The government hopes to increase revenue from longer term visitors
The Government is also preparing a citizenship law that takes into account the right to have several nationalities
HAVANA TIMES – Beginning November 1, Cuba will grant tourist visas for 90 days, instead of the 30 days in effect before. The announcement was made this Sunday on Twitter by the Minister of Tourism, Juan Carlos García Granda, and now is on official pages.
In his tweet, García Granda also said that the visa will be “extendable only once for the same period,” that is, that tourists will be able to stay in Cuba for a total of 180 days.
Until now, the tourist visa, which is mandatory, allowed a maximum duration of 30 days, which could be extended for one more month, provided that the change was made one week before the visa’s expiration at the nearest Immigration and Aliens Office, including the postponement of the return flight and the payment for accommodation.
The new measure is made public just over a week after the closure of the Medical Tourism and Welfare Fair in Havana, one of whose main claims was the relaunch of the Island as a health destination. Allowing travelers to stay in the country for up to six months would favor this goal.
Just a few days ago, the Cuban Government acknowledged that it will be impossible to meet the tourism goal it had planned. Compared to the two and a half million travelers it had insisted that the Island would receive during 2022, the year will close with 1,710,000 travelers, according to the Minister of Economy, Alejandro Gil Fernández.
It was a featured article, reflecting the tourism data of the first nine months of the year. If by September 1,074,814 international visitors arrived on the Island, between October and December, the remaining 1.4 million would have to arrive to reach the forecast, not taking into account that the high season begins in November. It would have been necessary to triple each of the three months the best data of the year, the 152,480 travelers in July.
Also, the director of Consular Affairs and Attention to Cubans Living Abroad of the Foreign Ministry of Cuba, Ernesto Soberón, announced on Sunday that the Government is preparing a “citizenship law” that “works to promote relations with emigrants.”
The official recalled, according to official media, that the 2019 Constitution allows more nationalities apart from the Cuban one but said that this “needs legislation.”
Soberón, who held a meeting with Cubans living in Uruguay, recognized that “the current migratory flow has demographic impacts in a nation with low birth rates.”
In addition, he announced that “for the next legislature of the Parliament, draft laws on passports and foreigners must also be approved.” The official assures that other measures are “under study” on issues of interest to emigrants, including the streamlining of procedures and their participation in socioeconomic development, since the number of Cubans living abroad interested in investing in their country is growing.”
The minister did not provide any data to confirm this alleged desire in the current circumstances of deep crisis and in the absence of solid legal guarantees in favor of private investment.
Translated by Regina Anavy for Translating Cuba