A blog about U.S. immigration matters by Paul Szeto, a former INS attorney and an experienced immigration attorney and counsel. Contact Info: 732-632-9888, http://www.1visa1.com/ (All information is not legal advice and is subject to change without prior notice.)

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

U.S. Travel to Cuba eased with full diplomatic relations

The Obama Administration's decision to normalize diplomatic relations with Cuba for the first time since 1961 means a lot of changes in financial transactions, trading activities, communications, etc. For those with family members in Cuba, perhaps the most important change of this switch in foreign policy is their ability to travel to Cuba.  Currently travel to Cuba may be authorized only by a general license or by a specific license (case-by-case basis decision).  Illegal travel to Cuba could result in hefty fines and other legal consequences.

The new policy will ease travel under general licenses for twelve (12) existing categories of travel to Cuba including:

  • Family visits
  • Official business of the U.S. government and foreign governments and certain intergovernmental organizations
  • Journalistic activity
  • Professional research and professional meetings
  • Educational activities
  • Religious activities
  • Public performances, clinics, workshops, athletic and other competitions, and exhibitions
  • Support for the Cuban people
  • Humanitarian projects
  • Activities of private foundations or research or educational institutes
  • Exportation, importation or transmission of information or information materials
  • Certain export transactions that may be considered for authorization under existing regulations and guidelines

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