Cuba Immigration Reform Still on Hold

Ricardo Alarcon. Photo:

HAVANA TIMES — Cuban Parliament President Ricardo Alarcon said on Monday in Madrid that there is still “no date” set for the passage of immigration reform announced by Raul Castro, Europa Press reported.

“We hope to do everything for this (reform) with the broadest consensus possible, and for that we have to take into account several factors, but the existing regulations also have to be considered,” explained the president of the Cuba’s National Assembly.

The changes could put an end to the restrictions that Cubans have on leaving the island and perhaps relax the conditions for those wishing to return permanently.

In December of last year, Cuban President Raul Castro warned that the lifting of those restrictions would be done gradually, though so far no details concerning the plan have been made known.

Currently, Cubans wishing to leave the island for a visit to another country must apply for an exit permit whose approval is subject to the discretion of immigration authorities. The process can take weeks and costs 150 CUCs (about $170 USD), over eight times the average monthy wage in Cuba.

The National Assembly meets on July 23rd in one of its twice annual regular sessions.