Cuba scraps exit visa

News from Cuba | Thursday, 18 October 2012

From 14th January, the majority of Cubans will no longer require an exit visa to travel outside the country, and will have the right to remain abroad for up to two years without losing any citizenship benefits or residency.

The highly unpopular exit visa was originally introduced as a way to stop the brain drain, which is encouraged by US immigration policies. The US government grants immediate asylum and residency, work permits and a quick path to US citizenship to any Cuban that makes it to the US, something denied to immigrants from any other country in the world.

However, some professions, especially those specifically targeted by US policies, will still require an exit visa. For example, doctors who receive seven years free medical training in Cuba, are being specifically targeted through the US's Cuban Medical Professional Parole Program which attempts to entice Cuban doctors and other health workers who are volunteering overseas to leave for the United States.

The full changes were announced in the Cuban daily Granma this week. Full article below:


? Amendments will come into force on January 14th, 2013

As part of the work undertaken to update the current migration policy adjusting it to prevailing conditions in the present and the foreseeable future, the Cuban government has decided to forgo the required Travel Permit as well as the Letter of Invitation.

Therefore, as from January 14th, 2013, it will only be necessary to submit the ordinary passport, duly updated, and the visa issued by the country of destination, in those cases when it is required. The ordinary passport will be issued to the Cuban citizens who meet the requirements of the Migration Law, as modified in compliance with these provisions. Such Law will come into effect ninety days after its publication in the Official Gazette of the Republic of Cuba.

Those already in possession of an ordinary passport, issued before this decision is valid, should request from the corresponding authorities of the Ministry of the Interior its updating absolutely free of charge. Likewise, those with a valid Travel Permit will be able to depart without any additional procedure.

It has also been decided that Cuban residents travelling overseas on private affairs will be permitted to remain there for a period of twenty-four months, counting from the date of departure. For a longer stay, they will be required to obtain the corresponding evidence of extension of stay from a Cuban consulate.

The updating of the migration policy takes into account the right of the revolutionary state to defend itself from the aggressive and subversive plans of the US government and its allies. For this reason, those measures aimed at preserving the human capital created by the Revolution from the theft of talents practiced by the powerful nations shall remain in force.

In due course, other measures related to the migratory issue will be adopted that will certainly help in the consolidation of the efforts being made by the Revolution towards the full normalization of Cuba’s relations with its emigrants.

Today, the Official Gazette of the Republic of Cuba is publishing the Law Decree of the State Council modifying the current Migration Law as well as other supplementary regulations.

Additional information on the procedures required by the law and other specificities concerning the country’s migration policy are available to the people at the Dirección de Inmigración y Extranjería and its voice message through phone number 2063218; Portal del Ciudadano Cubano:; and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Cuba:

| top | back | home |
Share on FacebookTweet this