How Cuba’s New Exit Rule Affects the US

Cuban government has announced that the citizens of Cuba may not be required to obtain exit visas to travel abroad. According to the current law, Cuban nationals must obtain passports and visas to travel to a foreign country and along with that, they must also obtain exit permits from the Cuban immigration service. They may not be permitted to leave the country without the exit permits and those permits are valid only for a certain period of time and the holders of those permits will have to return to the country before the permits could expire. They may be jailed or penalized, if they get back to the country with expired exit permits. But now, according to the new law, they may not be required to obtain those exit permits to travel to a foreign country.

However, this new process may not allow important people in Cuba such as doctors and engineers to travel abroad. But this process will allow foreign nationals to remain in Cuba for around 2 years. Similarly, Cuban Americans may also live in Cuba, but they may not be allowed to take part in the civic life. Though Cuba has brought about few new changes, the US immigration laws and the US visa requirements may not change. According to the US immigration laws, Cuban nationals are allowed to stay in America, in an immigration parole status and the citizens of Cuba who remain in the country for more than a year, may become eligible to file applications for US Green Cards, according to the Cuban Adjustment Act.

Though the Cuban government does not require the citizens to obtain exit permits to travel abroad, they still need to obtain visas issued by the US Department of State, to travel to the United States and the Cuban nationals who try to get into the United States without visas, will be denied entry into the United States, by the CBP officials. This new policy of Cuba will be implemented on 14th January, 2013. More number of Cubans may travel to the United States due to the policy change and the number of Cuban citizens paroled into America is also likely to increase. This will in turn increase the number of Cuban nationals who are applying for lawful status in the United States.