About the Migration Governance Indicators
About the Migration Governance Indicators
Migrants' rights
Migrants' rights

Indicators in this domain assess the extent to which migrants have the same status as citizens in terms of access to basic social services such as health, education, and social security. It also describes the rights of migrants to family reunification, to work, and to residency and citizenship. The ratification of the main international conventions is also included within this domain.

Whole of government approach
Whole of government approach

Indicators in this domain assess countries’ institutional, legal, and regulatory frameworks related to migration policies. Domain 2 also reviews the existence of national migration strategies that are in-line with development, as well as institutional transparency and coherence in relation to migration management. This domain also investigates the extent to which governments collect and use migration data.

Partnerships
Partnerships

This domain focuses on countries’ efforts to cooperate on migration-related issues with other states and with relevant non-governmental actors, including civil society organizations and the private sector. Cooperation can lead to improvements in governance by aligning and raising standards, increasing dialogue and providing structures to overcome challenges.

Well-being of migrants
Well-being of migrants

This domain includes indicators on countries’ policies for managing the socioeconomic well-being of migrants, through aspects such as the recognition of migrants’ educational and professional qualifications, provisions regulating student migration and the existence of bilateral labour agreements between countries. Indicators equally focus on policies and strategies related to diaspora engagement and migrant remittances.

Mobility dimensions of crises
Mobility dimensions of crises

This domain studies the type and level of preparedness of countries when they are faced with mobility dimensions of crises, linked to either disasters, the environment and/or conflict. The questions are used to identify the processes in place for nationals and non-nationals both during and after disasters, including whether humanitarian assistance is equally available to migrants as it is to citizens.

Safe, orderly and regular migration
Safe, orderly and regular migration

This domain analyses countries’ approach to migration management in terms of border control and enforcement policies, admission criteria for migrants, preparedness and resilience in the case of significant and unexpected migration flows, as well as the fight against trafficking in human beings and smuggling of migrants. It also assesses efforts and incentives to help integrate returning citizens.

Key findings
INTRODUCTION

This country snapshot describes examples of well-developed areas of the Republic of Guatemala’s (hereafter referred to as Guatemala) migration governance structures and areas with potential for further development, as evaluated by the six domains of the Migration Governance Indicators (MGI). These address migrants’ rights, a “whole-of-government” approach, partnerships, socioeconomic well-being of migrants, the mobility dimensions of crises, and safe and orderly migration. 

Click the icons on the wheel to explore the key findings 

The Migration Governance Indicators (MGI) initiative is a policy-benchmarking programme led by the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and implemented with the support of the Economist Intelligence Unit. Funding is provided by IOM Member States. 

Key findings
MigRANTS’ RIGHTS

Migration Governance: Examples of well-developed areas: 

  • In Guatemala immigrants have access to basic public services such as education, healthcare and security, on an equal footing with Guatemalan nationals.  

  • A person with temporary resident status may obtain permanent residency after living in Guatemala and demonstrating to the immigration authorities that their situation is stable.  

  • To obtain citizenship, immigrants must first obtain “domiciled alien” status after two years of legal residence in Guatemala, or if they have Guatemalan children or parents, or are married to a Guatemalan national. 

  • Applicants from non-Central American countries must hold the "domiciled alien" status for five or more years in order to obtain citizenship. Spanish nationals are an exception to this, as they are treated in the same way as Central American citizens in virtue of a signed agreement.  For persons from Central America  a period of three years’ residence in the country is required. 

Areas with potential for further development:  

  • Only two types of residence permits allow access to the job market: employment may be sought only in specific cases of being married to a Guatemalan national or having a Guatemalan child.  

  • Article 13 of the Labour Code prohibits companies from employing more than 10 per cent of immigrants and from paying them more than 15 per cent of their respective total wage bills.  

  • Although the Migration Code contains the concept of family reunification, cases are currently being handled on an ad hoc basis.  

  • No pension portability agreements have been signed with other countries.  

  • The right to vote in local elections is reserved for citizens of Guatemala.

Key findings
WHOLE-OF-GOVERNMENT APPROACH

Migration Governance: Examples of well-developed areas: 

  • In 2016, the Congress of Guatemala adopted the Migration Code, which addresses the rights and duties of migrants. 

  • The Ministry of the Interior is responsible for formulating the country’s migration policy. The General Directorate of Migration (DGM) is a branch of the Ministry of Interior and is charged with implementing migration policy.  

  • The Migration Code establishes interinstitutional coordination bodies such as the National Migration Authority (AMN), which is tasked with formulating, creating and overseeing migration policy and migration-related security.  

  • There are institutions in Guatemala that assist nationals residing abroad (embassies, consulates, labour attachés, ministries/offices for diaspora issues).  

  • The DGM has a web portal that periodically publishes figures on the number of persons returning by air and land, breaking down adults, children and adolescents by gender. In addition, the 2002 census included five questions on migration. The 2018 census likewise includes a module on migration.  

Areas with potential for further development:  

  • The recent Migration Code has not been operationalized. 

