Travelers from almost every country need a visa (technically called a Tourist Card) to travel to Cuba. While you can get a Cuba visa on arrival in Havana, most airlines won’t let you board unless you already have your visa in hand. Keep reading to learn top tips for getting a Cuba visa quickly and easily.
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Remember: A Cuban Tourist Card/Visa is a Cuban government and has nothing to do with the 12 Permitted Categories of Travel required by the US government. To learn about how to travel to Cuba legally under the Support for the Cuban People category, check out this article on traveling to Cuba in 2023.
Getting a visa/Tourist Card for Cuba before you depart is simple and will give you peace of mind when you arrive in Cuba (and help you arrive at all). There’s no advantage to waiting to get your Cuba visa on arrival, so go ahead and get it in advance in one of these ways:
The most efficient way for most Americans to purchase a Cuba visa/Tourist Card is online, ahead of time, through sites like Online Tourist Card. You can also purchase your Tourist Card from your airline, but pricing and purchase location vary. And you can always go to the embassy or consulate to get your Cuba Tourist Card, but this is generally a hassle and often requires you to go in person. We recommend buying your Tourist Card online in advance and not waiting until the last minute to secure your necessary documentation.
Questions about visas or Cuba travel? Our local Cuba travel planners can answer any questions about how to get a Cuba visa as you plan your trip.
If you do get to Cuba without a Tourist Card, or with a Tourist Card that hasn’t been properly filled out and needs to be replaced, you should be able to purchase one at the airport in Havana for around 2500 Cuban Pesos (CUP). But you’ll have to be patient and work on Cuban time. You might arrive to find that there’s no one there to help you get your Tourist Card, that there’s a long or some other issue. You’ll be stuck in the airport until that’s handled. Get your Cuba visa in advance and things will go much more smoothly.
have questions about getting a Cuba visa on arrival? Our local Cuban travel experts are here to help. And before your trip, make sure to check out: