26 jul 2023
EE.UU
Super News

Visa Waiver Program: Ineligibility After Visiting Cuba

U.S. rules nationals of Visa Waiver Program countries who've been in Cuba, or dual nationals with Cuba, ineligible for Visa Waiver Program travel to the U.S.

Visa Waiver Program: Ineligibility After Visiting Cuba

The US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has announced that individuals who are nationals of Visa Waiver Program countries and have been present in Cuba, or who are dual nationals of both a Visa Waiver Program country and Cuba, are ineligible for travel to the United States under the Visa Waiver Program.

This decision was made after Cuba was designated as a State Sponsor of Terrorism by the U.S. Department of State on January 21, 2021.

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) updated its online and mobile applications for the Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) on July 6th to incorporate these changes.

What if your ESTA has already been approved?

If an individual's ESTA has already been approved and it is later discovered that they have been in Cuba or hold dual nationality with both a Visa Waiver Program country and Cuba, their ESTA will be revoked. Travelers whose ESTA is revoked will receive a notification indicating the change in their ESTA status.

If my ESTA has been revoked, does that imply I am prohibited from traveling to the United States?

It's important to note that while travel to the United States is not barred for those affected by this restriction, those who do not meet the exemption criteria will need to apply for a nonimmigrant visa at any U.S. embassy or consulate.

Are there any exceptions?

The Visa Waiver Program Improvement and Terrorist Travel Prevention Act of 2015 allows for limited exceptions. Military personnel and government employees are exempted from the Visa Waiver Program travel restrictions if their presence in Cuba was to carry out official duties for military service in the armed forces of a Visa Waiver Program country or as full-time government employees of a Visa Waiver Program country.

However, there are no exemptions for being in Cuba on behalf of international organizations or having dual nationality with both a Visa Waiver Program country and Cuba.

As travelers, it's essential to remain vigilant, aware of current travel restrictions, and understand the implications of Cuba's State Sponsor of Terrorism status on the Visa Waiver Program.

By staying informed and following the appropriate procedures, travelers can ensure smoother travel experiences while visiting the United States.

Check your eligibility for U.S. visas with instant results.

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