Can I travel to Cuba?

Back in January there were some changes to the government rules on travel to Cuba and since that time we’ve had a lot of people ask: is it legal for me to fly to Cuba?

map of havana, Cuba

While not everyone can go to Cuba, there are now twelve reasons provided by the government that do give you the right to travel there.  If you fit into one of these twelve categories, you qualify under a “general license” and don’t need the U.S. government to issue you a “specific license” anymore!

The permitted reasons to travel to Cuba (as defined by the U.S. Government) are:

  1. Family visits
  2. Official business of the U.S. government, foreign governments, and certain intergovernmental organizations
  3. Journalistic activity
  4. Professional research and professional meetings
  5. Educational activities
  6. Religious activities
  7. Public performances, clinics, workshops, athletic and other competitions, and exhibitions
  8. Support for the Cuban people
  9. Humanitarian projects
  10. Activities of private foundations or research or educational institutes
  11. Exportation, importation, or transmission of information or information materials
  12. Certain authorized export transactions

If you meet the criteria and you’re ready to fly to Cuba, just search flights to Havana right here on CheapAir.com. CheapAir is the first online travel agency where Americans can book flights from the United States to Cuba. You’ll be boarding your flight to Cuba in no time!

For answers to many common questions about flying to Cuba please see our Cuba Travel FAQs.

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139 Comments

  1. I have a Cuban Passaport that expired a few years back and I also have a valid American Passaport. I only visited Cuba once before in a direct flight from Miami to Cuba in 2003. Can I travel to Cuba throught Mexico with my American Passaport with no trouble to enter Cuba? To visit my father.

  2. Are you still selling tickets to Camaguey, Cuba online.? I was trying to get one and reservation system doesn’t work properly !!!

    1. Hi Jose,

      Yes, we are. Flights to/from Camaguey can only be booked from Miami for Sundays or Fridays. So you have to be sure you’re checking the right dates. Flights are available till October 31, 2015. Flights will be available for after October 31st in mid-May. If you need any help, you can call us directly at 1-800-243-2724.

  3. My husband is a general contractor…..we are thinking in moving to cuba….do you think we will be able to do it.

  4. Hello CheapAir,
    I am French citizen and I will be in the US this summer. I wanted to take this opportunity to visit Cuba. I will do all the paper necessary to be able to enter into the country and it shouldn’t be a problem. However, I wanted to know if we can use your services to fly over there. Is it possible also for non-US citizen? Thank you in advance. Charley.

      1. Hello,

        Are you 100% sure that those rules do not apply to French Cityzens. I have to arrange a trip for two clients (french) who will be in New York and want to spend a week in Cuba. Before I book though, I want to make sure that they will be able to board. Is there a place I can check this info.

        Thank you!

        1. Hi Michael, Yes these rules do not apply to any foreign nationals. It’s an interesting time for travel to Cuba from the United States. At the moment, a few airlines have come on line to sell commercial flights and some of them are including the Cuban tourist card (visa). If you book with a charter company or one of the airlines that are not offering visa services, you may have to assist them with procuring a tourist card. In any event, as far as the restrictions go, they 100% do not affect any foreign nationals (those foreign nationals living in the U.S. on work visas are a different story, of course).

          1. Can you please clarify those foreign nationals living in the U.S. on a work visas fall into different category. I am an Australian citizen working in the U.S. Does this mean I cannot fly directly from the U.S to Cuba? Thanks

          2. Hi Lucien, Yes it’s true. Your work visa puts you into a different category than if you were to just be planning a holiday to the U.S. from Brisbane or wherever in Australia and decided to take a detour to Havana. In that case, you’d be free to book your ticket and leave with zero consequences on your return. There are different rules for work visa holders so definitely sort that out with the issuing agency OR your employer (if you’re sponsored, they should have an immigration attorney who helped you set up the visa to begin with that could answer whether or not you’ll be permitted to travel to Havana). In truth, a lot of Americans have circumvented the ban on travel to Cuba over the years because no one bothered to look closely at their passport or ask too many questions when they were returning to the States. At the moment (with commercial and leisure travel soon to be reinstated), it is a bit of an odd time where the regular rules of “engagement” seem to be in flux. But, in the case of foreign nationals on work visas, it’s worth a bit of investigation. That’s a more complicated area than we are qualified to offer guidance. Apologies and good luck to you!

  5. I am Canadian, living in the United States temporarily. Am I able to fly out of Miami without meeting any of the 12 criteria?

    1. Hi Reg,

      You’ll want to confirm the necessary documents required to travel from South Africa to Cuba with your local embassy. All you need to do is book your desired flights and select one of the twelve reasons for traveling to Cuba. This is only used for U.S. citizens, but you will need to select one of the reasons. Upon completing your booking, you will receive a confirmation email from us and the Cuban charter company will contact you to review your passport documents and visas to ensure you’re good. Definitely let us know if you need any assistance with finding flights.

