14ymedio, Havana, 6 November 2018 — The Government of Uruguay will begin granting work, education, family reunification and emergency visas to Cubans who request one from the Island, as announced by Jorge Muiño, director of Consular Affairs and Liaison of the Uruguayan Foreign Ministry, in statements to El País newspaper.
With this measure Uruguay is trying to contain the growing irregular migration from Cuba, which has led to the collapse of its immigration systems. The Uruguayan Foreign Ministry estimates that the number of Cubans in the country already numbers between 4,800 and 5,000 people.
Muiño said that the work visa is the one that will benefit Cubans the most because it does not require them to have money in a bank account, as is the case for a tourism which islanders have used until now to enter Uruguay.
To obtain the work permit, applicants must have a contract or a verifiable promise of work. “It can not be just anyone hiring someone, it has to be a duly registered company,” he said.
With this document, Cubans will be able to obtain a provisional certificate, good for one year, until they are granted permanent residence.
At the end of October, Uruguay decided to give temporary work permits to Cuban citizens after a 72-hour protest organized by a group of them. The migrants demanded that the waiting time for an interview for a visa, which had reached seven months, be reduced.
The measure began to be applied on Thursday. Cubans are asked to provide the foreign ministry with a proof of arrival document that allows the employer to legally contract with the worker, and this allows the latter to receive a Uruguayan identify card. Previously, the Ministry of Labor imposed fines on companies that hired people without an ID.
The authorities intend to offer this type of document until December 21 of this year, although El País indicated that the delays will continue due to the fact that the National Directorate of Civil Identification is overwhelmed.
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