The United States will resume the issuance of visas in Havana

The United States will resume the issuance of visas in Havana

HAVANA.- The United States will resume the issuance of migrant visas in Havana after a four-year hiatus, the US charge d’affaires in Cuba, Timothy Zúñiga-Brown, announced Thursday.

The diplomat explained in a meeting with the media that the decision is part of a “gradual expansion” of the consular functions of the US embassy in Havana.

According to a statement, the reactivation of these consular services will be “limited” and “as soon as possible”, although no deadlines were specified.

Meanwhile, the main processing center for migratory visas for Cubans will continue to be the US embassy in Guyana.

Claudia Cañizares, an immigration attorney, remarks: “They are saying that they are going to deal with immigrant visa cases. That is, those people who are coming directly under a claim, a request from a direct family member.

We speak specifically of children, spouses and parents of American citizens. For lawyer Canizares, the other thing that “they are also saying is that the Guyanese embassy will continue to be the main one. In other words, the Guyanese embassy is going to give more interviews than what Havana is going to give.”

Applicants will be notified of their interview location in either Guyana or Havana. This will be the case throughout the transition process. Although they will have to remain on the lookout, those who have waited for years assure that it is a big step.

“Immigrant visa services are a safe and legal avenue for family reunification,” the statement said.

The US chargé d’affaires in Cuba said that the decision does not mean a thaw, but rather a response to the needs of Cuban civil society. In addition, the concern for the security of diplomatic personnel remains.

The embassy also indicated that it is included in a “wider expansion” of its functions to facilitate diplomatic dialogue and with civil society.

The US Embassy reduced consular activity in Cuba to a minimum in 2017 due to the so-called “Havana syndrome”, health problems that affected part of its staff.

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