  • There are no formal programmes for working with Guatemalans in the diaspora. 

Key findings
PARTNERSHIPS

Migration Governance: Examples of well-developed areas: 

  • Guatemala participates in several Regional Consultative Processes on Migration (RCPs).  

  • The country is a member of the Regional Conference on Migration or Puebla Process (RCM), and participates in the Central American Commission of Directors of Migration (OCAM).  

  • Guatemala is participant in the Global Forum on Migration and Development (GFMD), inter alia.  

  • The Governments of Mexico and Guatemala have signed over 40 agreements and memorandums of understanding, a reflection of the rapid evolution of their relations and the commitment of both countries to strengthening cooperation.  

  • The Government is working formally with the private sector and civil society in getting to grips with migration issues.  

  • There are initiatives such as the “GUATE TE INCLUYE” (Guatemala includes you) programme, an interinstitutional and intersectoral coordination initiative designed to ensure the participation of all stakeholders, thereby social and job market inclusion for returning migrants.  

Areas with potential for further development:  

  • There are agreements such as the CA4 on the free movement of aliens, as well as customs agreements in place between Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador, but so far none has addressed the topic of labour mobility. 

  • Guatemala does not yet form part of the governing body of the International Organization for Migration (IOM).  

  • There are no forums for formal collaboration with members of the diaspora and expatriate communities for devising migration programmes and implanting migration policy. 

Key findings
WELL-BEING OF MIGRANTS

Migration Governance: Examples of well-developed areas:  

  • The Migration Code guarantees that all persons present on the national territory will enjoy equal access to public employment services. The Code also lays down the minimum social rights and entitlements in terms of security, assets, and properties for everyone, irrespective of migration status.  

  • Guatemala allows unrestricted and equal access to primary and secondary education for international students.  

  • Guatemala has formally adopted accreditation criteria for the recognition of foreign qualifications.  

  • In the case of the Directorate-General for Extracurricular Education (DIGEEX), when distance learning or virtual courses are involved, the place of study must be certified and the relevant documents must be apostilled. DIGEEX also recognizes education and training acquired in other countries, provided that verification is possible. 

Areas with potential for further development:  

  • Guatemala compiles information on the labour market broken down by migration status, but the data are not published online.  

  • Demand for immigrant workers is not monitored in Guatemala. Likewise, Guatemala does not have different types of visas for attracting persons with specific professional skills nor has there been any national evaluation to gauge the effects of outmigration on the domestic labour market.  

  • There are no specific measures to promote gender equality for immigrants on the job market.  

  • There are no provisions or regulations allowing or forbidding students to work during their studies.  

  • There is no government scheme that actively encourages the sending of remittances.  

Key findings
MOBILITY DIMENSION OF CRISES

Migration Governance: Examples of well-developed areas: 

  • The Government has an emergency plan for managing large movements of people in times of crisis.  

  • The country has communication systems for receiving information regarding the evolution of a crisis, communicating the needs of the population and providing information on ways of accessing assistance.  

  • The Government has arrangements in place to assist Guatemalan nationals abroad in times of crises (through consular assistance).  

  • The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has furthermore instructed its consular and diplomatic missions accredited abroad to draw up contingency plans to serve as action guidelines for the protection of the migrant Guatemalan population in crisis situations. 

Areas with potential for further development:  

  • The Disaster Response Strategy (PNR) in place does not contain provisions addressing migration and displacement issues.   

  • Guatemala has no strategies for dealing with migration flows triggered by the adverse effects of environmental degradation or climate change, nor are there any reports published on climate change adaptation plans.  

  • The national development policy “K’atun Nuestra Guatemala 2032" (K'atun 2032 National Development Plan) does not address measures relating to displacement.

Key findings
SAFE, ORDERLY AND DIGNIFIED MIGRATION

Migration Governance: Examples of well-developed areas: 

  • The Guatemalan Migration Institute is responsible for controlling, and for verifying and ensuring that nationals and immigrants are able to enter, remain on, as well as exit Guatemalan territory. 

  • The Guatemalan Government has a website operated by the General Directorate of Migration (DGM), which lays out residency and visa options in a clear and easily understandable manner. 

  • The Guatemalan Government has improved its systems for receiving returnees, whether adults, children or adolescents. As pertains to reintegration, the Returned Migrants Entrepreneurship Programme helps returnees find employment.  

  • The Secretariat against Sexual Violence, Exploitation and Trafficking of Persons (SVET) is Guatemala’s steering, coordinating and advisory body in matters of prevention, attention, prosecution and punishment of the crimes of sexual violence, exploitation and human trafficking. In the framework of the Inter-Agency Commission against Trafficking in Persons (CIT), the SVET compiles statistical information regarding preventive action as well as the care and repatriation of victims of human trafficking.  

Areas with potential for further development:  

  • Much remains to be done with respect to reintegration of returnees in the territories.  

  • There is no official programme or special government policy in Guatemala designed to attract people who have emigrated by encouraging them to return voluntarily.

2018 August

Migration Governance Snapshot: Republic of Guatemala