Cubans Must Pay in Dollars for U.S. Consular Services in Havana

U.S. Embassy in Havana, Cuba. (EFE)

14ymedio bigger 14ymedio, Havana, 31 January 2023 — As of March 1, the U.S. Embassy in Havana will charge all its consular services in US dollars. The diplomatic headquarters has issued a statement on Tuesday in which it announces that it will “no longer accept Cuban pesos” in payment for visas, notarial services or parole.

“The U.S. Embassy does not accept the use of a credit card to pay for its services,” adds the brief note published on the official website of the diplomatic headquarters. The decision leaves aside the national currency, with which, until now, part of the consular procedures could be paid, and obliges payment with dollars in cash.

The measure was coming. The US consulate was closed to the public for three years, including the months after monetary unification, carried out in Cuba in January 2021, which eliminated the convertible peso (CUC) from circulation. After restarting the processing of visas last January, payment was allowed in Cuban pesos or dollars, a duality that many pointed out as unsustainable.

The cost of managing an immigrant visa for family reunification, the type of procedure that since the beginning of this year has been carried out again at the consulate of Havana, rises to $325, while the cost for winners of the Diversity Lottery is $330.

Last June, a resolution of the Central Bank of Cuba entered into force that prevents consulates on the Island from converting their accounts in pesos into foreign currency. The measure caused the paralysis of consular services in several diplomatic headquarters that were forced to choose between collecting their procedures in pesos or in freely convertible currency (MLC).

Consulates that chose to continue operating in Cuban pesos, the favored option of citizens, who more easily have the national currency, can only make bank deposits in that currency and are not allowed to transfer to accounts in MLC or transfer funds abroad.

Translated by Regina Anavy


COLLABORATE WITH OUR WORKThe 14ymedio team is committed to practicing serious journalism that reflects Cuba’s reality in all its depth. Thank you for joining us on this long journey. We invite you to continue supporting us by becoming a member of 14ymedio now. Together we can continue transforming journalism in Cuba.