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The United States will resume the issuance of immigrant visas in Havana after a four-year hiatus, within the “gradual expansion” of consular activity, although in a “limited” way and without fixed deadlines.
A State Department official informed the media on Thursday in Havana of the step decided by Washington, which is part of a “broader” strategy of diplomatic dialogue and with civil society.
The issuance of the immigrant visa in Cuba is part of the U.S. government’s interest in “following the legal and correct ways to emigrate”, this source assured.
People who are interested in leaving Cuba should do so legally and safely, explained a diplomat, after the migratory flows of people trying to escape from the island’s socialist system intensified in recent months.
The U.S. representative assured that the decision is to facilitate diplomatic engagement and with civil society, and dismissed any link with the increase in the number of Cubans trying to reach U.S. territory.
The announcement was offered without details of date, number of diplomatic personnel that would be transferred to the legation in Havana or figures of how many people have requested this type of visa.
Despite the reopening, the embassy indicated in a statement that the main processing center for Cuban immigration visas will continue to be the U.S. Embassy in Guyana.
The official further explained that the migratory agreements between both countries are still in force, despite the suspension decreed in 2017, and pointed out that the goal is to reach as soon as possible a full resumption of all services.