The overhaul of Cuba’s decades-old migratory law, announced three months ago, eliminates the much-detested exit visa known as the “white card” and is perhaps the most highly anticipated of a series of reforms initiated under President Raul Castro.

Observers predict it will result in only a modest initial increase in trips by Cubans, who must still get entry visas to travel to most countries, including the United States. And critics note that the law includes a “national security” clause that could be used to bar exits by government opponents, skilled workers and those privy to sensitive information.

But if applied evenhandedly, the opening would eliminate one of the biggest human rights criticisms leveled against a country that has long controlled who can leave, leading opponents to call Cuba an island prison.

Sources: AP, USA Today, BBC, CNN, Al Jazeera