US welcomes Cuba's decision to lift exit permit restrictions
Washington: The US has welcomed the decision by Cuba to lift restrictions on exit permit, but said it cannot predict its impact on the expected changes in migration patterns from Cuba.
"The Universal Declaration of Human Rights provides that every individual has the right to leave any country, including his or her own, and the right to return. The US welcomes any reform that allows Cubans to depart from and return to their country freely," State Department spokesperson Victoria Nuland said.
The US and Cuba, under the Migration Accords of 1994 and 1995, have stated their commitment that migration between the two countries would be safe, legal, and orderly.
Country's visa policy, governed by the Immigration and Nationality Act, remains unchanged, Nuland said yesterday, adding that Cuban citizens still require a valid US visa or entry authorisation to enter the US.
"We cannot predict if the change in exit visa requirements will lead to a change in migration patterns from Cuba, but continue to encourage people not to risk their lives by undertaking dangerous sea journeys, and we note that most countries still require that Cuban citizens have entry visas," Nuland said.