Considerably More Cubans Are Traveling

Terminal 3 of the Havana International Airport.

HAVANA TIMES — The number of trips abroad by Cubans increased by 23.7 percent in 2014 over the previous year, when immigration reform that eliminated the exit permit took effect in January 2013, state media reported on Monday.

Cubans residing on the island made approximately 355,000 trips abroad, compared to 287,000 in 2013, according to a document from the National Bureau of Statistics and Information of Cuba (ONEI).

In 2012, before the immigration reform, 213,000 Cubans traveled abroad, the increase over the two years is 66.7 percent, noted the “Juventud Rebelde” newspaper.

The statistical office considered “foreign travel” to be all trips by Cuban residents except those for the exercise of paid activity in the visited country.”

The immigration reforms undertaken by the government of Raul Castro simplified procedures and eliminated the much criticized exit permit needed previously to be able to travel.

The new immigration legislation still has some limitations for the departure abroad of certain professionals who have leadership positions in companies or institutions that are considered “vital” to the country and that still need special permission to travel.

Another new feature of the immigration law is that the period of continuous stay abroad without losing their property ownership rights in Cuba was extended up to 24 months instead of the previous eleven.

2 thoughts on “Considerably More Cubans Are Traveling

  • August 21, 2015 at 5:11 pm

    As you will realise rose, it is difficult for Cubans to feed their families on the average earnings of $20.68 per day and even the more prosperous doctors and teachers are only earning $36 per month. Travelling is in consequence not within their grasp unless financed by others.
    Until three years ago there was the problem that even if receiving a passport, they had to obtain the carta blanca which was only provided to sympathisers of the Castro family regime.
    The next difficulty is in obtaining a visa to visit other countries. The reason for other countries being wary about issuing visa’s has been the high level of defections by Cubans – for example the 18 that defected at the Pan-Am Games. I know this because my wife as a Cuban, was refused a visa by Canada five times. Eventually the UK issued her one, following which Canada relented and she now visits here once per year.

  • August 20, 2015 at 7:35 am

    the americans should do more reading. according to them, all cubans are held and only leave on a raft. i always knew cubans travelled.

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