One of the frequently asked questions before traveling to Cuba is whether you will need a visa.
In most cases, yes. There are only 19 countries in the world who do not require a visa to enter Cuba.
These countries are:
Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Belarus, Benin, Bosnia and Hercegovina, China, Dominica, Grenada, Macedonia, Malaysia, Montenegro, Mongolia, Namibia, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Serbia and Singapore
People of any other country do need to obtain a visa prior to travelling to Cuba.
The required tourist visa, also known as a tourist card is a physical document you need to carry with yourself at all time. The visa is valid for 30 days, you can apply for another 30 day extension once you are in Cuba.
Watch the video to learn more:
Where you can apply
You can apply at your place of residence through the local Cuban Embassy, you can check with your airline whether they provide the tourist card (some may do, like Canadian Airline), you can also get it at some airports prior to your flight into Cuba – for example at Mexico City Airport this option is available.
Generally speaking, if you apply through the embassy the costs are a little higher, however at least you have the peace of mind that you have your visa in hand prior to travelling. Their processing time is between 1-4 weeks.
What documents you need for your application
- You need a valid passport for the duration of your stay, plus it is good to have 6 month validity left on your passport at time of travel.
- You must have your returns flight booked and confirmed.
- You must have Travel Insurance.
- You must have proof of funds for your stay – i.e. a bank account, to show at least $50USD a day.
- If you are traveling alone with children, you may need to show parenting right documents.
Also I must note that if you are a US citizen it is best that you apply for your visa in the US via the Cuban Embassy, because as at today it is illegal for US citizens to travel to Cuba for tourism purposes. There are 12 other reasons you can choose from to travel, the one best suited for tourism is ‘To support for the Cuban People’. This visa may have conditions such as the utilisation of a local guide, usage of casa particulares etc.
Also need to note that American Travel insurance is not accepted in Cuba. So you will have to find other international insurers to obtain a travel insurance policy.
Please note that we strongly recommend that you verify this information prior to travel with the relevant embassy.
Looking for more travel tips? Check out our Travel Inspiration page.