Apply for permanent residence in Cuba
I am a Canadian citizen and want to live in Cuba with my boyfriend. He says that if I marry him, it is fine if I live with him in Cuba. It is too difficult and an expensive process to sponsor him to come to Canada. If I apply for permanent residence in Cuba, can I leave Cuba at any time I want? (I don't want to be trapped in the country like the Cubans) Also how can I support myself there? It's around 700 CUC for a decent apartment.
Answer by Vic, webmaster
As a Canadian citizen you are privileged. The Cuban tourist visa for a Canadian citizens is valid for 90 days and can be extended once for another 90 days period, than you have to leave the country for at least 48 hours and can start with a new tourist visa. As a matter of fact you can stay almost half a year in Cuba on your tourist visa, of course you have to leave the country after each period of 180 days. Most foreigners travel for a weekend to Cancun (Mexico) or to the Bahamas. (air tickets round 350-500 cuc). Note that other foreigners have to leave Cuba after a period of 60 days (2x 30 days). There are foreigners living in Cuba who travel six times per year back and forth, after time it is expensive, so a permanent residence in Cuba can be a solution, but has its disadvantages too, there is a lot of red tape!
1) You have to make a deposit of 5,000 CUC in a Cuban bank as a guarantee.
2) Officially married to a Cuban citizen.
3) Pass a medical examination.
4) Prove that you have a residence, normally the house of the "Cuban partner".
5) Prove that you have sufficient income to live in Cuba (e.g. Salary, pension, income from abroad.
Note: when you get a Cuban permanent residence you are subject to Cuban laws, you get a Cuban identity card (carnet), a libreta (ration book) are allowed to pay in CUP (peso national) BUT,... to leave the country you need to apply for a Cuban exit visa. You can negociate a long term rent of a "casa particular" starting from 650-700 cuc per month, don't expect any luxury for this price.
In general Cuba is not a cheap country for foreigners. Your major problem will be your income. Forget it to find work in Cuba.
Even if you can find work on the island you are paid by the government according to Cuban standards, this means 400-600 Cup per month (10-25$). Before you jump be sure to have a decent income source from abroad. GOOD LUCK!