Travel Visas for Cuba
Last Updated Nov 7, 2022
Almost all tourists visiting Cuba, need to obtain a tourist 'visa' which is called the Cuban Tourist Card.
The tourist card is valid for 90 days. Make sure you do not misplace this while in Cuba - you cannot leave the country without it.
Note: Are you flying to Cuba via the US? Or are you are a US citizen? You will need a different “pink” Visa and will also need to complete the documentation to make a legal visit to Cuba under US rules. Read more here!
How to obtain your Cuban Tourist Card
If you are not flying to Cuba from the US, here are our suggestions on how to get the “Cuba Visa”
- Apply through the Cuban Embassy or Consulate closest to you. See below for more information.
- When you purchase your air-tickets, check with the airline to see if they provide the service of arranging visas for you. For example - most airlines flying direct from Canada include the tourist card in the ticket.
- Tourist cards for Cuba have been available for purchase for many years at airports throughout Mexico, Central America, and the Caribbean and can be purchased in a matter of minutes at the time of check-in. NOTE: Please ensure you check the status of this service before heading off to Cuba, these regulations are subject to change - we cannot guarantee this service!
- Some airlines (Virgin Atlantic, Air France) will not permit you to board the flight without a Cuban tourist card. NOTE: check the regulations with the airline in advance.
Visa requirements for foreigners traveling to Cuba, are liable to change and can be dependent upon your nationality.
Official government websites with information specific to the traveller's nationality
- Cuban Consulates in Canada (Ottawa, Montreal, Toronto)
- Canadian Embassy in Cuba (Havana)
- US Bureau of Consular Affairs
- USA Customs and Border control (to apply for your online visa waiver)
- Cuban Embassy in the UK (London)
- Cuban Consulate in Australia (Canberra)
- Department of Foriegn Affairs - Smart Traveller
- Safe Travel for New Zealanders
- Cuban Consulate in NZ (Wellington)
- All Cuban Embassies Worldwide - Click to access your local Cuban Embassy and Consular services, including tourist card applications.
Travelling via the US
Yes, that’s right, even if you aren’t a US citizen or resident, if you travel to Cuba via the US (specifically if you fly directly to Cuba from a US port or fly from Cuba directly to a US port) then you will need a different Visa (a “pink” one!) that you will purchase during check in for your Cuba flight.
You must also be prepared to comply with legal travel to Cuba under US regulations as if you were an American! In simple and somewhat misleading terms, this is often called a “license”, but it is really just a set of guidelines to adhere to, and a box to check, which will be easy to do if you are taking one of our tours. Usually, travellers select the general license category Support for the Cuban People .
The technical reason for this oddity is that any foreigner on US soil is deemed to be under US jurisdiction and therefore subject to the laws of their land.
Read more about purchasing the pink visa.