CALL US: 800-961-2949     |     Mail: info@cubatourplanner.com

Travel Requirements

License Information

Cuba Travel Services Inc. is licensed by the U.S. Government to assist qualifying individuals and groups with their travel arrangements to Cuba. On January 16, 2015, OFAC amended the general license category and below are the listed authorized travel activities.


Authorized Licensed Travel Categories

General

Download General Guidelines

  • Family visits
  • Official business of the U.S. government, foreign governments, and certain intergovernmental organizations
  • Journalistic activity
  • Professional research and professional meetings
  • Educational activities
  • Religious activities
  • Public performances

  • Clinics, workshops, athletic and other competitions, and exhibitions
  • Support for the Cuban people
  • Humanitarian projects
  • Activities of private foundations or research or educational institutes
  • Exportation, importation, or transmission of information or information materials
  • Certain authorized export transactions

What is the purpose of your travel? Find out if you fit into any of the below categories:

Family Visit

Persons subject to the jurisdiction of the United States and persons traveling with them who share a common dwelling as a family with them are authorized to engage in the travel-related transactions set forth in § 515.560(c) and such additional transactions as are directly incident to visiting a close relative, as defined in § 515.339, who is a national of Cuba; a person ordinarily resident in Cuba.

Note to § 515.561(a): Each person relying on the general authorization in this paragraph must retain specific records related to the authorized travel transactions. See §§ 501.601 and 501.602 of this chapter for applicable recordkeeping and reporting requirements.

(b) Specific licenses. Specific licenses may be issued on a case-by-case basis authorizing the travel-related transactions set forth in § 515.560(c) and such other transactions as are related to family visits that do not qualify for the general license under paragraph (a) of this section.

(c) An entire group does not qualify for the general license in paragraph (a) of this section merely because some members of the group qualify individually.

Official business of the U.S. government, foreign governments, and certain intergovernmental organizations

(a) The travel-related transactions set forth in § 515.560(c) and such additional transactions as are directly incident to activities in their official capacities by persons who are employees, contractors, or grantees of the United States Government, any foreign government, or any intergovernmental organization of which the United States is a member or holds observer status, and who are traveling on the official business of their government or intergovernmental organization, are authorized.

(b) All transactions otherwise prohibited by this part that are for the conduct of the official business of the United States Government or of any intergovernmental organization of which the United States is a member, or holds observer status, by employees, grantees, or contractors thereof, are authorized.

Note to § 515.562(a) and (b): Each person relying on the general authorization in this paragraph must retain specific records related to the authorized travel transactions. For example, grantees or contractors relying on the authorization in this section must retain a copy of their grant or contract with the United States Government, foreign government, or intergovernmental organization. See §§ 501.601 and 501.602 of this chapter for applicable recordkeeping and reporting requirements.

(c) An entire group does not qualify for the general license in paragraph (a) of this section merely because some members of the group qualify individually.

(d) Specific licenses. Specific licenses may be issued on a case-by-case basis authorizing the travel-related transactions set forth in § 515.560(c) and such other transactions as are related to official government business that do not qualify for the general licenses under paragraph (a) or (b) of this section.

Journalistic Activity

  1. a) General license. The travel-related transactions set forth in § 515.560(c) and such additional transactions as are directly incident to journalistic activities in Cuba are authorized, provided that:

(1) The traveler is at least one of the following:

(i) Regularly employed as a journalist by a news reporting organization;

(ii) Regularly employed as supporting broadcast or technical personnel;

(iii) A freelance journalist with a record of previous journalistic experience working on a freelance journalistic project; or

(iv) Broadcast or technical personnel with a record of previous broadcast or technical experience, who are supporting a freelance journalist working on a freelance journalistic project; and

(2) The traveler’s schedule of activities does not include free time or recreation in excess of that consistent with a full-time schedule.

 

Note to § 515.563(a): Each person relying on the general authorization in this paragraph must retain specific records related to the authorized travel transactions. See §§ 501.601 and 501.602 of this chapter for applicable recordkeeping and reporting requirements.

(b) An entire group does not qualify for the general license in paragraph (a) of this section merely because some members of the group qualify individually.

(c) Specific licenses. Specific licenses may be issued on a case-by-case basis authorizing the travel-related transactions set forth in § 515.560(c) and such other transactions as are related to journalistic activity in Cuba that do not qualify for the general license under paragraph (a) of this section.

