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Cuba Tourist Card + Visa
ViaHero · August 12, 2018
What do you need to travel to Cuba as an American? It's really quite simple. You need a passport plus medical insurance and a tourist card if you're traveling from the US. And you must declare a travel category. It sounds like a lot, but it really and truly isn't.
Here's our guide to navigating the Cuban tourist card/visa requirements. For more information on the other things you'll need, go to Cuba info for Americans. And for the latest updates on Cuba travel policies, check our 2018 travel to Cuba update. The new policy announced by President Trump does not affect the tourist card requirement.
Once you give the article a read, feel free to message us any questions directly; these kinds of logistics can feel pretty confusing, but our Cuban travel experts are here to clear them up for you.
Here's what you'll need to enter Cuba for a short trip or vacation, broken down by country of citizenship (requirements are more complicated if you are visiting for an extended period or for business):
Visa required for entry:
Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Cameroon, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Ghana, Guinea, India, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Kenya, Nepal, Nigeria, Pakistan, Philippines, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Sri Lanka.
No Tourist Card or Visa required for entry:
Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Belarus, Benin, Bosnia, China, Dominica, Grenada, Macedonia, Malaysia, Montenegro, Mongolia, Namibia, Saint Kitts, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent, Serbia, Singapore, and Vietnam.
Tourist Card required for entry:
Everyone not on the above two lists.
If you're from the USA, you need a tourist card but you do not need a visa. However, the tourist card is often referred to as a visa.
What is a Cuban Tourist Card?
Tourist cards grant the holder a maximum stay of 30 days (90 days in the case of Canadian citizens), however, these can be extended one time for additional days. All tourist cards are the same unless you are flying direct to Cuba from the US. The ones you'll receive when coming from the US are more expensive and pink in color. If you are a US citizen flying through another country, the normal Cuban tourist card (the green one) is sufficient. If you're a non-US citizen and your last stop before Cuba is in the US, you need the pink tourist card.
How to get a Cuban Tourist Card
There are four simple ways to acquire a Cuban tourist card:
1. If you're flying, the easiest way to get your Cuban tourist card (whether pink or green) is from the airline on the last leg of your trip to Cuba. Here are the details on the different airline procedures:
- If you're flying from Canada direct to Cuba your airline will likely provide the tourist card in-flight and the price is included in your flight.
- If flying from Mexico direct to Cuba you can pay $20 USD (or the equivalent in MXN) at your airline's check-in counter. You will need it to board your final flight leg to Cuba, usually from Mexico City or Cancun.
- If flying from the US direct to Cuba, then your airline will help arrange your Cuban tourist card. This card is pink, instead of the typical green tourist card.
- JetBlue sells the tourist card at the last airport before your entry to Cuba and it costs $50. Visit the JetBlue desk before boarding to get the Tourist Card.
- American Airlines refers you to Cuba Travel Services (CTS) to purchase the tourist card before you travel. It costs $85 plus shipping.
- Delta Airlines sells it to you at the airport, prior to boarding your flight to Cuba and it costs $50.
- United also sells the tourist card at the gate and charges $75.
- Southwest refers travelers to Cuba Visa Services and charges $50.
The prices vary because each airline charges a different processing fee. These prices may change but are up to date as of this writing.
2. If you're taking a cruise, you may be able to purchase the Tourist Card from the cruise line. Norwegian Cruise Lines offers the visa for a $75 fee. If your cruise line does not sell tourist cards, purchase it through one of the methods below.
3. Visit your country's Cuban Embassy. Tourist card costs range from $20 to $75 depending on the embassy/consulate.
4. Order from a travel agency or website that sells tourist cards. Most travel agencies that arrange trip packages or tours to Cuba can sell you a Tourist Card. The following websites also provide tourist cards: cubavisaservices.com, visacuba.com, cubavisas.com, and cubacenter.com.
All of our Cuban travel experts can help you figure out the best way to get a tourist card.
Pink or Green Tourist Card?
If you've done some reading on tourist cards before, you may be worried about whether you need a pink or green tourist card. But it's easy to know which one you need. If you travel directly to Cuba from the US, you'll get a pink tourist card. If you travel to Cuba via any other country, you'll get a green tourist card. If you purchase from the airline, you'll automatically get the correct color. If you purchase from a third-party website, make note of the last airport you depart from—if it's in the US then you need a pink tourist card, otherwise, get a green tourist card. It doesn't matter what country your passport is from. Your tourist card color depends on the last place you depart from before arriving in Cuba.
Have more questions about tourist cards and visas for travel to Cuba? Here is a list of our Cuban travel experts who can help you or you can message us your questions. And before your trip, make sure to check out: