Travellers who’ve visited Cuba in final 11 years will want visa to enter US

In one among his final acts as US president, Donald Trump added Cuba to the American listing of “state sponsors of terrorism”. His successor, Joe Biden, has left the designation in place.

As a consequence, any British holidaymaker who been to Cuba previously 11 years is disqualified from utilizing the “Esta” scheme with which the overwhelming majority of UK travellers go to the US. They should as an alternative pay £137 for a visa – and wait months for an interview appointment.

A household of 4 who’ve visited the Caribbean’s largest island and now wish to go to the US face a invoice of over £500 to adjust to the rule.

The outgoing president put Cuba on the same list as Iran, North Korea and Syria on 11 January 2021 – barely every week earlier than he was changed by Mr Biden.

The classification is utilized to nations which have “repeatedly provided support for acts of international terrorism”.

The authorities in Havana strenuously rejects the accusation.

But its impact is to disqualify any potential customer to the US who has been in Cuba since 1 March 2011 from utilizing the swift on-line software course of often called Esta (the Electronic System for Travel Authorisation).

Instead, they have to attempt to get a vacationer visa – which requires cost of $160 (£137) and for the traveller to attend an appointment on the US embassy in London or consulate-general in Belfast.

But due to delays incurred through the coronavirus pandemic, there’s a severe backlog for appointments.

The US embassy in London says: “Please note that due to an increasing backlog of visa appointment requests, you may experience a significant delay between paying your visa fee and scheduling an interview appointment.

“By paying the visa fee, you acknowledge that it may take several months to schedule an interview appointment.”

Anyone who has been to Cuba and obtains Esta clearance for the US might be breaching the foundations, and will in idea be turned away upon arrival

But some travellers have instructed The Independent that they’ve efficiently visited the US utilizing passports issued since their journeys to Cuba.

Earlier this month, Cuba’s deputy overseas minister, Carlos Fernandez de Cossio, described the US position as “illegitimate, unsustainable and immoral”.

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