Professional Research and Professional Meetings

(1) Professional research. The travel-related transactions set forth in § 515.560(c) and such additional transactions as are directly incident to professional research are authorized, provided that:

(i) The purpose of the research directly relates to the traveler’s profession, professional background, or area of expertise, including area of graduate-level full-time study;

(ii) The traveler does not engage in recreational travel, tourist travel, travel in pursuit of a hobby, or research for personal satisfaction only; and

(iii) The traveler’s schedule of activities does not include free time or recreation in excess of that consistent with a full-time schedule of professional research.

Example to § 515.564(a)(1): The making of a documentary film in Cuba would qualify for the general license in this section if it is a vehicle for presentation of the research conducted pursuant to this section.

Note to § 515.564(a)(1): A person does not qualify as engaging in professional research merely because that person is a professional who plans to travel to Cuba.

(2) Professional meetings. The travel-related transactions set forth in § 515.560(c) and such additional transactions as are directly incident to travel to Cuba to attend professional meetings or conferences in Cuba are authorized, provided that:

(i) The purpose of the meeting or conference is not the promotion of tourism in Cuba

(ii) The purpose of the meeting directly relates to the traveler’s profession, professional background, or area of expertise, including area of graduate-level full-time study;

(iii) The traveler does not engage in recreational travel, tourist travel, or travel in pursuit of a hobby; and

(iv) The traveler’s schedule of activities does not include free time or recreation in excess of that consistent with a full-time schedule of attendance at professional meetings or conferences.

Note to § 515.564(a): Each person relying on the general authorization in this paragraph must retain specific records related to the authorized travel transactions. See §§ 501.601 and

501.602 of this chapter for applicable recordkeeping and reporting requirements.

(b) An entire group does not qualify for the general license in paragraph (a) of this section of this section merely because some members of the group qualify individually.

Example to § 515.564(b): A musicologist travels to Cuba to research Cuban music pursuant to the general license for professional research set forth in paragraph (a) of this section. Others who are simply interested in music may not engage in travel-related transactions with the musicologist in reliance on this general license. For example, an art historian who plays in the same band with the musicologist would not qualify for the general license.

(c) Specific licenses. Specific licenses may be issued on a case-by-case basis authorizing the travel-related transactions set forth in § 515.560(c) and such other transactions as are related to professional research or professional meetings in Cuba that do not qualify for the general license under paragraph (a) of this section.

Educational Activities

(a) General license for educational activities. Persons subject to U.S. jurisdiction, including U.S. academic institutions and their faculty, staff, and students, are authorized to engage in the travel-related transactions set forth in § 515.560(c) and such additional transactions as are directly incident to:

(1) Participation in a structured educational program in Cuba as part of a course offered for credit by a U.S. graduate or undergraduate degree-granting academic institution that is sponsoring the program;

(2) Noncommercial academic research in Cuba specifically related to Cuba and for the purpose of obtaining an undergraduate or graduate degree;

(3) Participation in a formal course of study at a Cuban academic institution, provided the formal course of study in Cuba will be accepted for credit toward the student’s graduate or undergraduate degree;

(4) Teaching at a Cuban academic institution related to an academic program at the Cuban institution, provided that the individual is regularly employed by a U.S. or other non-Cuban academic institution;

(5) Sponsorship, including the payment of a stipend or salary, of a Cuban scholar to teach or engage in other scholarly activity at the sponsoring U.S. academic institution (in addition to those transactions authorized by the general license contained in § 515.571). Such earnings may be remitted to Cuba as provided in § 515.570 or carried on the person of the Cuban scholar returning to Cuba as provided in § 515.560(d)(3);

Note to § 515.565(a)(5): See § 515.571(a) for authorizations related to certain banking transactions by Cuban nationals.

(6) Educational exchanges sponsored by Cuban or U.S. secondary schools involving secondary school students’ participation in a formal course of study or in a structured educational program offered by a secondary school or other academic institution and led by a teacher or other secondary school official. This includes participation by a reasonable number of adult chaperones to accompany the secondary school students to Cuba.

