The US government could come closer to fulfilling its promise to the Cuban people to deliver 20,000 immigrant visas over the course of this fiscal year.
To date, a total of 13,656 visas have been issued, according to data from the US State Department analyzed by el Nuevo Herald.
During the current fiscal year, which runs from October 2021 to September 30, an average of 1,517 visas per month have been delivered.
Here is a breakdown of the five visa categories with the most approved applications in fiscal year 2022.
Here is the definition of each:
IR5: Parents claimed by children with US citizenship.
FX: Spouse or children of permanent residents.
IR1: Foreign citizens who have been married to a US citizen for two years or more.
IR2: Unmarried children under 21 years of age.
DV: Diversity Visa Program Lottery.
A total of 975 Cubans were winners in the Visa Lottery drawing for this fiscal year. Which means that, in that category, there are still 433 petitions to process.
Last May, President Joe Biden announced a series of measures to demonstrate his administration’s support for the Cuban people.
Many of these provisions had been affected during the presidency of Donald Trump. That is why this could be the first time since 2017 that the US government would meet its goal of delivering 20,000 visas.
However, in the past two months, only 401 immigrant visas have been processed in Havana.
“In reality, it is an extremely low, ridiculous figure, for what the embassy in Havana should be processing right now,” said Wilfredo O. Allen, an immigration attorney in Miami, in statements to the CiberCuba portal.
The low number is because the US Embassy in Havana is only offering limited emergency nonimmigrant visa services. To learn about the processes that are available, you can visit the embassy’s website.
Many Cubans interested in applying for a US visa have been forced to travel to Guyana. The South American country has become one of the main centers to meet these requests.
“Maintaining visa processing in Guyana is a costly drain on Cuban applicants and their families,” Allen denounced.
The figure of 20,000 visas that the Biden administration aims to grant does not seem to be enough to discourage the immigration of people without papers either.
So far this fiscal year, more than 140,000 Cubans entered the country without documents. This number becomes the largest exodus of Cubans to the United States in more than six decades, breaking the record that Mariel had set in 1980 when nearly 125,000 Cubans arrived in just seven months.
This story was originally published on July 30, 2022 2:02 p.m.