"In the most significant changes in our policy in more than fifty years, we will end an outdated approach that, for decades, has failed to advance our interests, and instead we will begin to normalize relations between our two countries. Through these changes, we intend to create more opportunities for the Americans and Cuban people, and begin a new chapter among the nations of the Americas" Quote from President Obama’s speech on December 17th 2014.
Note: When we refer to U.S. travelers we refer to U.S. Citizens. Other non-U.S. citizens and are traveling with a non-U.S. passport the ‘licensing’ requirements mentioned within the following do not apply to you as you can travel to Cuba without restrictions, if, however you want to travel using the direct charter flights there will be some requirements and limitations.
For more information about traveling to Cuba the U.S. State Department provides useful information about Cuba on its website. The website is located at: http://travel.state.gov/cuba.html. For the most up to date entry and customs requirement for Cuba contact the Cuban Interests Section, an office of the Cuban government, located at 2630 16th Street NW, Washington, DC 20009, telephone (202) 797-8518.
Thousands of U.S. travelers have been coming to Cuba either on direct flights under an OFAC license or without a license via third countries. Following President Obama’s recent speech regarding renewing relationships with Cuba and measures to relax travel restrictions to the island many more travelers are wanting to come to Cuba. Cuba has always welcomed U.S. travelers and all travelers from around the world. It is our view that people should be able to travel freely without restrictions. It is expected that all travel restrictions will be completely lifted, until that time there are two main ways of traveling to Cuba.
We are pleased to include below FAQ’s on how to travel to Cuba whether it is for a vacation, special interest tour or medical treatment.
Q. What is an OFAC license?
Licenses are issued by the Office of Foreign Assets Control of the U.S. Department of Treasury (‘’OFAC”). OFAC is the federal agency that administers the U.S. sanctions program against Cuba.
Q. How do I qualify for a license to travel to Cuba?
The easing of restrictions – effective January 16th, 2015 allows for the U.S. individual traveler to go to Cuba by license in a number of ways. The categories mentioned below may have a degree of flexibility of interpretation and we will advise you accordingly. However, when the travel restrictions are lifted there will be no need to obtain a license.
Passengers may travel if they fall under 12 categories identified by the Office of Foreign Assets Control – US Treasury Department. Under all Categories, the traveler will certify they will be going for full time activities under the category and will keep all travel records for five (5) years. The categories are:
1. Family Visits – Visiting Close Family relative who is a. Related by blood, marriage or adoption, no more than three generations from the US persons or their common ancestors; and b. Any one of the following: i. National of Cuba ii. Person ordinarily resident in Cuba iii. Person located in Cuba for extended time either for educational activities in Cuba for more than 60 days, or person located in Cuba under the general license for official government business.
2. Official business of the US Government, foreign government, and certain intergovernmental organizations
3. Journalistic Activity a. regularly employed as journalist by a news reporting organization b. regularly employed as supporting broadcast or technical personnel c. Freelance journalist with a record of previous journalistic experience working on freelance journalistic project d. Broadcast or technical personnel with a record of previous broadcast or technical experience support freelance journalist.
4. Professional Research and Professional Meetings a. Research directly related to the traveler’s profession or professional background b. Professional meeting is not for the promotion of tourism c. Purpose of the meeting directly relates to the traveler’s professional background
5. Educational Activities a. Persons subject to US jurisdiction, including US academic institutions, their faculty, staff and students who travel for: i. Participation in a structured education program of a course offered for credit by US graduate or undergraduate degree. ii. Non-commercial academic research for the purpose of obtaining an undergraduate or graduate degree .iii. Participation in formal course in Cuban academic institution which be accepted for credit in US graduate or undergraduate degree. iv. Teaching at Cuban academic institution v. Educational exchanges sponsored by Cuban or US secondary schools, involving secondary school students in a formal course of study. vi. Sponsorship or co-sponsorship of noncommercial academic seminars, conferences or workshops. vii. Preparation and organization of activities identified above. b. People to People travel – sponsored by an organization that sponsors such exchanges to promote people to people exchange. Accompanied by an employee or paid consultant of the organization sponsoring the people to people exchange
