Cuba Travel Requirements: Travel To Cuba With The Cuban Tourist Card

Jun 13, 2022

8 min read

Are you looking for the perfect getaway to experience mouthwatering Salsa or get a front-row seat to so some of the most famous dance routines in the world? Then Cuba is the destination for you.

Although it might be more challenging for US citizens to travel to Cuba, it is not impossible. I say it is not impossible because Americans can apply for a different Cuba Visa, namely, the support of the Cuban people. But I will explain it more in detail later in this post.

This post will also cover everything you need to know about the Cuban Tourist Card, also known as the Cuban Tourist Visa. You can expect to find information such as who needs to apply for the Cuba Tourist Card, what are the required documents, and how to apply for the Cuba Tourist Card.

Let get to it:

How You Can Get Your Cuba Tourist Visa In Under 10 Minutes

Before searching for your nearest Cuban Embassy or Cuban Consulate, I advise you to apply through Atlys.

Applying for your Cuban Tourist Visa has never been easier. All you need to do is simply give your personal, trip, and passport information and let them do the rest.

Can US Citizens Travel To Cuba?

You're probably asking yourself, "can Americans go to Cuba?" Although you might have heard that you cannot, it's not entirely true. USA citizens can still travel to Cuba, but you must follow a different procedure than applying for the Cuba Tourist Visa.

Suppose you are a US citizen and you want to enjoy a spectacular Cuba travel experience. In that case, you must apply for a different type of visa. We'll first cover some history before answering your question, "Can US citizens travel to Cuba?"

The US government state department placed an embargo on trade between Cuba and the United States of America in 1962. Until this day, it makes travel to Cuba harder than you might think, but not impossible.

If you plan to travel to Cuba, remember that you can not apply for the Cuban Tourist Card. Because of the current restrictions, the easiest visa to apply for is the support of the Cuban people, which is one of the 12 categories of Cuban visas.

I advise that you check out our guide on how US citizens can travel to Cuba.

What Is The Cuba Tourist Card?

Simply put, the Cuba Tourist Card ("Tarjeta del Turista") allows you to visit Cuba for a limited time. An essential Cuba Tourist Card will enable you to stay in Cuba for a maximum of 30 days unless you are Canadian, in which case you stay for 90 days. You can also use it within 180 days of receiving it and remember that it can only be used for single-entry.

The Cuba Tourist Card At First Glance

Now that you know the basics of the Cuba Tourist Card, we can get to the more detailed information. In this section, we'll discuss information such as who needs a Cuba Tourist Card, the Tourist Card fee, and how long you can stay in Cuba with the Tourist Card.

Later in this post, I will cover the Cuban Tourist Card requirements and how you can apply for your Cuban Tourist Card. Please feel free to skip ahead by using the links provided above.

Who Needs A Cuba Tourist Card?

Most foreign nationals planning to visit Cuba must get a Cuba Visa or a Tourist Card. On the other hand, some countries have struck a visa-waiver agreement with Cuba. As a result, their citizens can visit Cuba without a visa and obtain a Cuban Tourist Card upon arrival.

Let's say perhaps you are from a country such as Sri Lanka. In that case, you must make a Cuban Tourist Visa application. Sri Lanka is part of the list of countries that must apply for the Cuban Tourist Visa. This list includes the following countries: Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Cameroon, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Ghana, Guinea, India, Iran, Iraq, Nepal, Nigeria, Pakistan, Philippines, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Syria, Uzbekistan, and Yemen.

What Is The Cuba Tourist Card Fee?

