Cuba announces new immigration measures

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HAVANA, Cuba (ACN) — As part of an ongoing process of updating the country’s immigration policy, the Cuban government has decided to approve the following measures, which will enter into force on January 1, 2018:

  • Eliminate the “Habilitation” of the passport for travel to Cuba of Cuban émigrés.
  • Authorize the entry and exit to Cuba of Cuban citizens residing abroad on recreational craft, through the Hemingway and Gaviota-Varadero International Tourist Marinas. Once conditions were created, it would progressively expand to other marinas.
  • To permit the entry of Cuban citizens who left the country illegally, except those who did so through the United States Naval Base at Guantanamo.
  • Eliminate the requirement for citizenship of Cuban children living abroad, who have been born abroad, to obtain Cuban citizenship and their identity document.

Meanwhile, the US government has decided to drastically reduce the staff of its embassy in Havana and suspended the issue of visas at its consulate.

The travel to Colombia of Cuban citizens to obtain immigrant visas, and to third countries for other types of US visas, without any guarantee of their granting, besides making traveling considerably more expensive, makes them practically unfeasible, the Cuban government noted.

This will directly affect Cuban families who, from now on, will not be able to obtain their visas in Havana and will face greater obstacles to visit their relatives, and those who wish to emigrate.

The government said it will continue to study new measures to update its immigration policy.

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