THELAW.TV

Cuba Scraps Exit Visa Requirement



The Cuban government announced Tuesday that it will no longer require islanders to apply for an exit visa, eliminating a much-loathed bureaucratic procedure that has been a major impediment for many seeking to travel overseas.

The Seattle Times reports a notice published in Communist Party newspaper ‘Granma’ said Cubans will also not have to present a letter of invitation to travel abroad when the rule change takes effect Jan. 13, and beginning on that date islanders will only have to show their passport and a visa from the country they are traveling to.

The measure also extends to 24 months the amount of time Cubans can remain abroad, and they can request an extension when that runs out. Currently, Cubans lose residency and other rights including social security and free health care and education after 11 months.

Still, the notice said Cuba plans to put limits on travel within unspecified sectors. Doctors, scientists, members of the military and others considered valuable parts of society currently face restrictions on travel to combat brain drain.