If a Cuban national lives in a foreign country, he/she must know his/her immigration status, which will help him/her understand his/her rights and possibilities, which may be different for each category, as well as procedures are different for each status.
What are the migratory categories of Cubans living abroad?
Following the latest amendment to the Cuban immigration law (2013), Cubans residing abroad are:
- With a foreign residence permit.
Those Cubans who are required to enter the country every 24 months, eligible for an extension, are not considered migrants. These have the following options:
- To preserve their political, economic and social rights in Cuba.
- To enter the country at any time without time limit for their stay.
- To keep the Cuban identity card.
- To have the right to keep their acquired properties and to exercise self-employment activities, as holders of cuentapropista licenses.
- To have access to health, social security and education in the national system.
* You must enter the national territory within the established time (24 months) or request an extension with justified reasons.
According to the provisions of Article 9.2 of Law 1312, a Cuban citizen who leaves the country illegally or who remains outside of Cuba for a period exceeding 24 months under the immigration laws, without requesting an extension of stay outside of the island, is considered to be an emigrant.
Rights retained in Cuba:
- They may stay in Cuba up to 90 days during their visits.
- Retains Cuban citizenship.
- Right to recover their resident status in Cuba, by means of “repatriation”. This process is also provided under Article 48 of Law 1312.
- Rights lost in Cuba:
- Free health care and education.
- To participate in elections.
Property rights are also lost, mainly due to the loss of the right to keep or acquire the ownership of houses or vehicles, although in the first case, family members may inherit them. It is also not possible to start self-employment businesses in Cuba.
For the General Customs of the Cuban Republic, Cuban emigrants do not have the possibility of paying the import duties in local currency when entering the country. These Cubans must always pay for imports in freely convertible currency.
The Cuban migrant loses the right to benefit from social security. Article 106 of the Social Security Law determines the extinction of social security benefits for those who definitively leave the national territory.
Cubans with Residence Permits abroad.
Cubans with a residence permit abroad are those who are authorized to live permanently abroad without losing their residence in Cuba. This is a permit generally granted to Cubans who marry foreign citizens and transfer their residence to another country.
These Cubans do not lose their political rights on the island and retain their legal residence in Cuba.
Rights retained in Cuba:
- Enter the country at any time without requesting an entry permit.
- Stay in Cuba for 6 months without performing any procedure of any kind and also request an extension for a maximum of 12 months.
- Their accompanying foreign relatives are granted an A-2 consular visa for 90 days.
- The properties in Cuba are maintained and others can be acquired.
- Assets can be inherited from relatives.
- Cubans with a residence permit abroad have the following basic obligations:
- Registration in the Registry of Cuban citizens in the consular office of the country of residence.
- Submission of identity card while residing abroad.
- Provided that the applicant has not yet been classified as a migrant, he/she may apply at any time for a residence permit in the country. This procedure can be completed at the Consular offices of the country of residence or at the Offices of the Directorate of Immigration and Alien Affairs in Cuba.
In general terms, in summary, Cuban citizens who must enter Cuban territory every 24 months preserve all their rights in Cuba, while Cuban citizens with a Residence Permit abroad keep their residence in Cuba, as well as their property. They are not obliged to enter the country every 24 months and have a time limit of 180 days with the possibility of extension.
On the other hand, Cuban citizens who have emigrated lose their residency in Cuba, as well as their political, economic and civil rights. They may be allowed to remain in Cuba for a period of 90 days and apply for repatriation.
Opapeleo is your agency for paperwork procedures 100% online or by phone. We are in Washington DC 150 meters away from the Cuban Consulate. We provide services of Extension and Cuban passport renewal, Legalisations, Powers of attorney of all kinds, Authorisation for minors to leave the country, DVT, Cuban visas, top-ups, requests for Cuban certificates, delivery of official documents and all kinds of procedures related to Cuba.