The Cuban Tourist Card fee depends on a few things. Firstly, if you are applying through a Cuban Consulate, you can expect to pay between 20 - 75 USD. But, remember, this can also change depending on where you are applying from. You can also apply for your Cuba Tourist Card online, through a travel agency, or get your Cuban Tourist Card through your airline. Here are the prices of the most common airlines and their Cuba Tourist Card fees:

  • American Airlines: 85 USD (50 USD visa fee + 35 USD processing fee) if you have bought your ticket online. If you buy your ticket at Miami (MIA) airport, you must pay 100 USD (50 USD visa fee + 50 USD processing fee).
  • Delta: 50 USD, which is purchased in person by the gate
  • JetBlue: 50 USD, which is purchased in person by the gate
  • Southwest Airlines: 75 USD (50 USD visa fee + 25 USD processing fee) can be purchased online or in-person at the gate
  • United Airlines: 75 USD (50 USD visa fee + 25 USD processing fee) can only be purchased at the gate.

Important note: You can use your Credit or Debit card online when buying your Cuban Tourist Card.

How Long Is The Cuba Tourist Card Processing Time?

The processing period for a Cuba Tourist Card is determined by the consulate where you apply. Some may take 7-14 business days, while others may take up to a month.

If you apply online or in another way, you may be able to get your Cuba Tourist Card sooner. For example, you might be able to receive it the same day at some airports.

How Long Can You Stay In Cuba With Your Cuba Tourist Card?

As I mentioned earlier, if you are a Canadian citizen, you can stay up to 90 days in Cuba with a Tourist Card. Alternatively, if you are not a Canadian citizen, you can only stay for 30 days. Remember that you can enter Cuba within 180 days after your Cuban Tourist Card was issued.

Can You Extend Your Cuba Tourist Card?

You certainly can. You can apply to the Cuban immigration authorities for a 30-day extension of your Cuba Tourist Card, allowing you to stay in Cuba for 60 days.

If you are a Canadian citizen, you can renew your Cuban tourist visa for another 90 days, allowing you to stay in Cuba for up to six months (180 days).

What Is The Difference Between The Green Tourist Card And Pink Tourist Card?

The only difference between the Green and Pink Tourist Card is where you are traveling from. If you are a US citizen or traveling from the US, you will receive a Pink Tourist Card. Anyone who does not travel from the US to Cuba will receive a Green Tourist Card.

What Are The Cuba Tourist Card Entry Requirements?

As I mentioned earlier, if you are applying for the Cuban Tourist Visa, you might have to provide additional information that meets the Cuba Visa requirements. If you are applicable to apply for the Cuba Tourist Card, you will need the following documents:

How To Get Your Cuba Tourist Card?

As I mentioned earlier, there are a few ways to get your Cuban Tourist Card. First, if you need to apply for a Cuban Tourist Visa, you must apply through a Cuban Embassy or Consulate. If you are using a visa service, please ensure their eligibility.

Alternatively, suppose you only need to apply for the Cuban Tourist Card. In that case, you can use any one of the following options:

Technically, you may purchase the Cuba Tourist Card at Havana Airport or any other Cuban airport for approximately 25 USD. However, if you don't have a Cuba Tourist Card, you won't be able to check in to your flight in most situations.

If you manage to go to Cuba without a card, be prepared to navigate the Cuban infrastructure, which may include long lineups, empty booths, and poor service. Because you won't be able to leave the airport until you have your Tourist Card.

Now You Are Ready To Travel To Cuba

I hope you are ready because now you know everything about the Cuban Tourist Card. The last thing you need to do is sit back, relax and plan your next trip. Please feel free to check out our FAQ section for additional information. Also, remember that you can check out our guide on how Americans can travel to Cuba.

Written By: Armando Du Preez
Fact Checked By: Richard Nathan

Frequently Asked Questions

How Can I Find A Flight To Cuba?

For your convenience, we advise that you use Skyscanner to find flights from around the globe to Cuba.

How Can You Spend Your Money As A US Citizen Traveling To Cuba?

There are no restrictions on how much money you can spend in Cuba. However, the places you choose to spend your money do matter. For example, American visitors are not permitted to spend money at businesses associated with the Cuban military. The State Department's website has a complete list of restricted businesses.

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