  6. i am Vietnamese. I will be in Miami next week and i already have cuban visa. Can i take a direct flight from miami to Havana? Please clarify. Thanks

    1. Hi Tan,

      Yes, you can purchase these flights. You will still have to select one of the 12 reasons for traveling, but that really only applies to U.S. citizens. Just select one of them and upon completing your booking, you’ll be contacted by the charter company which will review your travel documents to ensure you’re good to go.

  7. Hello, I am a lesbian in a domestic partner relationship and my partner is Cuban-American (born in the U.S.) who is planning on visiting her family in Havana. Can I visit with her under the “family visit” reason? Is same-sex domestic partnership recognized? Thanks in advance. -Lily

    1. Hi Lily,

      Absolutely. Internally we record your reason for your visit when you select it online. Upon completing your booking online, you’ll be contacted by the Cuba charter company to ensure you have all the required travel documents necessary.

    1. Hi Dave,

      We expect flight schedules to come shortly. I’d keep checking back with us as they should be online within the next month.

  8. As a U.S. citizen, I have learned from your site and the comments therein that I will be required to fulfill a valid reason to travel to Cuba. Is Cheap Air the adjudicator regarding the qualification of these reasons? I ask because you mentioned to another poster that you “internally record your reason for the visit” and I was wondering about the specifics of the process. Also, outside of the passport, what sort of documentation will the charter be asking about?

    1. Hi Mike,

      You’d need to ensure you have a VISA and a non-U.S. medical insurance since Cuba requires that. To learn more about what you’d need to travel to Cuba, you can read our blog post here: http://bit.ly/1OxUi0i You’d have to select one of the 12 reasons for your visit at the time of booking. Depending on the flights you book, you’d be contacted by the Cuba charter company to review what documents you have to ensure you’re able to travel. With the 12 reasons for travel, this information is collected internally and can be requested by the U.S. government at any time, but currently it’s sort of on the honor system that travelers will comply with one of the 12 reasons set by the U.S. Please let us know if you have any questions.

  9. The house and senate passed travel to Cuba this month . Does that mean anyone can go. or is it just celebrities etc

    1. Hi Sheila, The Cuban and American embassies are now open (as of July 21), but I was unaware of any change in travel legalities for ordinary Americans. If you’ve read through our post, you’ll see there are 12 categories of travel under which you can travel to Cuba. Going to Cuba for tourism is still prohibited. In layman’s terms, if your plan is to go there for a beach holiday or to shop or sample Cuban cuisine – these are still strictly prohibited. If you qualify for travel under one of the 12 categories, you’re covered. The good new if you don’t qualify is that the trade agreements are being worked out right now. Most people in the travel industry assume that travel for tourists will be possible as early as next spring (possibly even sooner).

  10. What about a green card holder? I’m a U.S. permanent resident and I am not a U.S. citizen. I’m a Japanese citizen and I don’t need a Cuba tourist visa, but I still need to get a Tourist Card somehow. In my case can I buy air tickets to Cuba, let’s say, MIA-HAV direct flight tickets?

    1. Hi Hiro, As far as we know, all foreign nationals require a tourist visa. You can buy your ticket Miami to Cuba through ourselves 10.185.58.36 or one of the charter companies that operate out of Miami. If you were to purchase your ticket through us, we’ll assist you in obtaining the visa. If not, you can purchase a visa online. Best of luck to you!

  11. I’m U.S.A. citizen…I like to visit Cuba ..tourist visit…can I do that ??? and how long in advance I will do a paper work ???

    1. Hi Ana, If you re a US citizen and you meet one of the 12 allowed reasons for Cuban travel, yes! You can travel to Cuba. This post explains some of the other nuances of travel between our two countries: http://bit.ly/1LlfsR9. Let us know if we can help you with anything else. And don’t forget to book your Cuba flights on http://www.CheapAir.com.

      1. i have this same question — when we book the flight from Toronto to Cuba, do we just supply our Italian passports at security or do we need to do something different when we purchase the flight?

        1. Everyone needs a Cuban tourist card. If you are flying from Toronto, check with the issuing airline or travel agency to determine how this card will be procured.

  12. Hi I have a dual citizenship USA and Japan. I currently live in the US. Can I use my Japanese passport to travel to Cuba? Or do I still need to obtain a visa?

  13. Hi! I’m Cuban (no Cuban passport but American) in the US for 20 yrs and haven’t visit Cuba at all. Would like to go this summer and take my girlfriend and cousins (they are all Cuban-americans/born US) Can they travel with me since I will visit my family? If they can? Do they need to request any VISA or how long in advance they should start paperwork? last….I do need to request a Cuban passport?

    1. Hi Frank, Family visits are on the list of approved visits for U.S. citizens (and you would be able to travel as would your cousins), but technically your girlfriend does not meet the qualifications (spouses are allowed, however). Read this post for more information: https://www.cheapair.com/blog/travel-news/can-i-travel-to-cuba-additional-information-for-u-s-citizens/. These rules are enforced on an honor system and no paperwork is required. Finally, you do not need a Cuban passport. As far as I know, you do not even need to have the names and addresses of the relatives you might be visiting on you (though I assume customs/re-entry agents are within their rights to ask you for that level of detail). I haven’t heard of anyone traveling this year who experienced this and I just had a friend return from Cuba in similar shoes (she is an American of Cuban ancestry but her mom left in the 1960’s.) I know she had planned to visit with family while there, but traveled under a journalism license (as in the attached post). Hope this information helps.

