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 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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  1. 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.

    • 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.


    • 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.

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