The United States Will Resume All Its Services to Issue Immigrant Visas in Cuba

These efforts are “a key step” to fulfill the commitment made by the United States under the Migration Agreements with Cuba. (EFE)

14ymedio biggerEFE (via 14ymedio), Havana, September 21, 2022 — The United States Government announced on Wednesday that at the beginning of 2023 its embassy in Cuba will resume all its services to issue immigrant visas, for the first time since 2017.

According to a statement, with this measure, the United States “announces the expansion of the usual ways available to Cubans who want to come to the United States and an increase in the staff of the U.S. embassy” on the Island.

Washington explained that immigrant visas provide people who are eligible to apply for them with a “safe and orderly” migration route.

“This change will also eliminate the need for Cubans applying for immigrant visas in categories of family preference to travel outside Cuba to Georgetown, Guyana, for their interviews,” the U.S. government said.

At the same time, the U.S. Immigration and Citizenship Services (USCIS) are increasing their staff in Havana to “effectively and efficiently” process cases and conduct interviews.

On September 1, the United States embassy in Cuba began processing pending applications for the Cuban Family Reunification Parole Program (CFRP), suspended since 2017.

The program was initially launched in 2007 under the mandate of President George W. Bush (2001-2009) and provides a legal way for Americans and legal residents in the United States to claim their family member within Cuban territory.

The program was suspended ten years later by the Donald Trump Administration (2017-2021).

In its statement on Wednesday, the U.S. Government explained that these efforts are “a key step” to comply with the commitment made by the United States under the Migration Agreements with Cuba to ensure that the total legal migration from the island to U.S. territory is a minimum of 20,000 Cubans each year, not including direct relatives of U.S. citizens.

And it pointed out that the State Department continues to consider further expanding its visa services in Havana if conditions permit.

Since the arrival of Democrat Joe Biden to the U.S. Presidency, the U.S. embassy resumed issuing visas for migrants last May after a four-year break.

In addition, his government suspended the limit of $1,000 quarterly on remittances and authorized the travel of groups destined to make contacts with the Cuban people, known in English as people-to-people travel.

Last June, the embassy extended the visa process for immediate family members.

Translated by Regina Anavy


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