Last Updated: Thursday, 26 May 2016, 08:56 GMT

Cuba: The legal formalities one must meet to obtain a passport and an exit visa, including whether security checks, police clearance certificates or references are required (1995 to present)

Publisher Canada: Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada
Author Research Directorate, Immigration and Refugee Board, Canada
Publication Date 1 October 1999
Citation / Document Symbol CUB32543.E
Reference 4
Cite as Canada: Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada, Cuba: The legal formalities one must meet to obtain a passport and an exit visa, including whether security checks, police clearance certificates or references are required (1995 to present), 1 October 1999, CUB32543.E, available at: [accessed 27 May 2016]
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.

An Immigration Counsellor at the Canadian Embassy in Havana provided the following information in a 24 August 1999 letter sent to Research Directorate via Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC).

For private visits, the requirements for Cuban citizens to obtain a passport for a private visit is to submit an application to the Immigration authorities. A US$50 stamp and two photos must accompany this application. Procedure takes three days and normally the applicant receives the passport. For the exit permit a letter of invitation must be submitted. This letter of invitation can be sent through the Cuban Embassy in the

country where the host lives or the invitation can be done in Cuba through Consultoria Juridica Internacional if the host is in Cuba. The cost of this letter of invitation is US$140 or US$200 depending on the way used for its presentation.  Once the Cuban citizen has the legal letter of invitation he/she must contact the Immigration authorities and request the exit permit. The fee for this purpose is US$150 and exit permit is given in 30/45 days. The fee is not the sole requirement. Professionals must submit a letter from their employer with the authorisation of the Minister. And presently, according to the information received from our clients, some professionals as doctors, workers of tourism sector, workers of foreign companies who have a contract with ACOREC (the State enterprise who selects and contracts the workers for the foreign companies) are not allowed to travel for private purposes, only when they are selected for official visits.

For official visits, all the arrangements for an official passport and an official exit permit are done by the employer of the Cuban citizen. The cost is paid in Cuban currency. After the visit, the passport remains with the employer.

In both type of visits presentation of a police clearance certificate and/or references is not required. Concerning security checks, we have no information if this is done.

Attempts to obtain information by Cuban immigration officials were unsuccessful within the time constraints of this Response.

Additional information on exit permits and passports in Cuba can be found in CUB32334.E of 6 July 1999 and CUB28686.E of 24 July 1998.

This Response was prepared after researching publicly accessible information currently available to the Research Directorate within time constraints. This Response is not, and does not purport to be, conclusive as to the merit of any particular claim to refugee status or asylum.

Canadian Embassy, Havana, Cuba. 24 August 1999. Correspondence from an  Immigration Counsellor via Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC).

Copyright notice: This document is published with the permission of the copyright holder and producer Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada (IRB). The original version of this document may be found on the offical website of the IRB at Documents earlier than 2003 may be found only on Refworld.

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