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Thread: United States changes its B2 visa policy for Cuban citizens

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  1. #1
    Senior Member JohnDoe2's Avatar
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    United States changes its B2 visa policy for Cuban citizens

    United States changes its B2 visa policy for Cuban citizens

    BY DAVID J. NEAL
    MARCH 15, 2019 06:44 PM,
    UPDATED MARCH 15, 2019 07:48 PM

    Beginning Monday, the B2 visa validity for Cuban nationals will be down to three months with one entry, the U.S. Embassy in Havana announced Friday.

    B2 visas cover visits by relatives, for tourism and travel for medical purposes. Current five-year B2s won’t be affected, the embassy said, and no other types of visas will be changed.


    The reasoning put forth by the embassy, in an announcement on its website: The move puts U.S. visa fees and validity periods on the same plane as Cuba’s policy toward U.S. citizens.


    “U.S. immigration law requires that U.S. visa fees and validity periods be reciprocal, insofar as practicable, with the treatment accorded to U.S. citizens,” the embassy said. “Cuba allows U.S. citizen tourists a single entry for a stay of two months, with a possible 30-day extension to three months total, for $50.

    Before the validity change, we allowed Cuban B2 applicants a 60-month, multiple-entry visa for a fee of $160.”

    https://www.miamiherald.com/news/nat...228009679.html

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  2. #2
    Super Moderator GeorgiaPeach's Avatar
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    State Department ends five-year tourist visa for Cubans

    March 16, 2019

    Allen Cone



    Then-U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry waves to Cubans in front of a vintage Impala in the Plaza de San Francisco after a ceremony reopening the U.S. embassy in Havana during the Obama administration. The State Department now is restricting Cubans' travel to the United States by reduce the B2 tourist visa validity to three months with a single entry from five years of multiple trips. File Photo by U.S. Department of State/UPI

    March 16 (UPI) -- The United States will reduce the B2 tourist visa validity for Cuban nationals to three months with a single entry from five years of multiple trips, the State Department announced.


    The B2 visa category includes tourism, family visits, medical treatment and similar travel purposes. Besides visiting relatives, Cubans have also used the visas to buy supplies for their businesses.

    "U.S. immigration law requires that U.S. visa fees and validity periods be reciprocal, insofar as practicable, with the treatment accorded to U.S. citizens," the State Department said in a news release announcing the move.

    U.S. citizen tourists to Cuba are currently allowed a single entry for a stay of up to two months, with a possible 30-day extension to three months total, for $50.

    Before the the validity change, which is effective Monday, the State Department allowed Cuban B2 applicants a 60-month, multiple-entry visa for $160.

    Existing five-year multiple entry B2 visas remain valid until the expiration date.

    "When a country grants a visa or tourist card to US citizens for a certain period, we will do the same for the citizens of that country who receive a U.S. visa," Mara Tekach, the U.S. embassy's charge d'affaires, said in a video posted on Facebook.


    No other visa categories involving Cuban nationals are being changed, including those for business trips or events, or for academic or language studies, according to the State Department.

    Besides allowing frequent trips to Miami, they were allowed to enter Latin American countries, including Mexico, to enter automatically with the visa.

    In September 2017, the State Department announced it was withdrawing more than half its embassy staff from Cuba because of "specific attacks" that sickened at least 21 U.S. embassy employees.

    With reduced staff, visas were not being issued at the embassy, ProPublica reported in March 2018. Cubans seeking to visit or immigrate to the United States needed to go to a third-party country to submit requests at U.S. consulates there.

    In June 2017, President Donald Trumpannounced limitations on tourism and trade to the island.



    https://www.upi.com/amp/State-Depart...6181552760532/
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  3. #3
    Super Moderator GeorgiaPeach's Avatar
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    US eliminates coveted 5-year tourist visa for Cubans


    March 16, 2019

    Michael Weissenstein

    The U.S. State Department said Friday that it is eliminating a coveted five-year tourist visa for Cubans, dealing a heavy blow to entrepreneurs and Cuban members of divided families, who used the visas to see relatives in the United States and buy precious supplies for their businesses on the island.
    The elimination of the visa cuts a vital link between the U.S. and Cuba by forcing Cubans to make a costly and complicated trip to a third country like Mexico or Panama every single time they want to visit the U.S. That's because the U.S. withdrew most of its non-essential diplomatic staff from Havana in September 2017 and stopped issuing visas of almost any type in Cuba.


    "This affects every Cuban but especially entrepreneurs who have to travel to get products that don't exist here," said Niuris Higueras, who brings salt, hand towels, candles and other products from the U.S. for her restaurant Atelier, one of Havana's most successful private eateries.

    Until now, Cubans who saved the money and mastered the complexities of successfully applying for a visa in a third country would receive a visa eliminating the need to apply again for another five years. That possibility will disappear on March 18 when the B2 visa will only allow a single entry for a three-month stay, Mara Tekach, the U.S. Embassy's charge d'affaires, said in a video posted on Facebook Friday.

    Tekach said the change was due to the need to achieve reciprocity between the visa rules of the U.S. and Cuba, which issues Americans single-entry tourist visas allowing a stay of up to three months.
    However, the Cuban visa application process is a formality, with airlines and travel agencies authorized to hand out visas to anyone who requests one and pays $50 as part of the purchase of an airline ticket or travel package. Cubans must pay $160, plus airfare and hotel costs in a third country, often to see their visa application swiftly rejected.

    "Invoking reciprocity here is beyond insulting," said Michael Bustamante, an assistant professor of Latin American History at Florida International University and an expert on contemporary Cuba who advocates for closer bilateral relations. "The announcement today will come as a real blow to many Cubans, only the latest of the Trump policy years."

    The seemingly obscure change in visa rules in fact is one of the harshest measures against Cuba taken by the Trump administration because of the effect it will have on the informal supply chain for the communist-run island's small but vibrant private sector. Virtually all of the supplies used by Cuban entrepreneurs from barbers to restaurant owners are either stolen from state enterprises or brought in suitcases from capitalist countries by business owners or "mules," couriers with visas who are paid to haul in the hundreds of varieties of products unavailable in Cuba's stagnant, centrally planned economy.

    The U.S. five-year visa not only allowed frequent trips to Miami, Latin American countries such as Mexico would allow Cubans with the U.S. visa to enter automatically.


    "This is going to limit me a lot," said Vanesa Pino, owner of the Sweet Details bakery in Havana. She uses her five-year visa to travel once a month to the United States to buy ingredients such as food coloring, decorating tools and sugar for icing. "It doesn't make sense to go to a third country to get a single-entry visa. You can make that effort if the investment then lets you make a lot of trips.
    "In my case, in addition to bringing supplies, I would go several times a year to pastry-making fairs, see new products and techniques, and now that's not going to be so easy."


    Her visa expires next year.


    ----
    Associated Press Writer Andrea Rodriguez in Havana contributed to this report.


    https://www.miamiherald.com/news/nat...228016394.html
    Last edited by GeorgiaPeach; 03-16-2019 at 05:07 PM.
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  4. #4
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    Bio-metric tracking and technology to ENSURE they leave on or before the expiration date.


    RAMP UP DEPORTATIONS OF VISA OVERSTAYS OR START CHARGING A "DEPOSIT" TO ENTER OUR COUNTRY!
    TO BECOME AN AMERICAN YOU MUST CHANGE YOUR VALUES ...NOT YOUR LOCATION

    STAY HOME AND BUILD AMERICA ON YOUR SOIL

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