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Impact on US unclear after Cuba announces changes to exit visas

Residents of Miami with family and loved ones living in Cuba were likely interested in the announcement made earlier this month by the country regarding its immigration policy pertaining to its residents visiting other countries in the world. As a part of the change, residents of Cuba will no longer have to obtain an exit permit to leave the country. In addition to being difficult to get, these permits were also very expensive.

This is not to say that certain requirements will not need to first be met before Cubans will be able to visit other countries. Though the exit permit will not be necessarily, a passport will still be required. Getting this documentation is not always easy to accomplish. Also, the country that the Cuban is seeking to visit must provide a visa to individuals wishing to enter.

There is of course the distinct possibility that many individuals who leave Cuba will decide to not return. Because only 20,000 visas are issued by the United States to Cuban visitors each year, and at this point it is not expected that U.S. will make any changes to the requirements necessary for a Cuban citizen to legally enter the country, it is not expected that a huge influx will make their way into the country. Other nations throughout the world could see more however. There is some speculations that Cubans who enter a country bordering the U.S. legally, such as Mexico, could then find a way to enter the county without documentation.

Source: Miami New Times, "Cuba Lifts Exit Visa Requirements, Raising Possibility of Exodus to Latin America," Michael Miller Tue., Oct. 16 2012

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