ViaHero · Updated March 1, 2019
Cuba is calling out for Americans to visit these days. With its spicy music culture, enticing new food scene, hand-rolled cigars, and warm, sunny days, everyone wants to plan a trip right now. However, all the talk of red tape can make it seem daunting, but, we promise, traveling to Cuba is simple and extremely rewarding.
Before you jet off to Cuba, it’s essential that you get a Cuba visa. It’s a small but important piece of paper that’s easy to get before your trip. Keep reading to learn more about the Cuba visa, including where and how to get one. Once you give the article a read, feel free to message us any questions you have about the visa process.
What is a Cuba visa?
The Cuba visa is officially called a Tourist Card, but you'll often hear it referred to as a Cuba visa. The two phrases are practically interchangeable.
If your last stop before Cuba is the United States, then the Cuba visa that you need is a small pink piece of paper with your basic travel information on it. You’ll fill it in yourself with your name, travel dates, passport number, etc. The card is valid for thirty days of travel in Cuba, and you may renew it once in Cuba for an additional thirty days. If your last stop before Cuba is not in the United States, your visa/Tourist Card will be green.
If you travel to Cuba through a country other than the United States, then you’ll get the same paper in green.
How do I get a Cuba visa?
If the word “visa” conjures up the idea of a stack of paperwork and needing to stand in a long line at an embassy, put that out of your mind right now. The Cuba visa is easy to acquire, and here's how you can get yours:
You can buy your Cuba visa online, in advance of your trip. This is often the simplest option for travelers who like to have their documents in-hand before getting to the airport.
- If you're traveling to Cuba from the US (regardless of citizenship), you can use Cuba Visa Services to get the best rate on your pink Cuban Tourist Card.
- Cuba Visa Services offers FedEx shipping anywhere in the lower 48 states along with an expedited shipping option.
- If you're traveling to Cuba from outside the US, you can get your green Tourist Card online through Easy Tourist Card.
- Easy Tourist Card ships via DHL, anywhere in the world, but it's a bit more expensive.
Buying your visa/Tourist Card online allows you to skip the lines at the airport (especially important if you have a connecting flight to Cuba).
It's usually relatively easy to purchase your Tourist Card from your air carrier itself, but the method and location of purchase vary airline-to-airline. We’ve created guides for how to get a Cuba visa from most major airlines that fly to Cuba from the US. Check them out for step-by-step instructions and price information.
- How to Get Your JetBlue Cuba Visa at the Airport
- Get an American Airlines Cuban Visa Before Your Trip
- Here’s the Deal with the Delta Cuba Visa Process
- Snag a Southwest Cuban Visa Before Your Trip
Cruise Lines / Tours
If you’re taking a cruise, then the cruise line should provide the visa or at a minimum visa information. The same is true of group tours: the tour company can help you get a Cuba visa. Remember: make sure to check in with your cruise or tour operator before traveling. You will not be able to enter Cuba without a visa. Or, just buy yours online!
If you live close to a Cuban Embassy, you can get a Cuba visa there. Prices vary by location.
Our travel planners are experts in helping people get their Cuba visa, too; plus, they can plan your independent trip to Cuba from start to finish.
Have more questions about Tourist Cards and visas for travel to Cuba? Here is a list of Cuban Heroes who can help you or you can message us any questions you have. And before your trip, make sure to check out: