Cuba announced this Tuesday a group of measures to update its immigration policy, outstanding among which is the extension of the validity of the passport to 10 years and the elimination of its extension, as well as the reduction of costs in consulates.
According to a statement by the Foreign Ministry’s General Director of Consular Affairs and Attention to Cubans Resident Abroad, Ernesto Soberón, “the validity of the current passport is extended from six (6) to ten (10) years, for Cuban citizens with sixteen (16) or more years of age,” and is set “at five (5) years for minors.”
The requirement to extend passports every two years is also eliminated, and the cost of procedures associated with passports at consulates decreases, according to the communication: 180 USD/Euros for those over 16 years of age and 140 USD/Euros for minors.
These measures will take effect as of July 1.
Another measure is that the length of stay in Cuba of Cubans residing abroad and their foreign relatives (spouses and children) will be equated during their stay in the country.
Finally, the Foreign Ministry announced that, for people who emigrated before January 1, 1971, the requirement to present their Cuban passport to enter Cuba is established, in accordance with the provisions of the 2019 Constitution of the Republic.
Reactions and questions
Immediately after this information was disseminated, questions have arisen about the current situation of already issued passports:
- Does the removal of the extension apply only to passports applied for/issued after July 1?
- Does the extension of validity to 10 years apply only to passports applied for/issued after July 1?
- A valid passport but with expired extensions, can it be used without extending now?
During this brief statement before the accredited journalists, Soberón indicated that more details on these measures will be given in the next few hours, through the Mesa Redonda TV program, the Nation and Emigration websites, the MININT Immigration and Foreign Affairs Department and the Cuban consulates.
Strengthening ties with Cubans abroad
The statement points out that with the holding of the 1978 Dialogue promoted and led by Fidel Castro Ruz, a process of recomposition, diversification and strengthening of ties with the Cuban community abroad began, “which currently continues developing satisfactorily.”
For this reason, “during these almost 45 years, an important number of measures have been adopted, of different kinds, aimed at facilitating the trips of our nationals abroad, the return to Cuba and increasing the participation of Cubans residing abroad in the political, economic and social life of their country of origin.”
In this sense, MINREX emphasized the participation of “nationals residing in around 130 countries” in the debate on the draft of the new Constitution and in that of the Family Code, while “there is a sustained and systematic growth in the number of cooperation, business and investments projects presented by Cubans residing abroad, aimed at participating and contributing to the economic development of Cuba.”
The extension of uninterrupted stay abroad, beyond 24 months, announced in March 2020 due to COVID-19, remains in force.