Changes to services offered in Havana, Cuba

Ottawa, July 29, 2019 – On August 1, 2019, a number of visa and biometrics services that were originally offered at the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) visa office in Havana, Cuba will once again be available at the Embassy of Canada. These services will facilitate the travel of Cubans to Canada and will make the process quicker, easier and less costly for applicants.

New services

The Embassy of Canada in Havana, Cuba will offer the following services for Cuban residents starting August 1, 2019:

  • biometrics collection (fingerprints and a photo)
  • passport drop-off and visa pickup

Services still available

The Embassy of Canada to Cuba will also continue to accept all Canadian passport, proof of citizenship (citizenship certificate) and permanent resident travel document applications.

Applying for temporary residence (visa, work permit, study permit)

The Embassy of Canada is not taking paper applications in person.

If you’re applying for a visitor visa, work permit or study permit, we recommend you apply through your online account. You also have the option to submit a paper application at any visa application centre outside of Cuba.

Applying for permanent residence

You can continue to apply for permanent residence under economic and family class programs by following existing application instructions online.

Permanent residence applicants are still required to travel outside of Cuba to take their medical exam and attend interviews (if required). These services are not available in Cuba.

Those who require an interview will be given the choice to have their interview at the visa office in Port-of-Spain, Trinidad and Tobago, or Mexico City, Mexico.

Applicants can choose to take their medical exam in any country where there is a panel physician authorized by the Government of Canada.

Applicants will be contacted directly by IRCC and will be given instructions on how to arrange their medical appointment and, if required, their interview.


Applicants can schedule their biometrics appointment by contacting the Embassy of Canada at

If you are required to give your biometrics, IRCC will send you a biometric instruction letter with details on how to book your appointment. You cannot schedule your biometrics appointment until you receive the letter.

Active applications

Only IRCC officials have the authority to make decisions and oversee the processing of applications. IRCC no longer has staff working at the embassy to deliver these functions. All open/active applications are transferred to IRCC’s visa office in Mexico City for processing.

After applying, you will hear directly from the office on the next steps required. Any case-specific questions about your existing application can be directed to IRCC’s visa office in Mexico City.

For all other questions, please contact IRCC through our existing service channels.

You can find the most up-to-date information on how to apply for various immigration, visa and citizenship programs online.

Canada will continue to explore additional mitigation measures and alternative service channels to improve visa and immigration services offered to Cuban residents.

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