For Floridians who have loved ones still in Cuba, bringing them safely to the U.S. is often stymied by the complicated relationship between these two countries. Many of those trying to reach the U.S. have tried to enter through the U.S.-Mexican border or by taking an even more dangerous journey the 90 miles across sometimes treacherous waters.
The number of Cubans trying to reach the U.S. has increased significantly as life for those in Cuba has deteriorated economically – particularly over the past few years. In fact, according to U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), there are more people from Cuba than any other country except Mexico trying to enter at our southern border.
Last spring, the U.S. announced that the Cuban Family Reunification Parole (CFRP) program would resume. U.S. Customs and Immigration Services (USCIS) sent interview notices to those petitioning to get a family member to the U.S., and interviews began during the summer.
What the reopening of the U.S. Embassy means for families
Now the Biden Administration has announced that the U.S. Embassy in Cuba is opening again after more than five years to provide visa and consular services. Embassy officials say that as they begin processing visas again, they’ll give priority to those who have family in the U.S.
Some 20,000 visas are expected to be issued annually. It’s hoped by those advocating for more legal pathways for immigration from Cuba to the U.S. that if the fraught political situation between the two nations can improve, so can the opportunities for those who want to move to the U.S.
If you have a family member in Cuba whom you’re working to bring to the U.S., it’s crucial to keep abreast of these changes. Having experienced legal guidance is the best way to successfully obtain family visas for loved ones.