There was also medical personnel for applicants needing a medical exam, which is required with the application.

The campaign continues nationwide, and anyone meeting the requirements is urged to seek the assistance of this amnesty program. Islanders who could not attend the mobile clinics can visit the offices of the Honourable Perez for more information on the application process.

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