The United States announced today that as of April 1, the process of requesting immigrant visas for Cuban citizens will take place at its embassy in Georgetown, Guyana instead of in Colombia.
According to the Havana Times, since January, this process had taken place at the United States embassy in Bogota, Colombia, after most of the personnel was removed from the embassy in Havana after the mysterious health problems suffered by 24 diplomats and relatives on the island.
“Guyana is going to be the main place for the processing of migratory visa applications for Cubans; the first interviews will take place in June,” the State Department said today. According to the Havana Times, the US urged the applicants not to organize trips to Georgetown until they possess an approved appointment for the interview, as the State Department must first conclude such operations in Bogotá and prepare for the stepped up service here.
Cubans do not need a visa to travel to Guyana although there are some other requirements including a round trip plane ticket, passport with at least three months validity after the travel date and sufficient funds for the stay in Georgetown, the Havana Times said.
The Department of State assured that to determine the place for the application for migratory visas it has taken into account several factors, among them the availability of flights.
The US move will mean increased numbers of Cubans flying here and utilising services here. Hundreds of Cubans come here weekly for mainly shopping.