Are you looking for Cuba visa?

Cuba entry requirements: Be prepared for your trip

by Visagov | September 20, 2022
map of Cuba

Cuba is a Caribbean paradise with incredible music, pure tobacco cigars and a plentiful supply of rum, but because of the country's history the entry requirements can sometimes be a bit tricky.

Read this article to learn about Cuba entry requirements. Make sure you have all the paperwork and all the essential information you need to travel to Cuba and dance salsa all night long in La Habana and enjoy the island's beaches. 

Cuba entry requirements


All travellers must have a valid passport with at least 6 months validity to fulfill the requirements to travel to Cuba.


There are some countries that can travel to Cuba visa-free, for example, Russia, Montenegro, Serbia and Singapore, but citizens of most countries need to know how to get a visa for Cuba in order to follow the Cuba travel requirements.  

Don't confuse the Cuba Tourist Card with a Cuban visa, as they are two separate things

The Cuba Tourist Card allows you to stay for up to 30 days in Cuba if you are traveling for tourism. You can renew your Tourist Card if you decide to stay longer than 30 days, but it must be renewed before the initial one expires. You can easily apply for the Tourist Card through

Make sure you keep your tourist card safe during your trip as you will need it to leave the country. If you lose it you will have to wait for immigration officers to clear you in order to leave. 

When you travel to Cuba, if you are arriving from outside the United States you will be given a Cuba green card.

The other type of visa for Cuba is the pink tourist card: that's the Cuba visa for US citizens, and anyone traveling from the United States will be given one, regardless of which passport they hold. 

Make sure you apply for the right tourist card and check that you have the right color. If you have taken a connecting flight to the U.S. this will affect which card you should show. For example, if you travelled from Madrid to Miami and then take an onward flight to Havana you will need a pink tourist card as you are arriving from the United States. 

Cuba entry requirements to explore the cigar plantations

Travel License from the Office of Foreign Assets Control ("OFAC") 

US passport holders traveling to Cuba will have to declare a travel category as well as applying for the tourist card. There are 12 travel categories that are authorized by the U.S. Government to travel to Cuba, so check the Cuba entry requirements carefully.

These are the 12 categories:

  1. Official Business of the U.S. Government, Foreign Governments, and Certain Intergovernmental Organizations
  2. Professional Research and Meetings
  3. Religious Activities
  4. Public Performances, Clinics, Workshops, Exhibitions, Athletic and Other Competitions
  5. Humanitarian Projects
  6. Exportation, Importation, or Transmission of Information
  7. Family Visits
  8. Authorized Export Transactions
  9. Journalistic Activity
  10. Support for the Cuban People
  11. Educational activities/People to People Travel
  12. Activities of Private Foundations, or Research or Educational Institutes

vintage Cuban cars, palm trees and blue skies

Travel Insurance 

This is one of the mandatory Cuba travel requirements. All travellers must have compulsory travel insurance for Cuba, without exception, so make sure you book yours before you travel. Border authorities may also ask you for your travel itinerary, but it's not part of the official Cuba entry requirements. 


Until recently there were two currencies in Cuba, one for tourists and another for locals, but in 2021 the Cuban government decided to unify both in order to simplify. 

Cuban Pesos (CUP) are now the only Cuba currency. The exchange rate with USD is 1$ to 24 C.U.P. and as the government does not allow currency fluctuation, the exchange rate is always stable. 

Visitors to Cuba can bring USD or EURO onto the island, but C.U.P. cannot technically be taken out of the country. 

The official place to exchange currencies is CADECA, however, if you are staying in a casa particular and want to exchange unofficially, you may be able to get a better rate. You can also use an ATM to withdraw C.U.P. but bear in mind that U.S. cards do not work in Cuba. There can also be extremely long lines at ATMs, so try to exchange previously whenever possible.