        1. Hi there, Yes, you do still need to qualify for travel to Cuba as a U.S. citizen. Eligibility is based on one of the 12 reasons for travel in this post. This is strictly on the honor system (i.e. the government does not issue paper licenses).

  14. I am a danish national with a danish passport but I have lived in the states for many years and I am a perminent resident and have a greencard. My girlfriend (we are not married) is from Canada, also living in the USA on perminent resident greencard status, and she has a family member from Canada that has decided to get married in Cuba as a destination wedding. Can we go and join the wedding party? Is it considered visiting family when the family there is a Canadian family only staying there for a week to get married? I am guessing THEY are there as tourists from Canada? And does that even apply to me if we are not married? Or could I simply go to cuba as a danish person using my danish passport? Or does the US perminent resident status “overwrite” the danish citizen status in this case? Can it hurt my dual citizen application to become a US citizen if I go? Thanks

    1. Hi there, lots of good questions! Not sure I can answer all of them. For example, as far as the United States government is concerned, if you are not a US citizen you do not have any travel restrictions to Cuba. So,in theory, both you and your girlfriend can travel to Cuba no problem (“family visits” concern US citizens visiting Cuban family). However, yes, I think the rules are more complicated for you as a permanent resident. Unfortunately, I am not qualified to speak to this with any sort of authority. I would contact the issuing office for your residency and ask them how this could impact your status. Best of luck to you.

  15. Hi my girlfriend is Cuban and all of here family is Cuban and are from Cuba they fly back and forth and they want me to go! What do I have to do to be able to join my soon fiance and her family!

    1. Marry her! 🙂 Hi Corbin – at the moment, you’d be able to visit as part of the family if you were a spouse. Having said that, I do think it might be 2016 when the restrictions finally relax. Hope this helps!

  16. I’m a US citizen and Italian citizen. Can I go to Cuba using my Italian passport. I would leave from Florida, where I live. I have been living in the US for 6 years and 6 years prior in Italy. Can I do this using my Italian passport without returning to Italy for a special stamp or permit?

  17. Hi There!
    I, and my nephew will be travelling to Cuba this coming March. I have no restrictions as I am NOT a US citizen nor a Green card Holder. However, my nephew is a green card holder. Can you help us out for his “license” to travel to Cuba?
    Thanks!

    Jeff

    1. Hi Jeff, Your nephew should contact the Cuban embassy and the U.S. agency that issued his green card to find out the specifics related to his status. Good luck to you both!

  18. Hi again! We will visit Mexico first , and from there, will take our flight going to Cuba, then back to Mexico.
    If we book our Mexico-Cuba-Mexico flight with you, can you help us out?
    Thanks again!

    Jeff

    1. Hi again Jeff, we actually only book flights originating in the U.S. for Cuba. You might try to book online with Aeromexico or Copa. They should be able to help you out.

  19. My husband and I (both US citizens) will be sailing our own boat to Cuba in May. Can we purchase visas at your desk in the Miami Airport terminal? Also you mention getting visas on line. Any further information on that such as what internet site to go to?

    1. Hi Shirley, Unfortunately, we have no information about tourist cards for travelers arriving via boat. Our jurisdiction only extends to those Americans with proper reason to travel to Cuba and who plan to fly. Good luck to you. Perhaps a local charter company based in Miami might be able to assist. There are quite a few now offering cultural exchange tours.

    2. Hi; I see you message now and would like to know if you obtan solution because I’m in same situation. I leave tomorow on 16 january with no tourist card because nobody know something.

  20. Lots of great advice above!
    I am US Permanent Resident (Green Card holder) and would love to travel to Cuba on my own.
    Although it has been stated several times above that entering Cuba is only restricted to US citizens, I have come across information that considers US permanent residents and citizen to be of equal status when it comes to legal admission to Cuba. And yes, I do have a European passport which I would us, but am curious to the know about the latest regulation. Any thoughts?

    1. Hi Bridget, I would hate to give you bad advice as we are primarily a travel company, not well versed in the ins and outs of the various working papers/resident cards. It’s definitely no issue for the Cuban government, they’ll happily allow you travel on your EU passport (and let you board a plane back to the US). I worry about your return to the States with your status – you wouldn’t want to jeopardize it (as you already know – hence the message). I think the best you can do is contact the issuing board for your residency (or discuss with your attorney if you have one). Basically, the new rules for US citizens make these “12 reasons” something of an honor system. There is no official license that must be applied for, but on your return you could be queried about your travel. I haven’t heard of anyone being detained at immigration on their return since we have been selling Cuba tickets. It (unfortunately) also probably depends a bit on where you’re from originally in terms of who might get detained in a routine fashion. Good luck to you, whatever you decide. Definitely think it’s worth getting a little bit of advice.

