Starting this Saturday, Cuban passports issued will have a validity of 10 years. This modification stems from a reform announced in May by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Minrex).
With this change, passports will not require extensions, thus eliminating a procedure that until now had to be carried out every two years.
Regarding the issuance cost of this document, which previously varied depending on the country where it was requested, it has officially been set at 180 dollars or euros for people over 16 years old, and 140 dollars or euros for minors.
Ernesto Soberón, General Director of Consular Affairs and Cubans Living Abroad from Minrex, confirmed these changes via Twitter. He expressed that these measures are a reflection of the Cuban government’s commitment to continue enhancing relations with its citizens residing abroad.
One of the decisions announced in May aims to equalize the duration of stay in Cuba for Cubans residing abroad and their foreign relatives (partners and children) during their visit to the country.
Island authorities have decided that individuals who emigrated before January 1, 1971, must now use their Cuban passport to enter the island; they were previously required to use the passport of their residence country to travel to Cuba.Appeal to Solidarity to Repatriate Young Cuban Man Deceased in Russia
On the other hand, Cuban authorities did not reveal any decision regarding people who, for various reasons, such as abandoning an official delegation abroad or having a political stance opposed to the government, are not allowed to enter the country.
The new rule does not modify the allowed length of stay abroad without losing residence on the island, which is two years. However, there is a moratorium related to this issue that was established during the pandemic, and the government’s intention seems to be to keep it in effect.
Soberón stated in a recent interview that the issue of the moratorium remains under analysis. Meanwhile, it remains in effect.
He emphasized that it is clear that any decision taken regarding this matter and the time of stay of Cubans outside the country will always be aimed at enhancing the relationship with Cubans residing abroad.
It is estimated that more than two million Cubans live outside the country, most in the United States.
This number has increased considerably in the last two years due to the current migration wave that the island is facing, mainly towards the United States, but also towards other countries.
Cuba: the most expensive passport in the world
Before the new measures came into effect, the Cuban passport had been dubbed the most expensive in the world – and also one of the least powerful – and not without reason.Common Mistakes When Applying for Humanitarian Parole: A Guide from the U.S. Embassy in Cuba
For many emigrated Cubans, the cost of maintaining a Cuban passport was prohibitive.
For example, Cubans residing in the United States had to pay 670 dollars every six years, and that’s without counting the mandatory extensions every two years.
Even compared to other Latin American countries, like Colombia or Chile, where passports have similar costs, there are no additional “extension” charges as has been, until now, the Cuban case.
Furthermore, the Cuban passport has shown a variability in prices depending on where you reside, being up to six times more expensive in the United States.
Even within the island, the passport price increased from 55 to 100 CUC in 2013.
The Cuban passport has represented a significant financial burden for Cubans both inside and outside the island, causing some to opt not to return to their home country due to these costs, among other reasons.Desperate Cuban Mother Resorts to Selling Her Hair to Acquire School Supplies for Her Son