The Cuban Ministry of Tourism reports that over 618,000 Americans visited Cuba in 2017, up from just 63,000 in 2010. Americans represent almost 25% of Cuba’s total visitors.
The Ministry of Tourism expects the “Pearl of the Antilles” to welcome over 5 million tourists in 2019. Percentages suggest that over 1 million of them will be Americans.
As US citizens become more aware of Cuba’s allure, experts expect a rising tide of Americans to visit Cuba. Given the two countries’ controversial history, it is natural to wonder how to obtain a visa for Cuba.
How Do I Get a Tourist Visa for Cuba?
For Americans, “tourist” is the key word in this question. Tourist travel to Cuba is still prohibited by the US government.
However, Americans are permitted to travel to Cuba if they declare a non-tourism purpose for their travel. US citizens may travel to Cuba under a “license,” not a formal visa.
Since 2014, Americans have been allowed visit Cuba under a government-issued “general license.” They must complete an application for the license and officially declare the purpose of their travel. That purpose must be one of the following:
- Family visits
- Official government business
- 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
Visitors to Cuba self-declare their reason for travel during the license application process. The licenses are readily available. However, experts caution travelers to comply with their stated purpose.
Those who travel for a purpose other than one of those listed above may need to apply for a “specific license.” The specific license is subject to approval by the US Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC).
In addition to the general license, Americans who wish to visit Cuba also need:
- A valid US passport with at least 6 months left until its renewal date. Experts remind travelers that Cuba will mark the 6 months from the visitors departure date, not arrival.
- A Cuba Tourist Card. This is required of all citizens, no matter their home country. The Cuba Tourist Card permits visitors to remain in Cuba for up to 30 days. The card can be extended for one more 30 day period once the visitor is in Cuba.
Can I Get a VISA to Cuba Online?
Although it is not difficult for Americans to obtain a visa for Cuba, the process can be complex. There are two governments involved and the details can be challenging.
On the other hand, there are agencies online who know exactly how to get a visa to travel to Cuba. They are properly authorized and specialize in helping travelers secure these documents.
When choosing how to get a visa for Cuba through an online provider, it is important to work with an experienced agency. They can provide insights and details visitors might otherwise miss.
For example, visitors must have a round trip ticket with a designated departure date in order to enter Cuba. All visitors to Cuba must have medical insurance coverage. And visitors must disclose the place where they intend to spend their first night.
Travel experts advise travelers to secure their Cuba Tourist Card at least a week ahead of time. The simplest and most efficient way to get a card is to work with a reputable and experienced agency.
According to VisaCuba-Online.com an online purchase can take as little as 10 minutes. The site’s application process is a simple 2-step form. It is supported by experts 24 hours per day.