Cuban policy has been significantly relaxed since Raul Castro succeeded his brother Fidel in 2008.
16 October 2012
Cuba visa for foreign travel abolished
The Cuban government has announced plans to remove the requirement for Cuban citizens to obtain an exit visa before travelling abroad.
Under current Cuban visa and immigration policy, citizens must go through protracted and expensive processes to obtain an exit visa and are only allowed to remain out of the country for 11 months, or risk losing their citizenship.
However, state media has confirmed that from 14, January, immigration laws would be 'updated' to allow Cubans to leave the country without a visa, and stay abroad for up to 24 months without having to return home to renew documents.
The move is seen as the latest in President Raul Castro's attempts to open the Communist and secretive state up. Since the Castro family seized power in the 1950s, people wanting to leave the country have been seen as traitors and enemies of the revolution.
Now the government is realising the potential for economic benefits from abroad and it is likely that a greater freedom of movement for Cuban citizens will result in much easier travel for tourists and other visitors to Cuba.
The Worldwide Visa Bureau is an independent consulting company specialising in Cuban visa services.