But now Ms Andrade is among
nearly one million migrants without papers in Colombia who will be granted protected status for up to 10 years.The surprise announcement was made by President Iván Duque on Monday and applies to undocumented Venezuelan migrants living in Colombia before 31 January
It also means that hundreds of thousands of migrants already legalised will not have to reapply for temporary permits or visas.
Crucially, the new rules will allow migrants to work legally and access health and education services.
“As we take this historic and transcendental step for Latin America we hope other countries will follow our example,” the president said in a speech.
For Ms Andrade, the move has brought hope roaring back. “To be legalised, that will change everything,” she says.
“I’ll be able to find work. Everything will be different,” she adds, explaining that her priority is to send money home to feed her now five-year-old boy
and to eventually be reunited with him. The Venezuelan exodus is one of the largest mass migrations in the world, fuelled by shortages of fuel, food and medicines as well as
violent repression by the government of President Nicolás Maduro.