(7) Sponsorship or co-sponsorship of noncommercial academic seminars, conferences, and workshops related to Cuba or global issues involving Cuba and attendance at such events by faculty, staff, and students of a participating U.S. academic institution;

(8) The organization of, and preparation for, activities described in paragraphs (a)(1) through (a)(7) of this section by members of the faculty and staff of the sponsoring U.S. academic institution or secondary school; or

(9) Facilitation by an organization that is a person subject to U.S. jurisdiction, or a member of the staff of such an organization, of licensed educational activities in Cuba on behalf of U.S. academic institutions or secondary schools, provided that:

(i) The organization is directly affiliated with one or more U.S. academic institutions or secondary schools;

(ii) The organization facilitates educational activities that meet the requirements of one or more of the general licenses set forth in § 515.565(a)(1), (a)(2), (a)(3), and (a)(6); and

(iii) The educational activities the organization facilitates in Cuba must, by prior agreement, be accepted for credit by the affiliated U.S. academic institution or approved by the affiliated secondary school.

Note 1 to § 515.565(a): U.S. academic institutions or secondary schools engaging in activities authorized pursuant to this section are permitted to open and maintain accounts at Cuban financial institutions for the purpose of accessing funds in Cuba for transactions

authorized pursuant to this section.

 

Note 2 to § 515.565(a): This paragraph authorizes all members of the faculty and staff (including adjunct faculty and part-time staff) of the sponsoring U.S. academic institution to participate in the activities described in this paragraph. A student currently enrolled in a U.S. academic institution is authorized pursuant to this paragraph to participate in the academic activities in Cuba described above through any sponsoring U.S. academic institution.

(b) General license for people-to-people travel. The travel-related transactions set forth in § 515.560(c) and such additional transactions as are directly incident to educational exchanges not involving academic study pursuant to a degree program are authorized, provided that:

(1) The exchanges take place under the auspices of an organization that is a person subject to U.S. jurisdiction and that sponsors such exchanges to promote people-to-people contact;

(2) Travel-related transactions pursuant to this authorization must be for the purpose of engaging, while in Cuba, in a full-time schedule of activities intended to enhance contact with the Cuban people, support civil society in Cuba, or promote the Cuban people’s independence from Cuban authorities;

(3) Each traveler has a full-time schedule of educational exchange activities that will result in meaningful interaction between the traveler and individuals in Cuba;

(4) An employee, paid consultant, or agent of the sponsoring organization accompanies each group traveling to Cuba to ensure that each traveler has a full-time schedule of educational exchange activities; and

(5) The predominant portion of the activities engaged in by individual travelers is not with individuals or entities acting for or on behalf of a prohibited official of the Government of Cuba, as defined in 31 CFR § 515.337 of this part, or a prohibited member of the Cuban Communist Party, as defined in 31 CFR § 515.338 of this part.

Example to § 515.565(b): An organization wishes to sponsor and organize educational exchanges not involving academic study pursuant to a degree program for individuals to learn side-by-side with Cuban individuals in areas such as environmental protection or the arts. The travelers will have a full-time schedule of educational exchange activities that will result in meaningful interaction between the travelers and individuals in Cuba. The organization’s activities qualify for the general license.

Note to § 515.565(b): An organization that sponsors and organizes trips to Cuba in which travelers engage in individually selected and/or self-directed activities would not qualify for the general license. Authorized trips are expected to be led by the organization and to have a full-time schedule of activities in which the travelers will participate.

Note to § 515.565(a) and (b): Each person relying on the general authorizations in these paragraphs, including entities sponsoring travel pursuant to the authorization in § 515.565(b), must retain specific records related to the authorized travel transactions. See §§ 501.601 and 501.602 of this chapter for applicable recordkeeping and reporting requirements.

(c) Transactions related to activities that are primarily tourist-oriented, including self-directed educational activities that are intended only for personal enrichment, are not authorized pursuant to this section.

(d) Specific licenses. Specific licenses may be issued on a case-by-case basis authorizing the travel-related transactions set forth in § 515.560(c) and such other transactions as are related to educational activities that do not qualify for the general licenses under paragraph (a) or (b) of this section.

Religious Activities

(a) General license. Persons subject to U.S. jurisdiction, including religious organizations located in the United States and members and staff of such organizations, are authorized to engage in the travel-related transactions set forth in § 515.560(c) and such additional transactions as are directly incident to engaging in religious activities in Cuba, provided that the travel-related transactions pursuant to this authorization must be for the purpose of engaging, while in Cuba, in a full-time schedule of religious activities.