6. Religious Activities a. Members and staff of religious organizations located in the US.
7. Public performances, clinics, workshops, athletic and other competitions and exhibitions a. Athletic competition under the auspices of the international sports federation. b. US participants in the athletic competition are selected by the US Federation for the relevant sport c. Participation in public performance – where the event is open for attendance, all US profits from the event are donated to an independent nongovernmental organization in Cuba or US based charity. d. Any clinic or workshops in Cuba must be organized and run, at least in part, by the authorized traveler
8. Support for the Cuban People – activities to work with a. Recognized human rights organizations b. Independent organizations which promote a peaceful transition to democracy c. Strengthen civil society in Cuba
9. Humanitarian Projects – support of medical and health related projects; construction projects; environmental projects; projects for formal or non-formal educational training on entrepreneurship and business, civil education, journalism, adult literacy, vocational skills, projects suitable for development of small-scale private enterprise, projects related to agricultural and rural development, micro financing projects, except for loans or other financing which is prohibited.
10. Activities for private foundations or research or educational institutes – with an established interest in international relations to collect information for noncommercial purpose
11. Exportation, importation, or transmission of information or informational materials. – Travel in support of exportation activities which are approved.
12. Exportation of BIS Authorized or Licensed Goods. Certain export transactions that may be considered for authorization under existing Department of Commerce regulations and guidelines in respect with Cuba or engaged in by US owned or controlled foreign firms.
A Travel Affidavit that each passenger traveling to Cuba is required to sign at the time of purchasing your airfare to Cuba will be provided to you.
Q. How do I travel to Cuba without a license?
Thousands of U.S. travelers have been coming to Cuba over many years without a license by traveling via third countries.
Q. Do I need a visa to enter Cuba?
Yes. The Cuban visa is known as a Tourist Visa Card which is separate from your passport which can be obtained from either the direct flight charter operators, or if you are flying via a third country you can easily purchase a visa at the third country airport either from the airline or a travel agent at the time of check-in for the flight to Cuba.
Q. Will Cuban Immigration stamp my passport?
Only if you ask them to stamp your passport. As the Tourist Visa Card is separate from your passport they stamp the card.
Q. What direct flights can I take to Cuba?
The direct flights are provided by charter operators. Depending where you intend to fly from we can advise you which operator to contact.
Q. What flights can I take via third countries?
You can book flights directly with the airlines that serve Cuba via third countries such as Canada, Cayman Islands, Costa Rica, Bahamas, Dominican Republic, Mexico, Panama.
Q. How can I arrange accommodation, transportation and other services in Cuba?
We can arrange everything for you. You have a choice of contacting us on our U.S. or Cuba telephone numbers or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org . You can also use our website Support Online Chat. Q. Can I request what accommodation I require, which places to visit and any other services?
Yes. We customize your arrangements according to your requirements.
Q. If I want to travel with a group, can you offer this?
We have our own group tours which you can join.
Q. How do I pay for the services?
We will send you a Confirmation Invoice. You can pay for the services by transfer to our U.S. bank. Alternatively, we can accept credit/debit card payments.
Q. How do I obtain all the services when I arrive in Havana?
You will have been sent your personal itinerary details and any relevant information and documents. Upon arrival at Havana International Airport you will be met by one of our representatives who will assist you and hand you our Welcome Pack which will include documents for services, general information and maps.
Q. What are the advantages of booking with your company?
Many advantages. The main being our prices for arrangements in Cuba are far more competitive, sometimes as much as half the cost of the licensed group tours offered by some U.S. tour operators. We have been established in Cuba since 2002. Our team are all travel professionals and have extensive local knowledge of the country. We provide a personal service with 24/7 support and assistance.
Some of the celebrities that have come to Cuba very recently include Beyoncé & Jay-Z, Paris Hilton, Naomi Campbell and Conan O’Brian. Others have come over the years such as Sean Penn, Danny Glover, Jim Belushi, Kevin Costner, Jack Nicholson, Steven Spielberg and Michael Keaton to name but a few. Fact is, it's not even that hard for non-celebrities to travel to Cuba …
>We look forward to being of service to you.>
Cuba Medical Treatment and Care by Cuba Medical Solutions ™
For information on medical care and treatment in Cuba please click here.