The Cuban government announced Tuesday that it would end exit visa requirements as of Jan. 13, which will allow Cubans to depart the country for a period of time, or forever, with only a passport and visa from their country of destination.
According to the New York Times, the move represents the latest significant step by the Cuban government to eliminate restrictions on Cuba’s population while still maintaining substantial control.
Doctors, scientists and other professionals, who have historically faced heavy government restrictions on travel, may be ineligible to leave.
Analysts have said the government is encouraging more Cubans to travel and earn money elsewhere, which will introduce foreign capital to the island’s stagnant economy, according to the Times.
The government has reserved the right to deny travel to dissidents against the government for “defense and national security” reasons.