  21. Hi, I am a New Zealander living and working in Shanghai, China. For my Summer break, my husband and I want to visit Cuba. We looked at flying to Miami and then on to Cuba to stay for 4 weeks holiday. Is this complicated for us? Great website by the way!

    1. Hi Kelly, Thanks so much for the compliment! No, it shouldn’t be a problem for you. The only people with restrictions on travel are U.S. citizens. If you were to purchase your tickets online through us, you would have to indicate a “reason for travel” because most of our customers are U.S. citizens, but it is a technicality for you to get through the booking process. You could also buy your ticket once you arrive by reaching out to a charter company in Miami.

  22. Correct me if I am wrong but as of June 2016 we will be able to fly to Cuba unrestricted for business purposes? I am a U.S. Citizen and work in the hospitality industry. Can I got direct to and from MIA or do I need to get some additional documentation for the trip? Still a little unsure and appreciate the assistance!

    1. Hi Nicki, At the moment, you do still need to qualify yourself by identifying one of the “12 reasons for travel” to Cuba. It is pretty much on the honor system and does not require any official documentation.

  23. I am trying to book a flight direct from JFK but no flights are coming up. What days do the flights run to and from Havana from JFK?

  24. Hello we are french citizens living in New York USA.
    We would like to travel directly from NY to Cuba this summer. Do we still need to fall into and apply for one of the 12 specific affidavit/licences or is this just for US citizens?
    Thanks

    1. Hi Mallorie, You do not have to apply for the licenses. To be frank, this whole process is on the “honor system” for U.S. citizens anyway (there is no application process or paperwork submitted), and French Nationals do not have to worry about these restrictions at all. A more tricky bit is finding direct flights to Havana from New York at the moment.

      We do have a limited number of flights departing from JFK each week (on Tuesdays and Fridays). Right now is a bit of a transition time for Cuban travel. Commercial flights are expected to resume soon (perhaps as early as September), and once they do we you will be able to book directly with whichever airlines have been approved.

      For now, the Cuban government is being quite conservative with how far out they are letting us book. I can see direct flights through May at the moment, but no further. We should also be seeing flights in June open up very shortly.

      1. Hi Cheapair,

        I am Italian, living in France and I need a flight from NY to Havana.
        I understood that the 12 reasons do not apply to non US citizens, but where can I do my visa to enter in Havana ? Is there any flight company that is willing to provide one, included in the flight ticket ?

        If I fly from an escale in Mexico, from NY to Havana, where can I find the visa ?

        Many thanks

        Best regards
        Claudia

        1. Hi Claudia, Most of the airlines you can book a flight with to Havana will assist you with obtaining the travel card (what you’re referring to as a visa). If you fly through Mexico, they simply help you with this card in the airport on the day you travel.

    2. Hi Maillorie,

      I have your same problem and I m struggling to understand if I can book a flight from NY to Havana.
      How did you solve it ? Did you travael with which flight company and who gave to you the visa ?
      I am Italian and I live in France.

      Thanks for any help you can give me

      Cordialement

      Claudia

      1. Hi Claudia, You can book a flight from New Yory to Havana, but you do need to chose one of the “12 reasons” for travel if you’re flying on a U.S. air carrier. Most people can qualify for “person-to-person” trip in support of the Cuban people and DIY their trip in this manner: https://www.cheapair.com/blog/travel-tips/how-to-travel-to-cuba-without-a-tour-group-in-8-easy-steps/. As a foreign national, you could also circumvent the hassle by flying to an intermediary country (like Mexico) to connect through.

  25. Hi,

    Myself and 3 of my friends have booked tickets to go to Cuba at the end of Sept. We plan to fly from miami and back. Apart from getting a visa from the Cuban embassy here, is there anything else we need to do? Do we need to have picked 1 of the 12 reasons to travel there? We didn’t get asked any questions while booking.

    Thanks

    1. Hi Kate, Did you book with us? Any DIRECT flight originating in the United States will require choosing one of the 12 reasons. If you booked a more circuitous route through Mexico or the Dominican Republic (for instance), you probably will not get asked for a reason by some airlines/vendors. We do ask the question, but we are the only “sanctioned” online OTA selling flights to Cuba. You can piece an itinerary together using AeroMexico or Copa (for example) on your own, and foreign airlines will not ask you for a reason.

  26. Hi, my husband and I are US citizens we would love to visit Cuba from NYC, if i choose one of the 12 reasons will we need to prove thats what we going for?if I choose visit family will they check

    1. Hi Gyna, You do need to choose which reason qualifies you, but at this point it’s completely on the honor system. There is a chance that you might be queried on your return to the States (coming through customs), but this appears to be a very rare occurrence (we have been selling Cuba for more than a year now under the new regulations and have yet to hear anyone being detained or questioned upon heir return). I think it helps if you keep the quantities of gifts and goods that you’re bringing into the country to the allowed limits ($400 or so USD). Hope this helps!

