visa policy of cuba

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Cuba has always been a place filled with surprises for the tourists and why won’t it be with its amazing natural beauties all surrounding the country and adorning it! This place is a heaven for people who love nature and beaches for sure. This trip is, however, possible only if you hold a valid visa. This visa however for an application needs some rules to be followed. This set of rules is called the visa policy of Cuba. This clearly explains the purpose of rules for a visa issuing and the visa for tourism or any other purposes. 

It is a question that is always asked by tourists that, for what reason is Cuba tourism the most famous? The answer to this might actually turn out more astonishing than you ever thought. The actual Cuban tourism industry is famous for is health tourism. With about 19,600 patients from worldwide coming to Cuba to get treatments under medical professionals has made this country raise at least millions of dollars in its economy. There have also been speculations that the health tourists end up paying more dollars than a Cuban citizen would actually do for a health-related purpose. The other industry that is much more famous in Cuba is mountain tourism. This tourism industry has attracted a lot of adventure lovers from around the world. The mountaineering activities has taken a full turn in the economy of Cuba and has let the tourism lead to the top in charts! 

Well, now you do know why Cuba is famous and why it has a tourism industry that everyone wishes to go for! So let’s take a detailed look at the visa policies and the underlying laws that have been created for the entry of foreigners into Cuba!

It has been far and wide known to almost all of the tourists that one needs to obtain a visa part from holding a flight or any other route tickets. However one can find things a bit different here! The tourism here has made use of a tourist card, unlike some other countries where you get it issued on the passport or have to get an electronic visa with a printout on a paper. This means you always had to carry around a piece of paper. 

Why a tourist card has been preferred over visa paper?

This is the first question that comes into your mind as soon as you hear a tourist visa card. All they had to do was issue a visa through electronic means and get them printed out for use. Why needlessly go through the struggle of getting a card issued just for tourism/ well, the answer is quite simple than you think. Travel in Cuba is alright, but the problem arises when you have to carry it along all day. When you have a paper it is quite hard to carry a visa. As there are chances that the visa may tear up or have some marks or so. While if you have a card it is as good as keeping it in your pocket just as how you keep an ATM card in your pocket. Well, now with such ease of carrying this around would you love to have a card or a paper? Most definitely, the answer would be a visa card! 

Apart from the mentioned card, the outsiders are also expected to have medical insurance and proof of the return tickets that they will be accessing to go back to the home town. This, however, is also applicable to the ones who are Cuban residents. Not only this, but the outsiders might also have to produce proof of the financial records that proves the stable condition of a person before their travel to Cuba

Cuban nationals:

A person who is born in Cuba and is currently residing in another foreign country can enter on a Cuban passport but the condition will change if he or she does not have one. If the Cuban resident is found to not have a passport then the person will probably have to produce all the official documents that prove that the person is no longer a part of the Cuban nationalities.

Foreigners who have visa exemption facility made available:

There are some of the foreigners who can g to Cuba without a visa. Well, now that what we call a piece of good news right! This is, however, possible only for those whose country’s name has actually been put up on the visa exemption list. This list consists of 19 countries and hence the nationals of this country can easily get to Cuba without a visa. This means all they need to have is a passport which follows all the conditions! However even if all the countries can go to Cuba without a visa, there have been specific days assigned to these countries for which they can stay in Cuba for free.

The list of countries whose nationals can get this facility available for them can be given as follows:

1. Countries whose nationals can stay in Cuba for 90 days without a visa:

Bosnia and Herzegovina North Macedonia Russia Kenya Malaysia
Montenegro Serbia United Arab Emirates    

2. Countries whose nationals can stay in Cuba for 60 days without a visa:

Grenada Saint Vincent and the grenadines

3. Countries whose nationals can stay in Cuba without a visa for 30 days:

Antigua and Barbuda Saint Kitts and Nevis Belarus Mongolia Saint Lucia Singapore

4. Countries who can stay in Cuba without a visa for 28 days:

Barbados Dominica

The above country’s nationals can stay for the specified time period but the citizens of Namibia can stay for an indefinite period as there has been no period of time set for them. Also, those citizens of Benin who are a student in Cuba attending any educational institution can go to Cuba without a visa. It is also said according to IATA that all the citizens of Cuba can go to Cuba without a visa. Cuba has also signed a bilateral agreement with the UAE which however has found no effect yet. This was done in May 2019.

