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Canada restores a portion of its embassy services in Cuba

EmbacanadaAs of August 1, Canada restored a portion of visa services suspended at its Havana embassy, ​​according to Prensa Latina.

Cuban residents will be able to obtain fingerprints and photos necessary for applications at the embassy, ​​as well as leave passports and collect visas at the building.

The report indicated that this new announcement does not restore the full list of services cut, but Canada’s Immigration, Refugee, and Citizenship services stated that the restoration of these services should make procedures faster, easier, and less expensive for applicants.

Despite the return of some services, all active applications were transferred from Havana to Mexico City for processing. Applicants for permanent residence must travel outside of Cuba for any medical exam or interview that is required.

Cuba’s ambassador to Canada, Josefina Vidal, reported that Cuba submitted an official protest to authorities in that country regarding the elimination of immigration services.

During an interview, the diplomat said that the Cuban government did not understand the reason for the closure or the substantial reduction in staff at the Canadian embassy in Havana.

Canadian authorities stated that the measure was adopted as a result of mysterious ailments reported by several Canadian diplomats stationed in Cuba in 2017 and initially attributed to “sonic attacks.”

She added that Canada is following the U.S. model assumed by the Donald Trump administration, forcing Cubans seeking a U.S. visa to travel to an embassy in a third country, such as Colombia.

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