United States changes its B2 visa policy for Cuban citizens

Beginning Monday, the B2 visa validity for Cuban nationals will be down to three months with one entry, the U.S. Embassy in Havana announced Friday.

B2 visas cover visits by relatives, for tourism and travel for medical purposes. Current five-year B2s won’t be affected, the embassy said, and no other types of visas will be changed.

The reasoning put forth by the embassy, in an announcement on its website: The move puts U.S. visa fees and validity periods on the same plane as Cuba’s policy toward U.S. citizens.

“U.S. immigration law requires that U.S. visa fees and validity periods be reciprocal, insofar as practicable, with the treatment accorded to U.S. citizens,” the embassy said. “Cuba allows U.S. citizen tourists a single entry for a stay of two months, with a possible 30-day extension to three months total, for $50. Before the validity change, we allowed Cuban B2 applicants a 60-month, multiple-entry visa for a fee of $160.”