Frequently Asked Questions

When will the U.S. Embassy in Havana return to normal operating status?
The embassy will operate with the minimum personnel necessary to perform core diplomatic and consular functions.  The embassy will operate as an unaccompanied post, defined as a post at which no family members are permitted to reside.

Where is the best place for the public to get information?
Information about visa operations at the U.S. Embassy in Havana can be found at cu.usembassy.gov/visas/.  Additional information about applying for a U.S. visa can be found at www.ustraveldocs.com

Will nonimmigrant visa fees be refunded?
Nonimmigrant visa application fees are non-refundable and are not transferrable to another embassy/consulate.  However, fees paid for Havana remain valid and may be used for a visa application in Havana within one year of the date of payment.

If I have already paid for my nonimmigrant visa interview in Havana, but have decided to travel to another country to complete the application process, will I have to pay again?
Yes.  Nonimmigrant visa application fees are not transferrable to another embassy/consulate. 

For applicants who are unable to travel to another country for a visa interview, will they receive a refund?
Nonimmigrant visa application fees are nonrefundable.  However, fees paid for Havana remain valid and may be used for a visa application in Havana within one year of the date of payment.

 

Are applicants attending already-scheduled visa interviews?
No.  The U.S. Embassy in Havana has canceled all previously-scheduled nonimmigrant and immigrant visa interview appointments.  Cuban applicants for U.S. nonimmigrant visas may apply at a different U.S. embassy or consulate.  Please visit www.ustraveldocs.com to schedule an interview.

Can Cuban nationals apply for nonimmigrant visas at U.S. embassies or consulates in other countries?
Yes.  Cuban nationals, like nationals of other countries, may apply for visas at any U.S. embassy or consulate around the world, but must be physically present in that country. Nonimmigrant visa application fees paid in Havana, however, are not transferrable to another embassy or consulate, so the fee must be paid again for the new application.

Will the U.S. Embassy process nonimmigrant visas in emergency situations?
The only nonimmigrant visa applications at the U.S. embassy in Havana will be able to process are those for diplomatic or official (category A or G) visas or extremely rare emergency cases in when the applicant has a life-threatening illness requiring treatment in the United States.  This requires a letter from a physician or medical facility in the United States, stating they are willing to treat your specific ailment and detailing the projected length and cost of treatment (including hospitalization fees, and all medical-related expenses).  If the applicant meets these circumstances, please contact havanaconsularinfo@state.gov in order to make an appointment with U.S. Embassy Havana. 

How do applicants schedule an appointment with a different embassy or consulate?
Please visit www.ustraveldocs.com to schedule an interview.

What if I already paid for a visa interview, will the U.S. Embassy in Havana schedule an nonimmigrant interview for me in a third country?
No, applicants are responsible for rescheduling their own nonimmigrant visa interviews.  Cuban nationals, like nationals of other countries, may apply for visas at our embassies and consulates in other countries around the world.  Please visit www.ustraveldocs.com to schedule an interview.

Will the type of visa change if I apply in a third country?
The visa type will not change depending on where you apply for a U.S. visa.  For more information on which types of visas are available, please visit http://www.ustraveldocs.com/cu/cu-niv-visatypeinfo.asp

Do all members of a group need to travel to a third country for a visa interview or can the group leader interview for everyone?
All Cuban applicants require an in-person interview, so all applicants will need to travel to a third country for the interview. 

For applicants who are unable to travel to another country for a visa interview, what can they do?
Fees paid in Havana remain valid for one year from the date of payment and may be used for a visa application in Havana should visa operations resume within that time frame.

 

Are immigrant visa and Cuban Family Reunification Program (CFRP) applications closed?  Has the CFRP program ended?
On April 1, we will begin transferring current immigrant visa applications and scheduling June 2018 immigrant visa interviews for Cuban nationals at U.S. Embassy Georgetown, Guyana.  We are not currently scheduling new appointments for Cuban nationals in Bogota. Applicants with scheduled visa appointments at U.S. Embassy Bogota, and a valid Colombian visa, should attend their scheduled appointment.  The State Department and the Department of Homeland Security are determining arrangements for processing applications under the Cuban Family Reunification Program (CFRP).  We will communicate any future plans as they are decided.   

Why was Georgetown chosen?
In determining an alternate location to process Cuban immigrant visa cases, we weighed a variety of factors, including availability of flights, visa requirements, space to accommodate additional applicant files, and availability of staff.  Cubans do not need a visa to travel to Guyana.  

