General Cuba Travel License from OFAC
Self-approved US government permission to travel to Cuba
Check out our Cuba Trips Calendar for more information on legal trips
Let us help you plan your legal trip to Cuba.
The Office of Foreign Assets Control is operated by the US Treasury and allows for travel to Cuba under a
General license to people and organizations who qualify to travel without applying for a Specific Cuba travel
There is no printed General license so there is nothing to apply for and nothing
to carry with you while you travel to and from Cuba and you do not have to file any paperwork with OFAC after you
If you are allowed to travel to Cuba,
you can engage with Travel Service Providers or Carrier Service Providers in order to arrange for travel to Cuba. If you
can book your own flights to Cuba or want to research the flight schedules offered by Carrier Service Providers, we
have put together a Charter Flights to Cuba page.
New Cuba travel guidelines from OFAC were published on April 19, 2011. If you do not qualify to
travel to Cuba under a General license, you can apply for a Specific OFAC Travel License. Specific licenses
can be obtained by individuals, corporations and non-profit organizations for workshops, clinics, performances
and sports programs in Cuba.
If you qualify to fly to Cuba on a General License, you may be able to
book your own flight to Cuba.
While in Cuba, only three Cuba travel related agencies can offer assistance to Americans while in Cuba:
Who qualifies to travel to Cuba under a General license?
The new Cuba travel guidelines have been expanded to allow more Americans the freedom to travel to Cuba but
generally, these types of trips are allowed:
- Journalistic activities
- Cuban Americans
- People involved in licensed agriculture and medical sales to Cuba
- Humanitarian trips
- Religious trips
- "Purposeful" travel
The Latin America Working Group offers a great guide on religious travel to Cuba.
In January 2011, OFAC published many amendments to the Cuban Assets Control Regulations that allowed certain Cuba travel and
financial activities to be reclassified under a Specific license to fall under a General license classification.
These amendments give more freedoms to American's wishing to travel to Cuba. Some of the changes activities now
allowed by General license are:
- Travel to Cuba for educational or religious activities
- People-to-people exchanges
- Public performances, clinics, workshops, athletic and other
- Journalist activities
Travel under a General license does not require prior specific authorization from OFAC.
According to Cuba People to People, a college can create a one or two week intercession, spring break or
summer program that provides credit toward graduation for its own students and those from other schools. The
only requirement is to obtain the normal standing for any academic course. Also covered is Spanish language and
other “study at a Cuban academic institution, provided the formal course of study in Cuba will be accepted for
credit toward the student’s graduate or undergraduate degree.” Schools that offer independent study may see that
also as, “a structured educational program in Cuba as part of a course offered for credit.”
Each student, teacher, adjunct or full or part-time staff simply has to “carry a letter on official letterhead,
signed by a designated representative of the sponsoring U.S. academic institution.”
Cuba People to People goes on to explain the legal ability of religious group travel to Cuba as any “religious organization” at a local, regional or
national level can easily authorize a trip. Participants “must carry with them a letter on official letterhead,
signed by a designated representative of the U.S. religious organization, confirming that they are members or
staff and are traveling to Cuba to engage in religious activities under the auspices of the organization.”