How long does it take to get a Cuban Visa?

Americans who visit Cuba must have three things in place:
  • A legal US passport with at least six months left before expiration. 
  • A government-issued license to visit Cuba.
  • A Cuba Tourist Card.

Each of those documents can create a delay in your travel plans. Each must be in your possession before you are allowed enter Cuba.

If your passport has less than six months left before it expires, you may be delayed.

The US government still considers tourist travel to Cuba illegal. Americans may not travel to Cuba as tourists.

However, US citizens are free travel to Cuba legally if they apply for a license that states their purpose for visiting Cuba. The license replaces a formal visa.

Licenses are regularly approved. However completing the application incorrectly can cause delays in your plans.

The Cuba Tourist Card is an electronic travel document issued by the Cuban government. Every visitor who enters Cuba as a tourist must have one.

Missing steps in this process can create confusion and delay your travel to Cuba. You must be careful to honor both American and Cuban interests.

How long does it take to get a Cuban Tourist Visa?

It is difficult to estimate how long it takes to get a visa to travel to Cuba. It may be days, if everything goes smoothly. If not, it may be weeks.

Americans who travel to Cuba must first work with the US Department of Treasury to obtain a license for the trip. 

A “general license” is issued to cover the following travel purposes:

  • Family visits 
  • Official government business 
  • Journalism
  • Professional and academic research meetings
  • Educational activities 
  • Religious activities 
  • Public performances, clinics, workshops, athletic competitions or 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

If your purpose for travel is not on this list, you will need to apply to the US government for a “specific license” that describes your purpose.

The Cuban Tourist Card is available upon arrival in Havana. However, some travelers have been unable to board their departure flight because they did not have the card.

Visitors to Cuba must travel on a round trip ticket. They must declare where they will spend their first night. And they must follow a travel itinerary.

These are just a few of the factors that influence your experience in Cuba. They are also great reasons to work with a reputable and experienced agency to secure your Cuba travel documents.

You can get your Cuba Visa Online NOW

The Cuba Travel Card is available for purchase online. Travel experts say a smooth online process can reduce the wait from weeks to just minutes.

Applications are handled at through a simple 2-step form. Expert support is available 24 hours per day. 

Other frequently asked questions

Where to get a VISA for Cuba?

How to get a Visa for Cuba?

How can I visit Cuba?

How much is a Visa to Cuba?