Refugee Program

The U.S. Refugee Admissions Program is not currently accepting new applications or processing cases in Havana.  

The State Department Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration (PRM), in conjunction with the United States Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS) of the Department of Homeland Security, the Office of Refugee Resettlement of the Department of Health and Human Services, and the International Organization for Migration, administers the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program in Cuba.

U.S. Refugee Admissions Program Qualification Criteria

Presidential Determination

The President of the United States each year recommends the size and composition of the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program.  After seeking the advice of various governmental agencies and the consent of Congress, the President signs a Determination that recommends regional refugee admissions ceilings, processing priorities, and countries designated for in-country processing.

Cuba was again identified as a country of special interest and eligible for in-country processing.

Cuban Nationals – Eligibility Criteria

To be eligible for refugee status in the U.S. Refugee Admissions program, a Cuban national must demonstrate that he/she belongs to at least one of the following groups:

  • Members of persecuted religious minorities
  • Human rights activists
  • Former political prisoners
  • Forced-labor conscripts (1965-1968)
  • Persons deprived of their professional credentials or subjected to other disproportionately harsh or discriminatory treatment resulting from their perceived or actual political or religious beliefs or activities.