Papers Relating to the Foreign Relations of the United States, For the Year 1887, Transmitted to Congress, With a Message of the President, June 26, 1888
to Mr. Strobel.
Washington , October 20, 1887.
Sir: I transmit for your information a copy of a dispatch from Havana, on the subject of new passport regulations for Americans, as contained in the royal order of July 30 last.
The Department suspends any expression of opinion on the new rules until their practical working shall be better known.
I am, etc.,
Mr. Springer to Mr. Porter.
Havana , September 13, 1887. (Received September 21.)
Sir: Referring to previous dispatches from this office, regarding the passport system of this island, and the regulations to be observed by foreigners, especially Americans, upon arrival and departure therefrom, I have now the honor to transmit herewith copy and translation of a communication from the general government, inclosing copies of the Official Gazette containing the royal order of July 30 last.
By virtue of this royal order American citizens can now come into this island, provided with any kind of an official document, sufficient to prove their identity, without the former requirement of the visa thereto of the Spanish consul.
Those arriving without any document whatever must make a sworn statement to their identity, supported by witnesses, before the civil authority, or before their consul, who will furnish a duly attested complete copy thereof to the civil authority.
By this order the fee of a passport visa for Americans leaving Cuba has been reduced to 25 cents.
I am, sir,
Mr. Pujals to Mr. Williams.
Secretary’s Office. [undated].
Board of Police and Public Works.
By order of his excelleney the governor-general, I have the honor to transmit to you herewith two copies of the Official Gazette of Havana, of to-day’s date, on the second page of which have been published a royal order dated 30th July last, and the corresponding instructions of this government upon the requirements to be observed by Americans in order to come and remain in this island, or to leave the same, begging that you will please endeavor, in so far as you may be able, to have this change reach the knowledge of whoever may be concerned in the subject.
As an explanation of the fact of fixing, in the royal order and in rule 3 of the instructions, upon three months only after arrival as the maximum of the time within which the said Americans can leave the country, by presenting to the superior civil authority at the point of departure, some one of the documents referred to in rules I and 2 of the said instructions, his excellency has been pleased to order to make known to you that, according to articles 5 and 6 of the law relating to foreigners, of July 4, 1870, foreigners are obliged within three months after their arrival in Cuba either to be considered as emigrants for not having identified themselves, or if they have already fulfilled this requirement, are bound to inscribe themselves in the register of foreigners, and therefore to obtain a police pass (cédula) gratis, which document will serve them upon their departure, in accordance with the said royal order and rule 4 of the instructions.
God guard you many years.
Royal order concerning passports in Cuba.
Board of police and public order.
The colonial ministry communicates the following royal order to this Government.
Colonial Ministry, No. 857.
Excellency: In conformity with the opinion of the colonial department of the council of state, His Majesty the King, and in his name the Queen Regent of the Kingdom, has been pleased to decree:
- American citizens may come to the island, of Cuba without passport s, but identifying their persons by the documents referred to in article 4 of the law of July 4, 1870.
- Those who are not registered as transient, and shall have resided in the island less than three months, may leave the same upon presenting the documents by which their entrance was authorized to the superior civil authority of the place of departure, in order that after being noted in a special register, the said document may be visaed.
- American citizens who may have obtained domicile or transient passes (cédulas) shall produce them to the authority for the same purpose mentioned in the foregoing article; and
- The register and visa of the documents to which the foregoing articles refer shall be effected, prompted in ordinary cases to avoid delay and annoyance, and a moderate fee shall be charged, to be paid in stamped paper or stamp to be duly canceled.
Which, by royal order, and inclosing copy of the opinion of the said colonial department, I communicate to your excellency for your information and compliance therewith.
In virtue whereof his excellency the governor-general has been pleased to dictate the following rules:
(1) In accordance with the prescriptions of article 4 of the law relating to foreigners of July 4, 1870, citizens of the United States may come to the island of Cuba provided either with passports, notarial certificate, or any other official document which shall identify their person without the necessity of the consul’s visa thereto.
Those who may arrive without any document whatever shall make, before the civil authority of the place where they intend to reside, or before their consuls, a sworn statement, supported by witnesses, for the same purpose of identification; and in the latter case the consul shall furnish the said authority with a copy of the statement, complete and duly attested. All these services shall be performed officially and without charge.
(2) The civil authority before whom the said statement is made, or who shall receive the copy of that made before the consul, will furnish the applicant with a certificate, issued officially and free of charge, as prescribed in article 14 of said law.
(3) Citizens of the United States who are not registered as transient, and may desire to leave the island before the three months after their arrival, will present to the superior civil authority of the place of departure the document with which they may be provided, where, after being noted in a special register, it will be visaed, after the payment of 25 cents in stamps, to be affixed to the document and canceled in due form, which operation will be performed in all ordinary cases with promptness, not to cause annoyance and delay to travelers.
(4) Citizens of the United States who, in accordance with the said law relating to foreigners, are provided with passes (cédulas) as domiciled or transient residents, will present them when they intend leaving the island to the proper authority at the point of departure for the purpose of visa, upon the payment of 25 cents in stamps, to be affixed to the pass and canceled, as before stated.
(5) The chief of the harbor police, encharged with the inspection of vessels, when citizens of the United States arrive provided with any of the documents mentioned in the first paragraph of rule 1, will take note of the party concerned and of the office where the document was issued, which, after being stamped with the seal of his office, will be immediately returned to the owner.
Those who arrive without any document may land freely upon the condition of making afterwards the statement mentioned in the second paragraph of the same rule.
(6) If, by any unforeseen event, note should not have been taken of the traveler’s document by the inspector of the harbor police, this circumstance will not be considered a reason for refusing the visa of departure, unless a special cause should exist to render the contrary advisable.
Neither will the fact that note has been taken of the document at a different port from that in which the party interested intends leaving the island be considered a reason for refusing the said requirement of visa.
(7) The chief of the harbor police will transmit daily to the superior civil authority of the place to which the post belongs a comprehensive statement of the notes he has taken in compliance with rule 5.
(8) Should it happen that at any point of departure the civil governor or municipal mayor should not have their residence there, the officer of police or other civil functionary of higher grade will, after noting the document in a special register, visa the same, unless that formality should have previously been complied with by another superior authority of the district to which the place belongs.
By order of H. E. the foregoing is published in the Official Gazette for general information and exact compliance therewith.