The office of United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) recently announced it was suspending operations in Havana.
The U.S. Embassy in Havana. Photo: U.S. Embassy in Havana
The suspension was effective as of December 23, 2017 and is still ongoing.
The word out from the U.S. Embassy there is that this is only temporary.
According to the USCIS website, though, the justification is because of staff reductions there. Since those personnel changes were in turn tied to the White House claiming as many as two dozen of its diplomatic staff in Havana were the victims of “sonic attacks”, and there is as yet no resolution as to who was responsible for the attacks, the reductions will probably stay that way for some time.
For now, there are a set of workaround procedures available for U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents of the U.S. in Cuba who need help. They are also posted on the USCIS website.
It was also noted that the USCIS “field office in Mexico City will assume Havana’s jurisdiction” for the time being.
No date is currently available for when USCIS services will resume operations again in Havana. The Trump administration's is uninterested in supporting essential diplomatic services, has slashed the State Department's budget, let go experienced personnel and failed to hire essential staff to replace the professionals that were purged. The restoration of a functioning diplomatic corps may not occur until after Trump is out of office and the U.S. has a functional executive branch.