  27. Hi!! I am an Italian citizen but I live and work in the US and I have a US visa on my passport. Would it be an issue? Should I still apply for the cuban tourist visa? Thanks!!

    1. Hi Guilia, all visitors to Cuba must have a Cuban tourist “card.” If you book your travel with us, most of our charter partners will assist you in getting the tourist card. If you book through another foreign city, you’ll be able to get the card in the airport before you leave for Cuba.

  28. I got my Cuban tickets with you guys, I want know if I can get the tourist Visa card a the counter in miami airport?

    1. Hi Maria, Are you flying direct to Cuba? If you are flying direct, you are probably flying with our charter partner CTS (Cuba Travel Services). If you are flying with CTS, they can help you acquire the Cuban tourist card. If you are not traveling with CTS (and are routing through another country such as Mexico), you will have the opportunity to buy the tourist card in that connecting airport.

    2. Hi Maria, If you are flying direct from Miami to Havana, chances are you’re flying with our charter company, Cuba Travel Services (CTS). They will reach out to you and help you acquire the travel card. If you fly through another international gateway you will be able to purchase your travel card in that international airport before you board your flight on to Cuba.

  29. I am a US citizen. I would like to tour Cuba by bicycle for a month, writing about the experience. Would this fit the “journalistic activity” category? I always take my bicycle and equipment with me. Will I be able to transport the bicycle boxed on the flights you offer?

    1. Hi Bruce, Check through the detailed explanation to see if you would be permitted to travel for “journalistic activity:” https://www.cheapair.com/blog/travel-news/can-i-travel-to-cuba-additional-information-for-u-s-citizens/. If not, you may also qualify under #8, support for the Cuban people. For a long time, only guided tours could fulfill this category, but the U.S. government does now accept DIY programs so long as you avoid leisure activities (sunbathing, for example) and do have a full schedule of documented activity: https://www.cheapair.com/blog/travel-tips/how-to-travel-to-cuba-without-a-tour-group-in-8-easy-steps/. Best of luck to you.

  30. I’m Cuban citizen with permanent resident in USA my domestic partner is American citizen does she qualify under family visit ?

  31. Hi. I am a Chinese passport holder with US working visa. Can I book a flight from the US to Cuba? While returning to the US, I plan to fly to Mexico first and stay in Mexico for a few days, and then fly back to the US from Mexico. Is it going to work?

    1. Hi Amy, Your work visa does put you into a different category. here are different rules for work visa holders so definitely sort that out with the issuing agency OR your employer (if you’re sponsored, they should have an immigration attorney who helped you set up the visa to begin with that could answer whether or not you’ll be permitted to travel to Havana). At the moment (with commercial and leisure travel soon to be reinstated), it is a bit of an odd time where the regular rules of “engagement” seem to be in flux. But, in the case of foreign nationals on work visas, it’s worth a bit of investigation. That’s a more complicated area than we are qualified to offer guidance. Apologies and good luck to you!

  32. Hi there. We have flights from JFK to Havana for January. Spending 4 nights and staying in an airbnb. I’m a US Passport holder, my husband with a permanent resident card. We are travelling to visit an orthodox church, as well as culture and people exchanges. I know about the Tourist card /visa, but my question is will my husband have an issue returning to the USA from Havana? I don’t want him getting deported or this trip affecting his Status as a lawful permanent resident. We are not going for tourism, but part religious, part culture exploration. What is your advice about the Green Card Holder/permanent resident? Thanks in advance.

    1. Hi Georgia, Unfortunately we can’t make any recommendations for permanent resident cardholders. Oftentimes, the travel restrictions are different for permanent residents so I would consult with a lawyer who specializes in immigration to make sure your bases are covered. Good luck to you.

  33. Hi,
    I’m a Danish citizen living in spain with my Spanish girlfriend. We would like to go to Cuba and have found tickets From Barcelona to Havanna with a stop in Miami. As I understand being a US citizen there are only twelve situations that allow you to travel to Cuba, but my question is whether these rules also apply to us. Again, we are not US citizens, simply just landing there for a few hours before flying to Havanna.

    Thanks

    1. Hi, No Nicolai – you can travel straight through. Our rules only apply to U.S. nationals (and they are on the honor system at this point). The only question might be with regards to the Cuban travel card (visa). You may want to secure that prior to arrival if you can. At the moment, the U.S. airlines are all working out agreements with the Cuban government on this paperwork, and there is not a universal rule on how the issuance of that card is handled. If you’re flying from Spain, it is probably included with your airfare, but it might be a good idea to make sure prior to travel.

  34. Hello, I am an Italian citizen and I will be in Miami in January for holiday. Can I fly directly to Havana for tourism or the 12 categories apply to me as well? Thanks in advance.

    1. Hi Alberto, Our rules only apply to U.S. nationals (and they are on the honor system at this point). If you book a flight to Cuba on our site, you will be asked for a “reason” for travel, but it’s just a formality for you.

