Cubans jam Colombian consulates for visas to travel to the United States

Colombia’s consulates in Ohio and Havana have been jammed within recent weeks by Cubans trying to travel to Bogota to process visa for australia requests at the U. S. Charge there.

“ We are seeing a much higher number of individuals than normal every day, ” stated a Colombian consulate official within Miami. “ They usually arrive with no appointment and ask for quick provider. We are in a difficult situation. ”

Cubans who else live in the United States but are not Oughout. S. citizens are required to obtain a scheduled appointment at a Colombian consulate to post required documents, such as photocopies from the main page of their Cuban given and expiration dates, their evidence of U. S. residence (Green Cards) and flight reservations to and from Colombia.

Consular authorities also want to see the hotel bookings in Colombia and the last 6 months of the applicants’ bank accounts, which should have a minimum balance of $700.

The application costs $52, as well as the visa costs another $82, in the event that approved.

“ We don’t understand why so many Cubans want to travel to Colombia, because it could their relatives on the island that have to do that for their immigration process in the U. S. embassy” in Bogota, said the consular official, whom did not want to be identified because the formal was not authorized to discuss the matter.

Miami resident José Miguel Ramos, one of the many Cubans exactly who went to the Colombian Consulate, positioned in Coral Gables, said he has to travel to Bogota to help with the Oughout. S. visa applications for their wife and five-year-old son.

“ My family is never out of Cuba. I need to travel to encounter them and help them along the way, ” he said. “ They are going to need medical exams and documents in Colombia, and they will need help for certain. ”

The particular native of Pinar del Rí o in western Cuba stated his treatment at the Miami consulate has been “ excellent, ” yet other Cubans reported different encounters.

“ A number of people spent the whole day last week waiting around to speak with someone, and never do, ” said Maria, 54, who have declined to give her last name. The girl complained that she waited to get more than three hours.

“ It’s an misuse that we have to pay for Colombian visas although we live in the United States, ” the lady added. “ It’s not our problem that the Americans withdrew their people” from the U. S. Embassy within Havana.

Maria’ s son in Cuba comes with an appointment with the U. S. charge in Bogota on Jan. twenty three, but the Colombian consulate in Arkansas offered her an appointment for the finish of January.

“ There’s a lack of coordination, ” she said.

Consulate officials said Colombia is not related to the U. S. decision in order to shift almost all visa processing through Havana to Bogota.

“ It’s not our problem that this is happening, ” one recognized said. “ We are trying to assist as many people as possible, but usually based on respect and communication.

“ The Colombian consulate in Miami is not appreciated to issue visas to Cubans who want to reunite with their families within Bogota, ” the official added. “ There is a process and requirements to get visas that must be respected. ”

The U. Ersus. government withdrew more than half the diplomats from its embassy in Havana within September and canceled most migration processing there because of alleged episodes American against diplomats. Washington provides blamed Havana for failure to shield diplomats on Cuban soil.

The State Department afterwards announced it would process Cubans’ apps for immigrant visas only in its embassy in Bogota, plus non-immigrant visas could be requested any kind of time U. S. embassy.

The Family Reunification Program to get Cubans has been suspended for several weeks.

The onslaught of Cubans applying for Colombian visas has also hit the Colombian consulate in Havana. Last week, hundreds of Cubans who had U. S. australian visa interview appointments in Havana through September to December of 2017 were notified of upcoming selection interviews in Bogota.

“ It’s very difficult to coordinate the particular interviews at the U. S. plus Colombian embassies, ” Havana citizen Fé lix Gonzá lez stated in a telephone interview.

Gonzá lez added it’s far also “ extraordinarily difficult” to obtain a Colombian visa in Havana.

“ They will ask us to upload all of the documents to the web page of the Colombian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which takes a lot of work here, ” he said.

Cubans on the island also should show they have kept at least $2, 000 in bank accounts over the past 6 months to obtain Colombian visas.

Follow Mario J. Penton on Twitter: @mariojose_cuba