Canada Reduces Services for Cubans at its Embassy in Havana

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau during a visit to Cuba in November 2016.  To his right the then Cuban President Raul Castro, on to his left the current president Miguel Diaz Canel.  Photo: Sean Kilpatrick, The Canadian Press

HAVANA TIMES – Over a million Canadians visit Cuba each year as tourists to enjoy its resorts and cities without any problem but the Canadian government will make it doubly difficult for Cubans to visit Canada.

The word came on Wednesday, without warning, and takes effect immediately.  “The Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has reduced its programs and services in Havana, Cuba.”

The suspended services include visitor visas, study and work permits, permanent residence interviews.

The Canadian government announced in January 2019 staff reductions at its Havana embassy following in the footsteps of the United States which did the same back in September 2017.  Both countries site serious mysterious illnesses to their embassy staff as the reason.

Cubans wishing to visit Canada can start the process online but will most likely end up having to visit a Canadian consulate in a third country to record biometrics and final approval.

The only remaining services available at the Canadian embassy in Havana are:

“The Embassy of Canada to Cuba will continue to accept all Canadian passport, proof of citizenship (citizenship certificate) and permanent resident travel document applications.

“You can continue to apply for permanent residence under economic and family class programs by following existing application instructions.

“If you submitted an application for permanent residence, it will be transferred to IRCC’s visa office in Mexico City, Mexico. You will be hearing directly from the Mexico City office in the near future on the next steps required for your application.

“Any case-specific questions about your existing application can be directed to IRCC’s visa office in Mexico City.”


12 thoughts on “Canada Reduces Services for Cubans at its Embassy in Havana

  • May 15, 2019 at 3:52 pm
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    You may get a response to your letter to the Minister. But it won’t be from his office but a Liberal initiated department that responds to letters to Ministers.

  • May 15, 2019 at 9:26 am
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    How come Cubans working in the embassy show no signs of “mysterious illnesses”? The reason behind the closure is dubious. The Canadian government must know how hard it is for any Cuban to leave the country to apply for a visa somewhere else, but chooses to ignore this fact; even when it affects thousands of Cuban-Canadians caught in the middle of this mess. I have personally written to the MP and Minister of Immigration…no reply so far. Meanwhile, prepare your paychecks if you want to see your relatives again in Canada

  • May 14, 2019 at 9:01 pm
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    It just goes to prove Robert that the belief by so many Canadians within Canada, that Canada is a Good Guy is mythical.
    One correction. Minister Ahmed Hussen is from Somalia, not Ethiopia.

  • May 11, 2019 at 12:19 pm
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    same at the philippines, its all locals

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