  35. Hello, I am Sri Lankan citizen planning a trip to USA this winter. I have Cuban visa issued by the Cuban embassy in Sri Lanka. Can i get a direct flight from USA (Florida) to Havana and vis a versa without any restrictions. I By the way, I have US visa multiple entry for 5 years as well.

  36. Hi, i am a permanent resident in the United states, i have citizenship from Guatemala. Can i travel to cuba and not have any issues with my green card. If i am allowed will this not affect me in any way

    1. Hi Bryan, We’re not qualified to give advice in your case, unfortunately. Since you are living here as a permanent resident, I believe that you would have to qualify for licensure under one of the 12 reasons, but I would double-check with the U.S. government to make sure. You can probably plan to go on an educational visa, but if you choose to go this route, make sure to keep a detailed itinerary of your schedule in Cuba and retain receipts for cultural activities. The bulk of your activities should be to “foster people-to-people communication” and not, for example, be focused on leisure activities like beach lounging. In any event, the Cuban government doesn’t care where their tourists come from. It is the United States government that can query its citizens and residents when they are returning and attempting to clear immigration. Hopefully this will clear things up for you. Have a great time in Cuba!

  37. Hello, I will visit Florida February 2017. I am Finnish citizen and so I have EU-passport(Finland). I travel
    with ESTA to US. So I like to visit also Cuba. Is it possible if I have Cuban travel card from Cuban Finnish Embassy?

    1. Hi Tim, I am not aware of any embassies offering the Cuban travel card, other than the Cuban embassy. A lot of airlines will sell you the tourist card as part of your ticket (or will offer to help you get it for a small fee).

  38. Dear Cheaper,
    I will be flying from Miami to somewhere in Cuba during February. My question is the following: As a Hungarian citizen with a valid ESTA to enter the USA. Will I have any problems to board any flights from Miami to Cuba? (given that I will have the cuban travel card organised already) Also, will there be any issue to fly back to Miami and stay for a few days? Cheers

    1. Hi Peter, As long as you are not a legal resident of the United States (or here on a student/work visa), you’ll have no problems with the travel between the two countries. Because of our recent election, there has been some discussion and controversy about whether the new President will “allow” the more open borders to continue, so please do keep that in mind. The jury is out on what the future holds but at least for now, things are open. Presently there are [9] airlines with legally authorized, scheduled flights to Cuba from the U.S., and you can book those flights online on CheapAir.com. Our system will require you to tick a box stating your reason for travel, but it is only a formality for you. There are some great airfares and many people are making the trip.

  39. Hi

    Im a French US resident looking to become a citizen in which next few months. I want to travel to Cuba for a few days next month but want to make sure it won’t affect my becoming a citizen when I apply as it will appear in my passport.

    Please let me know if it’s ok

    Thanks

    1. Hi Lenha, It will not affect your ability to become a citizen, but you should know that as a resident you are also subject to the same rules that U.S. citizens must abide by with respect to Cuban travel. You should be able to classify your trip under one of the 12 “licenses. Many Americans are traveling on the “person-to-person” license which requires you to keep a detailed itinerary of your activities while in Cuba and bring supporting documentation (receipts, etc.) when you return to the states.

  40. Hi,
    Im Japanese currently studying in the states. I have a valid Japanese passport and want to travel to Cuba in January. Here im seeking for how to get the tourist card for Japanese citizen. Is it possible to get one at airports? I will probably fly to Cuba from somewhere airport in NY. (JFK, LGA, EWR)
    Thanks

  41. Hi,

    I’m a Japanese student currently studying in the states with i-20. I want to travel to Cuba for holidays but not sure how to get a tourist card for Japanese citizen in the US. Is it possible to get one at airports in the US? I will probably fly to Cuba from airports in NY.

    Thanks

    1. Hi there Takeh, It would be a good idea for you to make sure that you qualify for one of the 12 reasons acceptable for United States citizens. Though you are not a U.S. citizen, international students do have to adhere to the same guidelines as we do.

  42. I’d like to travel to Havana and write about my experience there, for a possible article to be published. What exactly is needed to qualify me for a journalism waiver? Thanks!

    1. Hi Marc, Generally speaking, journalists should be there on specific assignment. It might be a better plan to qualify under a “people-to-people” licensure to cover yourself.

  43. My girlfriend and I are planning on travelling to Havana from Dec. 20th-31st.

    I’m Canadian – and not a permanent resident – and she’s American. I work seasonally so I’m able to spend most of my winter in the US. We’ll be flying from Miami via Denver.

    She has a personal website and has blogged for previous trips to both Asia and Italy. Is “people-to-people” her best bet? Being Canadian, am I likely to encounter any difficulty?

    1. Hi Matt, people-to-people is going to be her best bet for sure. Both of you should plan to fly under that banner and keep an itinerary with you of what you did while in Cuba (in case you’re asked for this record) when you return to the States at the end of your trip. You’re not likely to have any holdups, but you should take care to keep receipts from any cultural attractions and avoid activities that are explicitly “leisure” in nature. Leisure travel to Cuba is still prohibited and you can get dinged for having a beach holiday in Varadero, for example.