How are you communicating with applicants who have already scheduled their interviews at U.S. Embassy Bogota?
We will continue to provide updates on U.S. Embassy Havana’s website.  Applicants without a Colombian visa who have an scheduled appointment should contact U.S. Embassy Bogota for more information.  For other applicants resident in Cuba without a scheduled appointment, the National Visa Center (NVC) will send an appointment notice for a visa interview at U.S. Embassy Georgetown, noting the date, time, and other requirements for your visa interview.  Please contact NVC through the Ask NVC online contact form for your updated status.  If you have not yet received a NVC appointment notice, please do not contact Embassy Bogota or Embassy Georgetown.

How does the change affect immigrant visa applicants?
Immigrant visas for Cubans will be processed at U.S. Embassy Georgetown, Guyana.  

What if my case takes a long time to process? Will I need to stay in Guyana the entire time?
Immigrant visa applicants should plan to spend at least two weeks in Guyana.  However, if additional administrative processing is required, applicants may return to Cuba while their case is pending.  Please note an individual’s immigration status in Guyana is ultimately up to the Government of Guyana.  Applicants will receive additional instructions about the processing of their case and may address case-specific questions during their interview at U.S. Embassy Guyana.

What if I would prefer to process my immigrant visa case at another U.S. embassy or consulate?  Am I required to process my case in Georgetown?
While current immigrant visa applications will automatically be scheduled at, and transferred to, U.S. Embassy Georgetown, immigrant visa applicants may request to process their application, or continue processing their application, at another U.S. embassy or consulate.  Such applicants must provide justification for the case transfer (such as, for example, a move or change in residency to another country) and show that they can legally reside in the country while their case is being processed.  If the case file has already been transferred to U.S. Embassy Georgetown, a transfer request must be forwarded directly to the Immigrant Visa Unit at the chosen U.S. embassy or consulate.  If the case file is still held at the National Visa Center (NVC), you can contact them using the Ask NVC online contact form.  If the U.S. embassy or consulate agrees to accept the case and the case is qualified for scheduling, NVC will transfer the case to your requested U.S. embassy or consulate.

What are the requirements for Cuban nationals to enter Guyana?
The Government of Guyana makes determinations regarding the entry of foreign nationals into that country.  Our understanding is that Cuban nationals traveling to Guyana for an immigrant visa appointment at U.S. Embassy Georgetown can generally enter Guyana without a visa.  However, we would refer you to contact the Guyana Ministry of Foreign Affairs or the nearest Guyana embassy or consulate with questions.

How much time will I have between receiving notification of my immigrant visa interview and my appointment date at U.S. Embassy Georgetown?
You will receive notice of your interview a month or two prior to the appointment. 

What if some of my documents are no longer valid by the time my visa interview is scheduled?
You should make every effort to ensure that all of your documents are valid when you travel to Georgetown for your immigrant visa interview, as certain expired documents will delay the processing and approval of your visa application.  Please follow the instructions on your appointment letter.  For more information on what documents are required, please visit http://www.ustraveldocs.com/cu/cu-iv-visaapplyinfo.asp.

Where will medical exams be conducted?
For new cases, when you receive notice of your interview in Georgetown, you will receive additional information about making arrangements for a medical exam in Guyana.  Medical exams can no longer take place in Cuba.

What is the status of the 2018 Diversity Visa Program?
Cuban nationals selected as part of the 2018 Diversity Program should continue to check the status of their entries for information about their interview appointment, along with instructions for processing at U.S. Embassy Georgetown.

Can I travel straight from Guyana to the United States, or do I need to return to Cuba and travel to the United States from there?
If your visa is approved, you may travel directly to the United States from Georgetown.

Why can’t this be done at the Guantanamo Bay Naval Station?
The U.S. Government does not have the facilities or personnel to process visas at the Guantanamo Bay Naval Station.  The Naval Station is a military facility, not a diplomatic facility.

Who do I contact if I have questions about my case?
Please email HavanaConsularInfo@state.gov with any questions you have about how individuals resident in Cuba obtain visas to the United States.

How will applicants get their approved visas and passports back from the U.S. Embassy in Havana? 
Applicants whose visas have been approved will be contacted when their documents are ready to be picked up.

What should I do if my case is under administrative processing?
When administrative processing is required, the timing will vary based on individual circumstances of each case, but most administrative processing is resolved within 60 days of the visa interview.  Nonimmigrant and immigrant visa applicants will be contacted when their visas are ready for pick-up.

I have not received an appointment notification from the National Visa Center for my IV/CFRP interview. What happens to me now?
The State Department will work with its colleagues in the Department of Homeland Security to ensure continued operation of the Cuban Family Reunification Parole program and the refugee processing center.  The State Department will soon announce arrangements for CFRP and refugee applicants.

What happens if my visa expires and I have not been able to travel?
All foreign nationals need to have valid travel documents to enter the United States.  Non-immigrant visa holders may renew their visas at our embassies and consulates in other countries around the world.