Cuban citizens residing in the Cayman Islands should be aware of key changes made earlier this year by the Cuban government to the Cuban Migration Policy.
The amendments took effect from 14 January, 2013, following which Cayman Islands Department of Immigration officials sought clarification from the Cuban consulate in Jamaica. Following are the updated guidelines that relate to new policy:
Cuban nationals no longer have to obtain a Travel Permit or a Letter of Invitation before travelling out of Cuba.
The required travel documents include a valid, ordinary Cuban passport and the appropriate visa issued by the country to which the citizen is travelling.
Ordinary passports issued before the January change will remain valid.
If applicable, Cuban citizens may request updated passports from the Ministry of the Interior (via the Honorary Cuban Consul in Jamaica).
Cuban passports are valid for six years and must be updated every two years at the Consulate Office (i.e. A passport issued in 2013 will be valid until 2019, but its validity shall be updated in 2015 and 2017).
Cuban citizens travelling on “private affairs” will be permitted to remain outside of Cuba for up to 24 months from the date of departure from.
Applications for passport extensions and authorised stays beyond 24 months must be submitted to the Cuban Consular Office in Jamaica.
“Private affairs” refers to personal reasons not related to the Cuban government or the state.
Cuban nationals taking up long term residency in the Cayman Islands are required to apply to the Cuban Consular Office in Jamaica for a “PRE” (RESIDENTE En El EXTERIOR) endorsement in their passport. This includes Cuban nationals married to Caymanians.
In regards to longer periods of stay in the Cayman Islands, Cubans will be required to obtain evidence of an “Extension of Stay” validated at the Cuban Consulate in Jamaica.
Passport/travel extension services can be carried out at the Cuban Consulate in Kingston – and usually without the applicant having to attend in person.
There are application and material requirements associated with such service transactions.
Given such an extension to the period during which they may remain outside of Cuba, work permit approval periods may also be extended for up to 22 months.
The Cayman Islands Department of Immigration has no authority to make allowances or exercise discretion, outside of what is presented by the Cuban government.
Any further questions on the law, and on entitlements, travel documents or travel obligations, should be addressed to the Cuban Consular Office, Embassy of the Republic of Cuba, in Jamaica.