Note to § 515.566(a): Each person relying on the general authorization in this paragraph must retain specific records related to the authorized travel transactions. See §§ 501.601 and 501.602 of this chapter for applicable recordkeeping and reporting requirements.

(b) Financial and material donations to Cuba or Cuban nationals are not authorized by this section.

Note to § 515.566(b): See § 515.570 regarding authorized remittances to religious organizations in Cuba and for other purposes. See § 515.533 regarding the exportation of items from the United States to Cuba.

(c) Specific licenses. Specific licenses may be issued on a case-by-case basis authorizing the travel-related transactions set forth in § 515.560(c) and such other transactions as are related to religious activities that do not qualify for the general license under paragraph (a) of this section.

Note to § 515.566: Religious organizations engaging in activities authorized pursuant to this section are permitted to open and maintain accounts at Cuban financial institutions for the purpose of accessing funds in Cuba for transactions authorized pursuant to this section.

Public Performances, Athletic/Non-athletic Competitions, Exhibitions

(a) General license for amateur and semi-professional international sports federation competitions. The travel-related transactions set forth in § 515.560(c) and such other transactions as are directly incident to athletic competition by amateur or semi-professional athletes or athletic teams traveling to participate in athletic competition in Cuba are authorized, provided that:

(1) The athletic competition in Cuba is held under the auspices of the international sports federation for the relevant sport;

(2) The U.S. participants in the athletic competition are selected by the U.S. federation for the relevant sport; and

(3) The competition is open for attendance, and in relevant situations, participation, by the Cuban public.

(b) General license for public performances, clinics, workshops, other athletic or nonathletic competitions, and exhibitions. The travel-related transactions set forth in § 515.560(c) and such other transactions as are directly incident to participation in a public performance, clinic, workshop, athletic competition not covered by paragraph (a) of this section, non-athletic competition, or exhibition in Cuba by participants in such activities are authorized, provided that:

(1) The event is open for attendance, and in relevant situations participation, by the Cuban public;

(2) All U.S. profits from the event after costs are donated to an independent nongovernmental organization in Cuba or a U.S.-based charity, with the objective, to the extent possible, of promoting people-to-people contacts or otherwise benefiting the Cuban people; and

(3) Any clinics or workshops in Cuba must be organized and run, at least in part, by the authorized traveler.

Example to § 515.567(a) and (b): An amateur baseball team wishes to travel to Cuba to compete against a Cuban team in a baseball game in Cuba. The game will not be held under the auspices of the international sports federation for baseball. The baseball team’s activities therefore would not qualify for the general license in paragraph

(a). The game will, however, be open to the Cuban public and any profits after costs from the game will be donated to an independent non-governmental organization in Cuba. The baseball team’s activities would qualify for the general license in paragraph

(b).Note to § 515.567(a) and (b): Each person relying on the general authorizations in these paragraphs must retain specific records related to the authorized travel transactions. See §§ 501.601 and 501.602 of this chapter for applicable recordkeeping and reporting requirements.

(c) An entire group does not qualify for the general license in paragraph (a) or (b) of this section merely because some members of the group qualify individually.

(d) Specific licenses. Specific licenses may be issued on a case-by-case basis authorizing the travel-related transactions set forth in § 515.560(c) and such other transactions as are related to public performances, clinics, workshops, athletic and other competitions, and exhibitions that do not qualify for the general licenses under paragraphs (a) or (b) of this section.

Support for the Cuban People

(a) General license. The travel-related transactions set forth in § 515.560(c) and other transactions that are intended to provide support for the Cuban people are authorized, provided that:

(1) The activities are of:

(i) Recognized human rights organizations;

(ii) Independent organizations designed to promote a rapid, peaceful transition to democracy; or

(iii) Individuals and non-governmental organizations that promote independent activity intended to strengthen civil society in Cuba; and

(2) The traveler’s schedule of activities does not include free time or recreation in excess of that consistent with a full-time schedule.

Note to § 515.574(a): Each person relying on the general authorization in this paragraph must retain specific records related to the authorized travel transactions. See §§ 501.601 and 501.602 of this chapter for applicable recordkeeping and reporting requirements.

