14ymedio, Havana, July 29, 2023 — The German Embassy in Havana reported that as of this Saturday, Cubans who wish to travel to a third country through an airport in German territory must have a transit visa. Citizens of the Island who meet certain conditions will be exempt from the measure, aimed at reducing the risk of illegal migration to the country and already in full force.
Cubans who have a relative who is a citizen of a State of the European Union may pass without a transit visa through the international transit area of any German airport, says the Embassy.
Similarly, those who have a valid Schengen visa, a national visa – issued by any of the Schengen member states – for a long-term stay or some other “stay document” to travel to those countries, may also pass.
Those who have a visa granted by the United States, Canada and Japan, and those who have a permit to stay in the United States, Canada, Japan, Andorra, Monaco and San Marino may dispense with the document, the embassy adds. Members of aircraft crews from signatory States of the Chicago Convention on civil aviation, and Cuban diplomats, will not be required to have one either.
The Embassy insists that the only way to leave the transit area of German airports – or to go from one terminal to another – is with a Schengen visa. In addition, it “strongly” recommends gathering sufficient information about the trip to avoid scams in agencies and misunderstandings at the German airport to which you are traveling.
The Cuban citizen who wishes to request the document must do so through the Embassy website, which will assign the user a turn. However, they warn that “the demand for such turns is very high” and that there is little chance that the document will be on time if it is not requested six months in advance.
Among the documents to present, once the date of the appointment is assigned, are the visa application form, a current passport photo and the Cuban passport – valid for at least three more months after the return date – and a copy of it. In addition, 80 euros must be paid in cash for the procedure, or 40 if the document is for a child between six and eight years of age.
In addition, the applicant will have to demonstrate that he will travel to another country after his stopover in Germany and provide data “from which the intention of not entering the jurisdiction of the Member States” of the Schengen area can be judged, and that ensure the “consistency of the planned travel route.”
On July 23, the German newspaper Bild revealed that the number of Cubans who requested asylum in Germany was eight times greater during the first half of this year, compared to the same period in 2022.
“The number of asylum applications from Cuban nationals this year, as of July 2, 2023, has risen compared to the same period last year from 73 to 607,” a spokesperson for the Ministry of the Interior confirmed to the newspaper.
According to the medium, Cubans use a mechanism that consists of buying a plane ticket to a destination for which they do not need a visa, for example Belgrade or Dubai, with a stopover in the German city of Frankfurt. There, where transit passengers do not need a visa, they appear before the Police and request asylum.
In 2022, 302 Cubans who mainly used this transit privilege to request asylum were identified. He added that “not even half” of these Cubans follow the regular route, that is, they do not appear at the corresponding center of the migration office “after expressing their desire for asylum before the federal police” at the airport and the registration of their data.
“It is unacceptable that the Schengen border code can be undermined by a simple trick, that is, with a transit flight. The right of asylum and Schengen rights must be urgently reviewed,” demanded the head of the union of the German policeman, Heiko Teggatz, speaking to Bild .
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