Costa Rica imposes visa requirements for Venezuelans as migration surges


SAN JOSE, Feb 17 (Reuters) - Costa Rican authorities, concerned about surging migration from Venezuela, have imposed visa requirements for Venezuelan visitors starting next week, officials said on Thursday.

Earlier this year, Mexico earlier imposed similar rules aimed at curbing irregular migration of Venezuelans to the United States after a sharp increase in apprehensions at the U.S.-Mexico border. read more

For years the United States has been pressuring Mexico and Central American countries to stem the flow of migrants from their region and further afield in the Caribbean and Latin America.

"Changes in migration policy worldwide have caused differences in the mobility dynamics of these nationalities ... for which other countries have adopted the visa application," Costa Rica's migration office said in a statement.

Costa Rica by 2020 had become home to nearly 40,000 migrants from Venezuela fleeing economic and political problems at home, according to the Organization of American States.

Costa Rica's migration office said as of Monday, Venezuelan nationals must obtain a visa before entering the country except in cases of emergency, guidelines that were also published in the official government gazette.

The office also announced a new requirement for Cubans and Nicaraguans to show transit visas if passing through Costa Rica to other countries.

Reporting by Alvaro Murillo Writing by Daina Beth Solomon; Editing by David Gregorio

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