WASHINGTON – Today, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), through the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), announced the reopening of an international field office in Havana, Cuba. The Havana office will assist with U.S. immigration benefits and services, including conducting interviews and processing cases for pending Cuban Family Reunification Parole (CFRP) cases and Form I-730, Refugee/Asylee Relative Petitions.
“This administration is taking steps to reduce unlawful entries, deny resources to ruthless smuggling organizations, and streamline access to lawful, safe, and orderly pathways for those seeking humanitarian relief. Reopening the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services field office in Havana helps us do just that.” said Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro N. Mayorkas. “Cubans like my own family, who nearly 63 years ago fled the communist takeover, deserve the same opportunity to follow legal pathways to build a new life in the United States. Our Department is committed to building and enforcing a lawful, humane, and secure immigration system, and we will continue to work with countries across the hemisphere and around the world to ensure it.”
The USCIS Havana Field Office will provide other limited services, which may include refugee processing and other limited appointment-only services. Services at the Havana Field Office will be available only by appointment. USCIS will update the USCIS International Immigration Offices page in the coming weeks with more information about services and appointments.
Under the previous administration, USCIS officially closed the Havana Field Office on December 10, 2018, due to a reallocation of agency resources and the long-term suspension of operations in 2017 after the U.S. Department of State ordered all non-essential personnel and families to depart Cuba.
On June 9, 2022, DHS announced it was resuming operations under the Cuban Family Reunification Parole (CFRP) program, which was established in 2007 to provide a safe, orderly pathway for certain Cuban beneficiaries of approved family-based immigrant petitions (Form I-130) to wait in the United States for their immigrant visas to become available. CFRP allows certain eligible U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents, who receive an invitation letter, to apply for parole for their family members in Cuba. DHS recently streamlined the process to allow CFRP applicants to complete most steps on a secure online platform, modernizing the process so that it is more efficient. In January, the Biden-Harris administration also announced a new process to permit up to 30,000 individuals per month from Cuba, Haiti, Nicaragua, and Venezuela (CHNV) who have a U.S.-based financial supporter, pass vetting and background checks, and meet other established criteria, to come to the United States for a period of two years and receive work authorization.
USCIS’ renewed presence in Cuba is part of an effort to restore USCIS’ footprint outside the United States. These efforts are consistent with the Biden-Harris Administration’s commitment to facilitate safe, legal, and orderly migration while discouraging irregular and dangerous maritime migration.