On January 4, 2023, the U.S. Embassy in Havana will resume immigrant visa processing for immediate relatives, family preference applicants, diversity visa applicants and visas for K fiancées.
Until then, the U.S. Embassy Georgetown in Guyana will continue to process immigrant visa applications for Cubans with appointments scheduled through the end of December 2022.
Consular services were suspended in Havana in 2017 due to reports of Havana Syndrome (illnesses with unknown causes that first affected people at the U.S. Embassy in Havana in 2016-17). Since then, visa applicants resident in Cuba have had to apply in Georgetown, some 2,000 miles from Cuba.
Immigrant visa applicants who are being scheduled for January 2023 appointments in Havana started to receive those notices in November. Anyone originally scheduled in Georgetown will complete processing there. These cases will not be transferred from Georgetown to Havana.
Havana will process diversity visas for applicants residing in Cuba beginning in January 2023. Because the Havana option does not appear for diversity applicants in the dropdown menu on the DS-260, applicants should continue to select Georgetown for the DV-2023 program year. If the applicant’s residential address is in Cuba and the case has not already been scheduled in Georgetown, the case will be reassigned automatically to Havana.
The Embassy in Havana will work to expand visa processing while it continues to provide essential American citizen services and limited emergency nonimmigrant processing. Updates can be found on the Embassy’s website.
The resumption of visa processing in Havana reportedly is in exchange for Cuba agreeing to accept its own citizens who are being deported from the United States for entering illegally.
Applicants are being warned not to pay any visa processing fees to third parties. There is no additional fee to make an appointment. Visa processing fees are paid to the National Visa Center (NVC) (Immigrant Visas), Scotiabank Guyana (NIV & Fiancé Visas), or, in limited cases, directly to the Embassy’s cashier. Please e-mail FPUGeorge@state.gov if you are asked to pay any extra fees for an appointment.
Finally, those traveling to Guyana for an immigrant or non-immigrant visa interview, who are at least 12 years old, must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19. There is no longer a testing requirement for entry.
Jackson Lewis attorneys are available to assist you with any questions regarding the application process in Havana.