Colombia: Temporary legal status for Venezuelans amid crisis

Colombia is granting temporary legal status to over 150,000 Venezuelans who overstayed visas due to the deteriorating political and economic crisis in their home country.

Colombia Migration Director Christian Kruger said Friday the status will be good for up to two years and let recipients work and receive social security benefits.

Venezuelans must have entered Colombia legally on or before July 25 to qualify.

In recent years Colombia has received hundreds of thousands of Venezuelan migrants, many of whom have Colombian roots.

The migrants are fleeing triple-digit inflation, food and medical shortages and a homicide rate that is among the world's highest. In recent months more than 100 people have died in civil unrest in Venezuela.

The new legal status does not provide aid to the thousands who entered illegally.