Do I need a visa to travel to Cuba?
The Cuban government requires all citizens traveling to Cuba to obtain a Cuban visa prior to their arrival into Cuba. A Cuban visa is also known as a "tourist card.” The Cuban visa is valid for a single entry and allows the holder to stay in Cuba for 30 days. InsightCuba provides Cuban visas to all its registered guests.
The Cuban visa is a two-part card. In the past, Cuban immigration officials would take one half upon arrival in Cuba, and guests would surrender the other half upon departure. However, as of publiction, immigration gives you back both halves of the tourist visa, but ask that you surrender the entire document upon leaving Cuba. Either way, please make sure to keep your Cuban visa in a safe place with you throughout your trip so you have it with you when you depart the country.
Citizens of several countries may be required to carry an A-1 visa to enter Cuba. This applies to individuals who hold passports from one of the following countries: Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Cameroon, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Ghana, Guinea, India, Iraq, Iran, Kenya, Nepal, Nigeria, Pakistan, Philippines, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Sri Lanka, Syria, and Yemen.
If you are a reporter or journalist traveling with insightCuba for journalism purposes, you may need a special press visa to enter the island as a US correspondent. Please contact insightCuba at 800-450-2822 for more information on how to obtain your press visa for Cuba.
CUBAN AMERICAN TRAVELERS
If you are a Cuban American born in Cuba, you may need a special visa for entry to Cuba. Please call us for more information.
HE-11 and Habilitación visas for Cuban-Born Travelers
If you were born in Cuba, you may need a special visa called the HE-11 for entry to Cuba. This is a visa required by the Cuban government and does not pertain to U.S. government regulations or policies of insightCuba.
Persons who left Cuba before December 31, 1970 can travel to Cuba with their U.S. passport (or green card) but will need to apply for a HE-11 visa to enter Cuba. Applicants must have a copy of a valid U.S. passport as well as a copy of any official U.S. document that proves residency outside of Cuba before December 31, 1970 (for example, an old school or medical record, electricity/phone bill, etc.) and must be included in an application.
Persons who left Cuba after December 31, 1970 can travel to Cuba using both their Cuban and American documentation. They must have a valid U.S. and Cuban passport (dual citizenship) and have a corresponding visa called a Habilitación (this accompanies the Cuba passport and needs to be renewed regularly). Copies of these documents including the Habilitación need to be shown upon check-in at the airport. If a guest needs to apply for a Cuban passport, please let us know and we will assist you. Please note that the processing of a new Cuban passport is known to take 6-12 months.
Please note the following:
We can only process special visas including HE-11, press, or the Habilitación for guests traveling with insightCuba. Processing times can take 4-6 weeks but could be longer. Processing times are not the responsibility of insightCuba as all visas are processed by the Cuban Embassy in Washington, DC. InsightCuba is not responsible for the issuance of special visas before the guest’s scheduled time of travel, however, our office will assist guests in the best way possible regarding special visas or travel plans. This does not apply to regular Cuban visas or Cuban tourist cards.
Please note: A valid U.S. passport is required for entry into Cuba and for us to obtain your Cuban Visa. If you do not have a valid U.S. passport, you may apply for a new one by visiting the U.S. Passports & International travel website by clicking here.
Your U.S. passport must also be valid for six months after your return date from your insightCuba tour. Please make sure to check your passport and renew as soon as possible to avoid having to incur expedited service fees.
You may read more about the U.S. Passport Requirements to Cuba by visiting our FAQ on this topic here.
We want to make sure your trip is an enjoyable and memorable one. If you have any questions please call us at 800-450-2822.