In accordance with the commitments made in the Los Angeles Declaration on Migration and Protection to provide a safe, orderly, humane and regular migration, the United States announced an improvement in the number of regular routes available to Cubans seeking to travel to the United States, together with an additional staff at the U.S. embassy in Havana.
Havana Resumes Full Processing of Immigrant Visas
As noted on its website, in early 2023, the U.S. Embassy in Havana will resume the full processing of immigrant visas for the first time since 2017, as part of the expansion of regular channels Immigrant visas provide a pathway to safe and orderly migration for eligible persons. This change will also remove, for Cubans applying for immigrant visas in family preference categories, the requirement to travel outside of Cuba to Georgetown, Guyana, for their interviews.
These efforts are an essential step towards fulfilling the commitment in the U.S.-Cuba Migration Agreements to ensure that total legal migration to the United States from Cuba is at least of 20,000 Cubans each year, not including immediate family members of U.S. citizens. The State Department will continue assessing the possibility of expanding visa services in Havana, as conditions may allow.
Based on published notes, the U.S. Embassy in Havana will resume full processing of immigrant visas as of January 4, 2023, and will include the immediate family visa categories, among others This increase comes as part of the expansion of the Embassy’s functions to facilitate diplomatic and civil society engagement and provide safe, legal and orderly migration options for Cuban citizens.
In addition, the U.S. Embassy in Georgetown in Guyana will continue to process Cuban immigrant visa applicants by scheduling appointments there until the end of December 2022. Applicants for immigrant visas whose appointments were originally scheduled in Georgetown shall complete their case processing in Georgetown. Because of resource constraints, neither the Embassy of the United States of America in Havana nor the U.S. Embassy in Georgetown will be able to assist with transfer requests for cases already scheduled in Georgetown.
Immigrant visa applicants scheduled for January 2023 appointments in Havana started receiving appointment notices on November 10, 2022.
Information of Interest
According to the U.S. State Department website, they are still evaluating, as conditions permit, a further expansion of visa processing in Havana. The Consular Section of the Embassy in Havana also will continue to provide essential services for U.S. citizens and limited processing of emergency non-immigrant visas.
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After U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Director Ur Mendoza Jaddou and the Assistant Secretary of State for Consular Affairs Rena Bitter traveled to Havana earlier this month, the resumption of Cuban family reunification processing was discussed at the U.S. Embassy in Cuba with officials of the host government. In the meetings with the Cuban government, Assistant Secretary Bitter discussed consular issues of interest, including the resumption of immigrant visa processing in early 2023 at the U.S. Embassy in Havana.
During her visit, Assistant Secretary Consular Affairs Ms. Bitter informed the officials that the U.S. Embassy in Havana will resume full processing of immigrant visas beginning January 4, 2023, to include immediate relatives, family preference and diversity visas. She advanced the resumption of visa processing for K fiancées at the Embassy.
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