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US shifts processing of immigration of Cubans to embassy in Guyana

The United States Embassy in Guyana.

Cubans who require American visas will now have to come to Guyana, instead of Colombia, from June, 2018, the United States (US) embassy in Havana said.

Scheduling will begin on April 1, 2018

“On April 1, we will begin transferring current immigrant visa applications and scheduling immigrant visa interviews for Cuban nationals at U.S. Embassy Georgetown, Guyana.  Guyana will then be the primary site for processing immigrant visa applications for Cubans.  The first interviews will take place in June,” the American embassy in Cuba said.

In clear reference to the adverse health impacts of sonic attacks on American embassy staff in Havana, the United States said it had shifted its visa processing to Colombia in January “to protect the safety of our personnel.” However, Guyana has been chose as the new location because of several reasons.

“In determining an alternative location, now Georgetown, Guyana, we considered a number of factors including availability of flights, visa requirements, space to accommodate additional applicant files, and availability of staff.  Cubans do not need a visa to travel to Guyana.  As before, Cuban applicants for routine non-immigrant visas may apply at any U.S. embassy or consulate outside Cuba,” the Embassy in Cuba said.

The US said as it transitions immigrant visa operations for Cuban nationals to Guyana, “we will continue to communicate with applicants, so they have current information.  No applicants should make travel plans until they have a scheduled visa interview appointment.”

Hundreds of Cubans come to Guyana weekly mainly to shop cheap goods to sell in their homeland, in what is clearly a brisk and lucrative trade.