Tue | Jul 17, 2018

US ends automatic visa status for Cubans

Published:Saturday | January 14, 2017 | 1:38 PM

Outgoing United States President Barack Obama has ended a longstanding policy that grants residency to Cubans who arrive in America without visas.

The 20-year-old policy allows Cuban migrants who reach US soil to become legal permanent residents after a year.

The Cuban Government welcomed the announcement, calling it an important step in advancing relations between the two countries.

Cuba also revealed that it has agreed to start accepting Cubans who are turned away or deported from the US.

However, many Cubans residing in the US have criticised Obama’s decision, arguing that Washington is rewarding a regime that has failed to address longstanding human rights concerns.

However, Obama says despite the change, America will welcome Cubans like immigrants from other nations, consistent with US laws.