For many Americans, a trip to Cuba fulfills a lifelong dream. Yet as they consider a trip to this beautiful and mysterious island, they often ask what is required to get a Cuba visa for US citizens?
Part of Cuba’s mystique for Americans is its identity as a “prohibited” destination. In fact, the US State Department officially forbids regular tourist travel to Cuba. However, Americans may travel to Cuba quite easily if they follow the correct procedures to obtain a visa to visit Cuba.
For Americans, travel to Cuba is regulated by an office of the US Treasury. Technically, US citizens travel to Cuba under a license, not a regular visa.
The Treasury grants two kinds of licenses: general and specific. General licenses cover 11 broad travel purposes, which include:
- Family visits
- Official government business
- Professional and academic research meetings
- Educational activities
- Religious activities
- Public performances, clinics, workshops, athletic competitions exhibitions
- Support for the Cuban people
- Humanitarian efforts
- Activities on behalf of private foundations or institutes
- Export, import, or transmission of information or informational materials
These purposes are self-declared during the license application process. They are
lightly regulated but travelers are expected to comply with their stated purpose.
The Treasury Department also accepts applications for specific licenses in cases
where travel does not apply to one of the general license categories.
Do US citizens need a VISA for Cuba?
With a clear understanding of their purpose for visiting Cuba, Americans need these three items:
- A valid US Passport. US Citizens must present their original US passport and not a passport card upon arrival in Cuba. Travel experts advise visitors to make sure they have at least six months until the expiration date of their passports.
- The Cuba General License, which takes the place of a standard visa for travel to Cuba. Once they declare their category for travel, Americans can complete an application for the license. To minimize fraudulent applications, travel providers generally require travelers to sign a travel affidavit regarding their trips and plans. US immigration officials often examine the affidavit upon a visitor’s return from Cuba. Travelers can usually complete license arrangements within one week.
- A Cuba Tourist Card. The Cuba Tourist Card is an official travel authorization
document. It is granted by the Cuban government and is not related to the general license. All citizens, no matter their home country, must obtain a Cuba Tourist Card. The card is a multi-entry document. There is no limit to the number of times a card holder may enter Cuba. The card permits visitors to stay in Cuba for up to 30 days and may be be extended once for another 30 days.
Cuba VISA requirements for US citizens
The US State Department cautions US citizens who travel to Cuba to carefully follow local customs and requirements.For example, Cuba requires all visitors to provide proof that they have non-US medical insurance.
Cuba is also very careful to monitor attempts to enter the country illegally or aid in the unauthorized departure of Cuban citizens. Finally, the Cuban Embassy publishes specific requirements for travelers who intend to be married, divorced or bring along pets as they travel to Cuba.
Like traveling to any country, when arranging to get a visa for travel to Cuba, it is wise to work with an experienced provider. They can provide insights about details visitors might otherwise miss.
For example, in order to enter Cuba, visitors must travel on a round trip ticket with a specific exit date. Also, visitors must list the first house or hotel where they will stay upon arrival their first night.
Travel experts advise travelers to purchase the Cuba Tourist Card at least a week before their trip. Although the documentation process is quite smooth, some travelers have been denied passage to Cuba because they do not have the card.
Business travelers and journalists need to have a visa issued by the Cuban consulate. This process takes at least three weeks, or it may take longer if the application is submitted from a country other than their own.
Before leaving for Cuba, US citizens must make sure they have the correct card and documentation in hand. Those who fly from the US directly to Cuba receive a pink card. Travelers from other countries are issued a green card. Cuban customs officials can refuse entry to travelers who are carrying the wrong card. They may also stop those who present a card that does not read correctly.
How to get a Cuba VISA from US?
Visa requirements for travel to Cuba can be complex, especially for first-time visitors. The simplest and most reliable way to get a Cuba Tourist Card is to work with a reputable and experienced agency.
With a reputable and efficient firm, the process requires only basic information and can be completed online in just a few minutes.
Cuba Tourist Cards are available at American airports with outbound flights to Cuba. They can also be purchased at the airport in Havana. However, travel experts strongly recommend that US citizens purchase a card in advance.
In Miami, for example, American Airlines passengers may purchase travel documents on site. Passengers have to locate the “Cuba Ready” kiosk near one of two departure checkpoints and present their documents to purchase a card.
According to travel advisers and online forum participants, these airport lines can be long and cumbersome for passengers. American Airlines advises its customers to plan on spending 3 hours to complete the process.
Meanwhile, it may require only 10 minutes to purchase documents online. At visacuba-online.com, the application process is handled through a simple 2-step form. Site visitors may call on its expert support 24 hours per day. The agency uses international shipping leader DHL to ensure that its customers documents are delivered safely and on time.
As a private agency, visacuba-online.com is dedicated to its customers’ satisfaction. It is not affiliated with the government of Cuba or other third parties.
The site charges a modest $69 service fee for providing high quality travel and immigration services. It serves individuals and legal entities, such as private organizations, companies or civic institutions. Government fees of $120 are also assessed.
In addition, when determining where to get a visa for Cuba travel, visacuba-online.com provides expert help to sort out any Cuba visa requirements or special circumstances for the trip.
With visacuba-online.com, customers may expect professional travel assistance in support and submission of their Cuba Visa application, quick and accurate information regarding application status and results via email or comparable methods.