We can! While it may be prohibited for Americans to get a visa in Cuba for purposes of tourism, it’s possible to visit Cuba for one of these 12 reasons:
- Family Visits
- Official business of the U.S. government, foreign governments, and certain intergovernmental organizations
- Journalistic Activity
- 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
- Activities of private foundations or research or educational institutes
- Exportation, importation, or transmission of information or information materials
- Certain export transactions that may be considered for authorization under existing regulations and guidelines
When planning my trip, I decided that I fit into category #3 Journalistic Activity – I have a blog and a business card to offer if asked.
But what if you don’t fit into one of these categories? And if you do chose one – will you be questioned about it? What do you need to prove it? And if you can’t prove it – will you be sent home to be punished by the US government?
From my experience, and from what I’ve heard from other travelers is just pick one of the categories and go with it. There’s no need to prove it because chances are you won’t be asked.
It seems that no one is enforcing these rules in Cuba. In fact, Cubans love tourists!
As for the US, no one has yet to question me about the Cuban stamp in my passport.
I say go for it – be a journalist while in Cuba, have fun, be respectful and share your stories with the world!
Obtaining a Cuban Visa
When entering Cuba one needs a valid passport, a Cuban visa, a departure ticket and health insurance.
Obtaining a Cuban visa can feel complicated, but it’s really easy. It just depends on where you’re flying from and which airline you’re flying with.
We got ours at our flight gate in the Grand Cayman airport. I was told not to make a mistake as I was filling out the form or I’d have to buy another visa. For this reason, I suggest taking your time while filling out the visa form. Many travelers report that getting a Cuban visa in the Cancún airport with Interjet is a similar experience – visas are available for purchase right there at the flight gate.
If you’re entering from the US, the visa fee ranges from $40-$110, depending on the airline.
Contact your airline to find out how specifics on purchasing the Cuban visa because it is different for every airline – sometimes it can be purchased online while other times it’s purchased at the airport on the day of departure.
The visa is valid for one 30-day entry, and can be extended in Cuba for another 30 days.