Duty travels:

Those who are traveling on duty to Cuba can get a visa-free entry but this is limited to only some countries. These countries can be specified as follows:

Mexico Nicaragua Venezuela

The requirement of a tourist card:

A tourist card is a must for all the tourists as it had been mentioned before. All of the US citizens can, however, gain a pint tourist card which will be for those who will be flying into Cuba from any of the US-based airports. While for those US citizens who will be flying in from any non-US airports can get a green tourist card. This green tourist card is much cheaper than the pink tourist card. The citizens can apply for this tourist card anywhere from the embassies or the agencies or from anywhere they find it feasible. It is also possible for the green tourist cardholders to go to the US after arriving at Cuba without any discrepancies provided that they have the visa readied for the travel.

Cuba Visa requirement:

The Cuba visa is required by about 20 countries and can be given as follows:

Afghanistan Bangladesh Cameroon Eritrea Ethiopia Ghana
Guinea India Iran Iraq Nepal Nigeria
Pakistan Philippines Sierra Leone Somalia Sri Lanka Syria
Uzbekistan Yemen        

These nationals are eligible to travel to Cuba only if they have a tourist card along with holding a valid visa or a permanent residency card which has been given by Canada, the US, or any of the European Union member states.

Transiting through Cuba:

Unlike other countries, you will not be needed to take a transit visa unless your travel exceeds the time limit of 72 hours. If the transit is greater than this time, then only the requirement becomes a compulsion. This is also applicable to all the country’s nationals. This means that all the nationals can transit through Cuba without hold a transit visa or even a tourist card. Also unlike some other countries where you cannot exit the port while transiting, here in Cuba you can exit the port and enter the country. 

Refusal of entry:

Cuba does not allow the citizens of Kosovo to enter. Nor do they allow the nationals of Kosovo to transit through Cuba.

Diplomatic or service passport allowance:

Those nationals of the country whose names have been specified can have a visa-free entry provided that they hold either a diplomatic, service, an official, a public affairs, or a special passport. The list of countries can be given as follows:

Afghanistan Albania Algeria Angola Antigua and Barbuda Argentina
Armenia Azerbaijan Bahamas Barbados Belarus Belize
Benin Bolivia Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Brazil  Burkina Faso
Chad Cambodia Cape Verde China Colombia Congo
Costa Rica Croatia  Cyprus Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic
Ecuador Egypt Equatorial Guinea El Salvador Gabon Gambia
Georgia Ghana Grenada Guatemala  Guinea Guinea-Bissau
Guyana Haiti Honduras Hungary India Iran
Jamaica Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kuwait  Laos
Lebanon Malaysia Mali Mexico Moldova Mongolia
Montenegro Morocco Mozambique Namibia Nicaragua Niger
Nigeria North Korea North Macedonia Panama Paraguay Peru
Philippines Qatar Romania Russia Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia
Saint Vincent Sao Tome Serbia Seychelles Singapore Slovakia
Slovenia South Africa Sri Lanka Suriname Switzerland Syria
Tanzania Timor-Leste Togo Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey
Uganda Ukraine Uruguay Venezuela Vietnam Yemen
Zambia Zimbabwe        

All of the above-listed country’s nationals can travel visa-free. However, the time period for the visa-free stay will be varied in the case of each country. Also according to the ministry of foreign affairs of Cuba, there won’t be a bilateral agreement between Cuba and Armenia or Moldova. However, there have been bilateral agreements signed by Pakistan for visa waiving in October 2019 but has not yet been put into effect.


Q. Will a tourist card be only enough to get an entry into Cuba?

There are some countries that will need a visa and a tourist card both for the entry. However, there are some others who might not need both. So to make this clear you can check the complete list given above.

Q. Will the citizens of Kazakhstan need a visa for Cuba according to the visa policy?

According to the visa policy of Cuba, a Kazakhstan citizen need not apply for a visa as they can stay in Cuba for a period of 30 days without a visa. This will be applicable to all the ordinary passport holders.

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