The US Embassy in Cuba will process visas for immediate relatives

The US Embassy in Cuba will process visas for immediate relatives

The US Embassy in Cuba continues to expand the categories of immigrant visas it will process in Havana. This Thursday ad that by July, the immediate relatives of US citizens, including spouses and children under 21 years of age, may be interviewed in the island’s capital.

Immediate family visa applicants who will be treated in Cuba must be notified as of June 9 by the National Visa Center or by the Embassy itself that their case “will have its interview scheduled in Havana, and not in the Consular headquarters in Georgetown, Guyana, clarified the legation on its website: Applicants who were informed for their interview before that date “will continue to be processed in Georgetown.”

This expansion of services “follows the steps taken in May to begin processing all IR-5 cases, or parents of US citizens, for interviews in Havana,” the Embassy said.

“Family preference immigrant visas for Cubans will continue to be processed in Georgetown,” the diplomatic headquarters also reported. Within this group are “siblings and children over the age of 21” of US citizens and some relatives of permanent residents.

Regarding the decision to work only with the categories selected so far, they indicate that they recognize “the importance of family reunification for US citizens” and insisted that they understand “that other applicants may have difficult circumstances” but “the Embassy of Havana is still unable to accept transfer requests from other visa categories.”

“We will continue to evaluate, as conditions allow, a further expansion of visa services in Havana,” the legation explained, recalling that its consular staff in the Cuban capital “continues to provide essential services to US citizens and the limited processing of emergency visas for non-immigrants”.

The United States Consulate in Havana resumed processing visas for immigrants on May 3, processing only the IR-5 category.

Both on that occasion and in his announcement this Thursday, he insisted that while work continues to expand services on the island, the headquarters in Guyana “will continue to be the main processing place for all Cuban applicants for family preference immigrant visas.” and immediate family cases that are already scheduled to be processed in Georgetown.”

The restart of consular processes “is part of a general expansion of the embassy’s functions to facilitate diplomatic and civil society engagement,” the legation said early last month.

The US reduced the staff of its embassy in Cuba in 2017, after some thirty of its diplomats suffered mysterious health incidents known as “Havana syndrome” and whose reasons have not yet been clarified. Since then, Cuban visa applicants have had to travel to a third country to process their documents, such as Guyana, where hundreds of Cuban nationals have to wait for their visa resolutions, not exempt from irregularities.

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