HAVANA TIMES — New immigration measures are being implemented in Cuba starting today that will relax and facilitate travel between the island and other nations of the world, announced the media.
Starting today, Cuban citizens may apply for passports at ID Cards and Population Registration offices as well as in the offices of Immigration and Naturalization throughout the country. This means that a total of 195 sites are available to accept passport applications, according to the Office of Immigration.
The new regulations include the elimination of the previously required “exit permit” and the “letter of invitation,” as well as extending from to 24 months (from the previous 11 months) the time allowed to remain outside of the country without losing the status of citizen-resident.
All children under 18 years-of-age can leave the country as long as they have the permission of their parents or legal guardians. Relatedly, health care and sports professionals who left Cuba after 1990 can now visit the country if they have been away at least eight years (except for those who left through the Guantanamo Naval Base).
Those who migrated illegally after the immigration agreements with the US in 1994 will also be able to visit the island eight years have elapsed since their departure. In addition, the grounds for repatriation have been expanded.