  44. Hi! We are a 4 people that would like to go visit La Havana in January for 4 days.

    We are 3 U.S. citizens with dual passports, American, and Colombian. We live in the Miami.
    Can we visit Cuba with our Colombian passport and get the tourist card? Or should we use the US Passport to enter Cuba and get the tourist visa under one of the 12 categories? and what would be the category that will apply to us?

    Also, one of us is a French citizen, living in the US with a work visa, multiple entries. In his case, what type of visa will apply to him? Thanks!

    1. Hi Catalina, It doesn’t really matter which passport you use to travel to Cuba. if you live in the United States, you are required to choose one of the 12 licensed reasons for travel. A lot of people are traveling in the “person-to-person” category with success. In this category, you will need to keep an itinerary of what you do while in Cuba and keep receipts for the cultural activities you participate in (visits to museums, etc.)

  45. Hi, I’m a US-based dual citizen (USA and Mexico). Can I travel to Cuba using my Mexican Passport?

    Or (as school academic counselor) can I declare that my visit to Cuba will be because of Educational purposes to what I do in my job as school counselor – cultural, sociology and history?

    1. Hi Robert, It may be easier for you to simply travel on your Mexican passport. However, anyone living in the United States is supposed to qualify for one of the the approved reasons for travel. If you decide to go under the “educational” reason, you should read our post that explains how best to do this: https://www.cheapair.com/blog/travel-tips/how-to-travel-to-cuba-without-a-tour-group-in-8-easy-steps/. The most important consideration is keeping a detailed itinerary of your activities while in Cuba in case you are questioned upon your return to the States.

  46. what do i need to do as a Greek passport holder and a US green card permanent resident. Me and my partner who has greek passport and a b1/b2 us visa are we able to travel to Havana from NY or is it better to go through Mexico?

    1. Hi Spyros, We can’t recommend you travel through Mexico as that circumvents the existing regulations for U.S. travelers, but it is possible to do. If you choose to fly from New York, you will need to be aware that you have to choose a reason for travel from the list of approved “licenses” and prepare to answer questions about your travels upon your return. This is an unlikely scenario, but you should be aware it can happen.

  47. I’m a Chinese citizen studying in US with an F-1 Visa. I’m thinking about taking a flight from New York directly to Havana. Is it possible for me to just book the flight and go? If not, is there any paperwork I need to do before booking?

    1. Hi there Jinghao, There is no specific paperwork you need to complete. The 12 licenses are on the honor system, and U.S. residents are expected to choose a license for applicable travel and conform to the specifications under that category.

  48. I think you may have answered this question above but I just want to clarify. I am an EU citizen currently studying in the US on an F-1 student visa. Can I book a flight directly from an American airport to Cuba this March? Am I required to fill in paperwork described above with getting say a tourist card, say for educational reasons like US citizens? Would I then need to provide evidence of this when returning to the US?

    1. Hi Frank, For a while, foreign nationals in your situation were in a bit of a grey area as far as compliance went with the 12 license categories. But now that U.S. air carriers are operating flights, you too must comply with the license categories. This requirement has nothing to do with the Cuban tourist card (visa) issued by the Cuban authorities (and that everyone must have to enter Cuba). You can book a flight from a U.S. gateway, but you should plan on having a complete itinerary of educational activities on your trip. You may be asked about your reason for travel to Cuba upon re-entry back to the States. This post of ours gives a complete overview into how to do this easily and legally: https://www.cheapair.com/blog/travel-tips/how-to-travel-to-cuba-without-a-tour-group-in-8-easy-steps/.

  49. We are Italian citizens currently traveling in the USA. We would like to go to Cuba for a week taking a flight to Havana from Miami. We have requested a tourist card in Italy. Will this be enough to travel to Cuba from Miami or do we need also the ‘pink visa’ issued in the USA? Will we be able to board our flight to Cuba from Miami?

    1. Hi Nele, There is no separate visa required from the United States though you will need to choose a reason for travel if you are traveling on a US air carrier. You’ll also need the cuban tourist card to enter the country (not sure if this is what you are obtaining from Italy), and most of the airlines servicing Cuba will help you obtain this card.

  50. Hi,
    Apologies for the similar question but I am an Italian citizen and I’d like to do the following itinerary:
    flying from Europe to Miami, after spending a couple of days,to fly from Miami to Havana on a direct flight (so not using gateway cities). Then fly from Cuba to Mexico and back to Miami to take my return flight to Europe.

    Can I do ti without troubles or do I still need to specify a reason to travel? And as I work for as tour manager for a tour operator in Europe, can I fall into the category for “professional research”?

    Thank you very much

    1. Hi Flavio, it does sound like “professional research” will be the category for you to select. In addition, if you’re returning to Miami and flying on home to Europe, you may not even pass through U.S. immigration. I would research whether this is the case – if you do not clear customs on your return (basically, you stay in airport since you are in transit), this may be a moot point. You would not be questioned by U.S. immigrations at all.

