A passport valid for six months from date of entry is required. Every visitor needs a Cuban visa or tourist card (tarjeta de turista) valid for a single trip of 30 days (90 days for Canadians); for most visitors, including U.S. citizens, a tourist card will suffice. No tourist card is required for transit passengers continuing their journey to a third country within 72 hours. Tourist cards are issued outside Cuba by tour agencies or the airlineproviding travel to Cuba. In some cases, tourist cards are issued at an airport upon arrival within Cuba. They cost US$15 (£15 in the U.K.; flights from Canada include the fee), but commercial agencies sometimes charge US$25 or more (but up to US$75 from Miami).
Don’t list your occupation as journalist, police, military personnel, or government employer, as the Cuban government is highly suspicious of anyone with these occupations.
Extensions: You can request a single 30-day (90 days for Canadians) tourist visa extension (prórroga, CUC25, payable in stamps—sellos—purchased at Cuban banks) in Havana at Inmigración (Desamparados #110 e/ Habana y Compostela, c/o tel. 07/861-3462, Mon.–Wed. and Fri. 8:30 a.m.–4 p.m., Thurs. and Sat. 8:30–11 a.m.), in the Centro de Negocios Alameda de Paula, or at immigration offices in major cities. If you’re staying in a casa particular, you will need to provide a receipt for the house.
Visitors who overstay their visas may be held in custody until reports are received on their activities in the country. In such an event, you are billed CUC20 daily! Do not overextend your stay.
The U.S. government recommends that its citizens arriving in Cuba register at the U.S. Interests Section, in Havana. Cuba has no restrictions on U.S. tourists. However, all U.S. citizens traveling with a U.S. Treasury Department license are now suspect in the eyes of the Cuban government, and there are recent reports of innocent U.S. travelers being investigated and even jailed. Licensed U.S. travelers should assume that they may be under surveillance and should avoid any activities that heighten such suspicion.
Cuban Émigrés: Cuban-born individuals who permanently left Cuba after December 31, 1970, must have a valid Cuban passport to enter and leave Cuba (you will also need your U.S. passport to depart and enter the United States). Cuban passports can be obtained from the Cuban Interests Section (2639 16th St. NW, Washington, DC 20009, tel. 202/797-8518, cubaseccion [at] igc [dot] apc [dot] org) or any Cuban consulate in other countries. Cuban émigrés holding Cuban passports do not need to apply for a visa to travel to Cuba. Cuba does not recognize dual citizenship for Cuban citizens who are also U.S. citizens; Cuban-born citizens are thereby denied representation through the U.S. Interests Section in the event of arrest.
If you enter using a tourist visa and then wish to change your visa status, contact the Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores (Ministry of Foreign Affairs; MINREX, Calle Calzada #360, e/ G y H, Vedado, tel. 07/835-7421 or 832-3279, www.cubaminrex.cu ). Journalists must enter on a journalist’s D-6 visa. Ostensibly these should be obtained in advance from Cuban embassies, and in the United States from the Cuban Interests Section (2639 16th St. NW, Washington, DC 20009, tel. 202/797-8518, cubaseccion [at] igc [dot] apc [dot] org). However, processing can take months. If you enter on a tourist visa and intend to exercise your profession, you must register for a D-6 visa at the Centro de Prensa Internacional (International Press Center, Calle 23 #152, e/ N y O, Vedado, Havana, tel. 07/832-0526, cpi [at] cpi [dot] minrex [dot] gov [dot] cu, Mon.–Fri. 8:30 a.m.–5 p.m.). Ask for an Accreditación de Prensa Extranjera (Foreign Journalist’s Accreditation). You’ll need passport photos. Here, a journalist’s visa (CUC70) can be got in a day, but you might not get your passport back for a week.
A commercial visa is required for individuals traveling to Cuba for business. These must also be obtained in advance from Cuban embassies.
Visitors need a return ticket and adequate finances for their stay. The law requires that you carry your passport and tourist card with you at all times. Make photocopies of all your important documents and keep them separate from the originals, which you can keep in your hotel safe.
Cuba has Cuban embassies and representation in most major nations. For a complete list visit http://embacu.cubaminrex.cu .
Australia: 128 Chalmers St., Surry Hills, NSW 2010, tel. 02/9698-9797, fax 02/8399-1106, asicuba [at] bigpond [dot] com [dot] au.
Canada: 388 Main St., Ottawa, ON K1S 1E3, tel. 613/563-0141, fax 613/540-0068, cuba [at] embacubacanada [dot] net (embassy and consulate); 4542 Decarie Blvd., Montreal, QC H4A 3P2, tel. 514/843-8897, fax 514/845-1063, seconcgc [at] bellnet [dot] ca (consulate); 5353 Dundas St. W. #401, Toronto, ON M9B 6H8, tel. 416/234-8181, fax 416/234-2754, cubacon1 [at] on [dot] aibn [dot] com (consulate).
France: 16 rue de Presles, Paris, tel. 1/45-67-55-35, fax 1/45-67-08-91, conscu [at] ambacuba [dot] fr.
Germany: Stavangertrasse 20, D-10439 Berlin, tel. 30/9161-1813, fax 30/916-4553, embacuba-berlin@botschaft kuba.de (embassy). Gotlandstr. 15, 10439 Berlin-Pankow, tel. 030/4473-7023 (consulate).
Italy: Via Pirelli #30, 20121 Milano, tel. 02/6739-1344, fax 02/6671-2694, concubmi [at] tiscalinet [dot] it (consulate). Via Licinia 7, 00153 Rome, tel. 06/571-7241, fax 06/574-5445, embajada [at] ecuitalia [dot] it (embassy).
Spain: Paseo de La Habana #194, C.P. 28036, Madrid, tel. 34/359-2500, fax 91/359-6145, secreembajada [at] ecubamad [dot] com (embassy). Calle Conde de Peñalver #38, 28006, Madrid, tel. 91/401-0579, fax 91/402-1948, ccubamadrid [at] telefonica [dot] net (consulate).
United Kingdom: 167 High Holborn, London WC1V 6PA, tel. 020/7240-2488, fax 020/7836-2602, http://cuba.embassyhomepage.com .
United States: The Cuban Interests Section (2639 16th St. NW, Washington, DC 20009, tel. 202/797-8518, fax 202/986-7283, cubaseccion [at] igc [dot] apc [dot] org) is under the aegis of the Swiss embassy.