Can I travel to Cuba?
Thanks to the new amendments to the OFAC Cuba travel regulations, today more
Americans can travel to Cuba with a host or with a license.
Let us help you plan your legal trip to Cuba.
Cuba Travel Guidelines
New Cuba travel guidelines from OFAC were published as directed by the Obama
Administration. Some of the revised Cuba travel guidelines topics are:
- General Licenses
- Specific Licenses
- How to Apply for a Specific License
- Arranging Authorized Travel to Cuba
- Authorized Travel-Related Transactions; U.S. Interests Section
- Guidelines by Category of Travel Activity
- Family Visits
- Official Government Travel
- Journalistic Activities
- Professional Research and Professional Meetings
- Educational Activities
- Religious Activities
- Public Performances, Clinics, Workshops, Athletic and Other Competitions, and Exhibitions
- Support for the Cuban People
- Humanitarian Projects
Summary of reasons that qualify Americans who can travel to Cuba:
- "People to People" Associations/Organizations
- Cuban Americans
- Academic Institutions
- Religious Organizations
- Educators, Undergraduate/Graduate Students
- Government Officials
- Professional Research/Meetings/Conferences
- Telecommunications Companies
- Agricultural or Medical Companies
- Visits to Non-Cuban National Relatives
- Public Performances, Athletic/Non-athletic Competitions, Exhibitions
- Clinics and Workshops
Cuban American Travel to Cuba
Cuba Travel Services provided this summary of who can travel to Cuba:
All Cuban born travelers are entitled to hold a Cuban passport if they wish so and comply with Cuban Immigration
regulations (meaning they left Cuba legally).
Whether naturalized US citizens or legal US residents (green card holders), all Cuban born travelers require a
Cuban document (Cuban passport with "habilitación" or PE-visa) to travel to the island.
If they are naturalized US citizens, left Cuba legally before 1970, and do not wish to have a Cuban passport,
they can travel with their US passport and a special visa called PE-11. This visa is valid for only one trip in a
period of 90 days from the date of issue.
To process such PE-11 visa, travelers are required to provide a legible photocopy of US passport, one (1) recent
passport size photo, proof of departure from Cuba before December 1970 (any document will do) and a consular form
filled out and signed. There is a fee for this service and it will take about four weeks.
If they left Cuba legally after 1970, whether naturalized US citizens or legal US residents (green card
holders), it's mandatory that they hold a valid and updated Cuban passport with the "habilitación" (Cuban permanent
To renew an expired Cuban passport, travelers are required to provide the expired Cuban passport, two (2) recent
passport size photos and the attached consular form filled out and signed. Cost: $400 and processing time takes
about 8-10 weeks. If they also require "habilitación", processing time can take up to 3 months or more.
To issue a Cuban passport for the first time with "habilitación", travelers are required to provide an original
birth certificate, two (2) recent passport size photos and the consular form filled out and signed. There is a cost
for this service and processing time takes up to 3 months. CubaCityHall.com offers a Cuban document retrieval service can assist with the acquisition of Cuban birth
In all cases, as per current OFAC regulations, Cuban American travelers are required to have close relatives in
Cuba to travel under the general license for family visit. Qualifying individuals are those related to a national
of Cuba by links of blood, marriage, or adoption who is no more than three generations removed from that person or
from a common ancestor with that person.
We should all be thankful to the tireless work to ease Cuba travel and trade restrictions from
these fine organizations
Mavis Anderson at the Latin America Working Group
John McAuliff from the Fund for Reconciliation and Development