The Tourist Visa (or Tourist Card) is required by the Cuban Government for travellers from nearly every country; check the entry requirements for your nationality to determine whether this information applies to you.
The visa is valid for one entry for a stay of up to 90 days but can be renewed for an additional 90 days while you are in Cuba. It is important not to lose your visa while in Cuba because they will collect it when you depart.
The Pink Visa for US to Cuba Flights
If you are flying directly to Cuba from the US (e.g. Miami, Tampa, Houston), regardless of nationality, you need a 'pink' visa, an example is pictured above. You will purchase the visa in the airport before you board your flight to Havana. In the process of purchasing the visa, you will be asked to verify that you are traveling legally to Cuba. This is the time to select your category of general license, the most common is Support for the Cuban People.
The pink visa will cost between $50-100USD and the transaction takes just a few minutes, no need to worry about adding extra time to your layover to get it. Some US airlines will also allow you to buy the visa in advance and ship it to your home. Airline call center staff are usually not well informed about travel to Cuba, so it's best to search the airline's website (Airline name + Cuba + Visa in a Google search) instead of calling to ask about the Cuba visa.
The Green Visa for non-US Flights to Cuba
If you are flying from any other country to Cuba (even on a US passport), you will buy what is known as the 'Green' visa, which looks exactly the same as the "pink" visa above but is a different color.
We do not recommend contacting the embassy to obtain a tourist visa because it is very slow and inefficient.
Visa vs License
Many Americans use these words interchangeably, but they are not the same thing. The general license for Cuba is a legal requirement of the US government, the visa is a Cuban Government requirement.
All Cuban born citizens require a special Visa. Visit the Cuba embassy website for current information.