I am married to a Cuban, do I need a tourist visa to visit him?

Question: I am married to a Cuban man and we have legal Cuban marriage papers. My husband is still in Cuba waiting for travel papers to come and live with me in my country. The papers are still being processed. I have 2 questions:

  1. Do I still need to buy a tourist visa to visit him?
  2. Can I send our kids to Cuban universities?
  3. It’s been 4 years now waiting for my husband’s travel papers, who do I contact in Cuba to seek assistance in processing his papers quicker? Any organization that deals with these issues that I should contact?

Answer: As in any country, Cuba has a set of regulations and requirements governing marriage between Cubans and non-Cubans as well travel and/or residence abroad for Cubans. Although the details of the processes may differ from one country to another, they tend to be lengthy and, at times, entail substantial costs.

You say that your husband is waiting for his travel papers, but you do not say if he is waiting for authorization to travel from the Cuban end, or authorization from your own country to enter. If the second, this is an issue that you and your husband will have to handle vis-à-vis the corresponding institutions within your own country, or with its Embassy here in Cuba.

As for marriage-related issues on the Cuban end, one structure that might be able to help or provide advice is the following:

Consultoria Juridica Internacional
Calle 16 #314 (16th Street)
entre 3ra y 5ra Avenidas (between 3th and 5th Avenue)
Miramar – Municipio Playa
Ciudad de La Habana, Cuba

Telephone (537) 204-2490 / 204-2697 / 204-2861 / 204-1368 / 204-2437
Fax :204-2303/204-9469Fax (537) 204-2303 / 204-9469www.cji.co.cu/

www.icl-directory.com/company_details.php?id=636 (directory for international correspondence lawyers)

The Consultoria Juridica Internacional (CJI or International Legal Consulting) is a firm that provides legal services in all branches of law. With headquarters in Havana and branches in all provinces of the country, the CJI offers services in three specialized divisions: Legal Assistance, Notary and Immigration Affairs, and Documentaries. There is a charge for services, in CUC (Convertible pesos).

Regarding your question about whether or not you need a tourist visit to visit your husband, the Cuban Embassy in your country is well placed to advise you. Being married to a Cuban does not automatically confer to the overseas partner either temporary or permanent residence status in Cuba. This requires a separate immigration process. Once in the country on a tourist visa, you and your husband would need to go to the nearest immigration office to process a change of visa that would permit you to stay with him. At that time, you would be able to get more detailed information about different options that might exist.

Regarding sending your children to Cuban universities, if they are born in Cuba, they will have Cuban nationality – no matter what other nationality they have – and will have the same rights to educational institutions as all Cuban children. If they are born overseas and do not have Cuban citizenship, they will most likely be treated as foreign students and will need to pay tuition, etc. Since your husband is still within the country, he is the best placed to obtain detailed information about this.