(b) An entire group does not qualify for the general license in paragraph (a) of this section merely because some members of the group qualify individually.

(c) Specific licenses. Specific licenses may be issued on a case-by-case basis authorizing the travel-related transactions set forth in § 515.560(c) and such other transactions as are related to support for the Cuban people that do not qualify for the general license under paragraph (a) of this section.

Humanitarian Projects

(a) General license. Transactions, including the travel-related transactions set forth in § 515.560(c), that are related to the humanitarian projects in or related to Cuba that are designed to directly benefit the Cuban people as set forth in paragraph (b) are authorized, provided that the traveler’s schedule of activities does not include free time or recreation in excess of that consistent with a full-time schedule.

Note to § 515.575(a): Each person relying on the general authorization in this paragraph must retain specific records related to the authorized travel transactions. See §§ 501.601 and 501.602 of this chapter for applicable recordkeeping and reporting requirements.

(b) Authorized humanitarian projects. The following projects are authorized by paragraph (a) of this section: medical and health-related projects; construction projects intended to benefit legitimately independent civil society groups; environmental projects; projects involving formal or non-formal educational training, within Cuba or off-island, on the following topics: entrepreneurship and business, civil education, journalism, advocacy and organizing, adult literacy, or vocational skills; community-based grassroots projects; projects suitable to the development of small-scale private enterprise; projects that are related to agricultural and rural development that promote independent activity; microfinancing projects, except for loans, extensions of credit, or other financing prohibited by § 515.208; and projects to meet basic human needs.

Example to § 515.575(b): A U.S. group of medical professionals that specializes in disease treatment wishes to support a community in Cuba by providing the latest techniques and literature in disease education and prevention directly to the Cuban people. Provided that the medical professionals in the group maintain a full-time schedule related to disease education and prevention, these activities qualify for the general license.

(c) An entire group does not qualify for the general license in paragraph (a) of this section merely because some members of the group qualify individually.

(d) Specific licenses. Specific licenses may be issued on a case-by-case basis authorizing

the travel-related transactions set forth in § 515.560(c) and such other transactions as are related to humanitarian projects that do not qualify for the general license under paragraph (a) of this section.

Activities of Private Foundations or Research or Educational Institutes

(a) General license. The travel-related transactions set forth in § 515.560(c) and such additional transactions as are directly incident to activities by private foundations or research or educational institutes with an established interest in international relations to collect information related to Cuba for noncommercial purposes are authorized, provided that the traveler’s schedule of activities does not include free time or recreation in excess of that consistent with a full-time schedule.

Example to § 515.576(a): A private research foundation that produces essays on international relations issues wishes to send a team made up of its employees and consultants to Cuba to collect information for a current study of the relationship that countries in the Western Hemisphere have with European countries. Provided that all of the employees and consultants on the team maintain a full-time schedule of activities relating to the collection of information for the study, these activities qualify for the general license.

Note to § 515.576(a): Each person relying on the general authorization in this paragraph must retain specific records related to the authorized travel transactions. See §§ 501.601 and 501.602 of this chapter for applicable recordkeeping and reporting requirements.

(b) An entire group does not qualify for the general license in paragraph (a) of this section merely because some members of the group qualify individually.

(c) Specific licenses. Specific licenses may be issued on a case-by-case basis authorizing the travel-related transactions set forth in § 515.560(c) and such other transactions as are related

to activities of private foundations or research or educational institutes that do not qualify for the general license under paragraph (a) of this section.

Exportation, Importation, or Transmission of Information or Information Materials

U.S. persons engaging in activities directly related to the exportation to, importation from, and transmission to and from Cuba of information and informational materials, provided that such persons will engage in a full-time schedule of activities that does not include free time or recreation “in excess of that which is consistent with a full-time schedule.”

Certain Authorized Export Transactions

Authorized or Licensed Goods (Section 515.533(d)): Persons may travel under a general license for travel related transactions set forth CFR 515.560(c0) and such incidental transactions as are directly incident to the conduct of market research, commercial marketing, sales negotiation, accompanied delivery or servicing in Cuba of items consistent with the export or reexport licensing policy of the Department of Commerce are authorized, provided that a traveler’s schedule of activities does not include free time or recreation in excess of that consistent with a full time schedule may travel under a general license.

TRAVEL AFFIDAVIT

RESERVATION FORM