News from Cuba – Exit Visas Abolished

News from Cuba – Exit Visas Abolished in 2013

Not particularly good news for the Notary in Leeds – but good news for the people of Cuba, in particular those with relatives overseas.

Since at least 1965 when Fidel Castro came to power, there have been very strict travel controls imposed upon the population of Cuba.

In addition to obtaining a passport and an entry visa to the destination Country, a Cuban citizen/resident has needed to obtain a Notarised letter of invitation to that Country. Then a personal application for interview for an “Exit Visa” has been needed.

In respect of travel dates after January 2013, the Exit Visa will be no longer needed.

A further change is that until now, even if a person could get an Exit Visa, it only allowed absence from Cuba for a maximum 11 months. This would be enforced by the removal of all Cuban citizenship rights – health, social security benefits etc, from a person who returned late. The new maximum absence is 2 years and with a possibility of extension of that period on application.

As ever there is some small print. It seems that Cuba is concerned not to lose highly qualified, highly useful citizens to permanent emigration. So there will probably continue to be hurdles placed in the way of such people – Doctors, surgeons, Engineers etc. Full details are awaited.

But, for those Cubans who simply want a holiday, a lot of the red tape has been unravelled.