  51. Hi Cheap Air,

    I am Italian citizen, living in France. I am flying to NY in August 2017 and staying there one week.
    I would like go then to Cuba, flying from NY to Havana.

    Is it possible to get the visa with one of your flights companies (Delta or United?) The visa will be done at the airport in NY ? Are those two companies covering the insurance costs required to visit Cuba ? How much will the Visa cost ?

    Otherwise, do I need to fly from NY to Havana with a scale in Mexico ?
    In that case, how should I do with the visa in Mexico and Cuba?

    Many thanks

    Best regards
    Claudia

    1. The Cuban health insurance can be purchased when you land in Havana (before you clear customs and immigrations to enter the country, they require it). It’s easy and cheap.

  52. I also have dual Italian Citizenship my question is will I have trouble returning to USA. When I used it in Italy I needed a visa to get out.

  53. Hi,

    I would like to fly from Havana to Miami for a few days at the end of a trip to Cuba. I will then be flying home to the UK. I’ll be travelling on an Italian passport, but living in the UK. Will i have any troubles?

    Thanks!

  54. Hi,
    Im a permanent resident in the united states but I’m cuban , I’m wondering if i can go visit without any problem to my country again?

    1. Hi there, Please reach out to the Cuban embassy to have your question answered. There are different rules for Cuban citizens depending on when you left Cuba and the circumstance of your departure.

  55. hello guys i am fabio and i am an italian passport
    i wanted kindly to ask few qestion about my multiple trip i wish to do
    i am going to miami in january of course on tourist visa(esta) so once there i was thinking to pop to cuba for 10 days or so
    so i was wondering: could i do so? where shall i buy the cuban tourist visa ,does the airflight company usually provide it to the passengers? and on the way back from cuba to miami can i still enter usa with the same esta visa(american visa) that i used to enter usa from italy? one more question if i decide to travel cuba direct from italy and from cuba pop to miami,can i simply enter with the esta visa i required from italy?and on the way back from miami to cuba do i need again a cuban visa or could i use the same cuban visa i used to enter cuba from italy?please ill be so gratefull to know these few info i really wish to hear from you,,,,many thx regards fabio

    1. HI Fabio, The Cuban tourist card (visa) is normally issued as part of your air ticket, but you should double check this with the airline to make sure. I believe your U.S. visa should still be valid on your return from Cuba. I don’t have specific information regarding the Cuban authorities. I think you’d probably be issued a second tourist card on your return to Cuba (if you flew back through on your way home), but if you were only returning in transit (and not leaving the airport), they may not require it.

  56. Aloha,
    I am an italian citizen, with a green card, who have being living as permanent resident in the USA for the last 7 years. I am considering to go in Cuba in less than 2 weeks. My sister, coming from Swiss where she lives and holding an italian passport is going over there for a vacation with a group that will do a dancing workshop with Cuban teachers.

    I read the posts and they were very useful, thank you so much for this kind service. Unfortunately i still have a couple of doubts. Thank you for your patience.

    I understood that with my italian passport I should be fine: i should be able to book my flight and i would need to purchase the touristic card that the website where I am going to purchase the ticket should help me to get (cheapair or not?). True?

    If you/they shouldn’t provide this service, where could I obtain the touristic card? How long would it take? and how much would it cost?

    Even if I have an italian passport I should answer the questions about the reasons of my staying (12 options) and the best one that should better fit the reason of my staying might be Education, even if it doesn’t really apply to my case, because I am not an american citizen, but a permanent resident holding a green card. True?

    Will I have any trouble coming back in USA with my green card?

    I also understood that I have to purchase the health insurance for the time of my staying, but it’s easy and cheap and I can do it at the airport in Havana. True?

    Thank you so much in advance for your answers.

    Chiara

    1. Hi Chiara, Please do choose a reason from the 12 categories. You do need to comply because of your green card status. I don’t anticipate you will have any trouble returning to the United States, but make sure to have your documentation in order of the program you participate in….some airline tickets are also including the health insurance as well, so please inquire of the airline if they will include. I would not recommend booking a ticket this close to travel if the travel card is not included (it should not be a problem to find a ticket that includes). 2 weeks is probably cutting it too close to try and obtain on your own.

  57. My son and I are US Citizen and my wife has a green card and she is from Mexico how can we do it to go to Cuba. We would be going with a Cuban Friend to visit his home town.

  58. Hi there,
    I’m a Canadian wanting to fly out to Cuba from the US. Everyone I know fly’s out through Canada so nobody can answer this.. I live at the border with Detroit so much more convinient for me, plus better price! lol … My question is if i travel through the US ( I’m aware that I have to abide by certain rules) do i fall under having to provide a reason to travel as well? and do I need a visa to enter?

    thank you.

    1. Hi MeCalinda, You will have to choose a reason for your travel if you are flying on a U.S. air carrier. However, if you’re just traveling through it’s not going to be any kind of issue on your return home. As for the visa issue – everyone is required to have a tourist card but they issue them with your ticket on most, if not all, air carriers these days.

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