Cuban-Americans in Pennsylvania have likely heard that the United States has announced that it will start negotiations next month with Cuba regarding migration. For anyone with a relative still in Cuba, this could be an important step toward bringing him or her to the United States and to hopefully sponsor the family member with his or her application for permanent residency. This has been a privilege for most Americans with family members abroad, but one that very few Cuban-Americans have been able to take advantage of.
This move comes shortly after the government recently started talking about resuming direct mail service between the two countries. For the past 50 years, there has been no mail traveling between the two countries, so this alone is a huge step forward and, if there will be some sort of agreement about Cuban citizens traveling or immigrating to the United States, it would be progress.
American citizens can use the current immigration system to help sponsor certain relatives for permanent residency. Spouses and children under the age of 21 have the least amount of trouble getting into the country, but even a simple mistake on an application could mean lengthy delays. For other relatives, like adult children or siblings, the wait is often much longer and the process much more complex.
As it is, the United States issues 20,000 visas to Cubans every year. Since is not entirely clear what will be on the table at the planned July 17 meeting, it is hard to say whether that number will increase anytime soon.
Source: Fox News Latino, “U.S., Cuba To Resume Migration Talks After Years-Long Stalemate,” June 19, 2013