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Cuban Adjustment Act (CAA)

The Cuban Adjustment Act is a U.S. federal law that was enacted in 1966. The law provides a pathway to…

The Cuban Adjustment Act is a U.S. federal law that was enacted in 1966. The law provides a pathway to legal residency for Cuban natives or citizens in the United States. The law grants work authorization permits and lawful permanent residency to Cubans who have been physically present in the United States for at least one year. The law was enacted to destabilize Castro’s government and led to an influx of Cuban immigrants into the United States at various times. Family members may also seek permanent resident status through the Cuban Adjustment Act.

The law has been amended multiple times since its creation, and it was last amended by President Obama in 2017 to end the wet foot/dry foot policy. The policy allowed Cuban migrants who reached U.S. soil to remain in the country and apply for legal residency, while those intercepted at sea were returned to Cuba.

  • The law applies only to Cuban citizens or natives, and not to citizens of other countries
  • The Cuban national must reside in the U.S. for a minimum of one year before being eligible for permanent resident status
  • It also includes non-Cuban spouses and children of Cubans
  • The Cuban national must be admissible to the U.S., or be eligible for a waiver of inadmissibility
  • The must have proof of their Cuban nationality

The law has been controversial since its creation, and some critics have argued that it gives preferential treatment to Cuban immigrants over immigrants from other countries. It has also been blamed for encouraging Cuban migrants to attempt dangerous and illegal crossings into the U.S. Cuban nationals also use other means to legally enter the U.S. temporarily or permanently. One way is through the Cuban Family Reunification Parole program, which allows U.S. citizens or permanent residents to apply for parole for Cuban family members.

Cubans can also seek asylum in the U.S., if they face persecution in their home country. However, the Cuban Adjustment Act is still in effect, and many Cuban immigrants have been able to obtain legal residency and citizenship in the United States through this law.

If you are a Cuban national who has been in the U.S. for at least one year, the US Immigration Law Counsel can help you to apply for permanent resident status.

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