Most foreign nationals who want to travel to Cuba must obtain a Cuba visa beforehand. The type of Cuban visa you have to apply for (as well as the procedure) change depending on your purpose of travel.

But what do I need to travel to Cuba?

The Cuba travel requirements differ depending on what type of visa you’re applying for. Some types of visas require more documentation than others.

This article will list the Cuba visa requirements and the documents needed to travel to Cuba. However, keep in mind that this is just a guide, and the required documents may also differ depending on the Cuban consulate you’re applying from as well as your own specific case.

Do I Have to Collect Documents for a Cuba Visa?

Everyone who is not exempt from holding a Cuba visa must collect the documents required for a Cuba visa and submit them at the Cuba consulate in their country or one nearest to them.

There are certain nationals who do not have to apply for a Cuba tourist card (tourist visa) but can receive it after they enter Cuba. However, for work or studying purposes, everyone has to apply for a visa.

See here for a more detailed list of who needs a Cuba visa.

Requirements for Cuba Tourist Visa

The required documents when applying for a Cuba Tourist visa include your passport, health insurance, and a valid travel ticket.

The Cuba tourist visa is also known as a Cuba Tourist Card. If you are from a Cuba-visa required country, you have to get the tourist card before you travel. You can get the Tourist Card at a Cuban consulate, through a travel agency, through an authorized visa application agency, as well as at some airports. If you are not from a visa-required country, you will get a tourist card at the Cuban airport when you land.

Learn more about the Cuba Tourist Visa here.

Requirements for Cuba Business Visa

The Cuba Business Visa is issued to foreign nationals who are travelling to Cuba for business-related purposes. The requirements for a Cuba business visa include:

  • Authorization to travel for business purposes issued by the commercial office at the Embassy of Cuba.
  • Your valid passport, which has a minimum of 2 months’ validity after you leave Cuba.
  • A passport-size picture of yourself.
  • The completed Cuba Business Visa application form, available on the website of the Cuba diplomatic mission through which you are applying.
  • Proof of travel health insurance, covering sudden illness, accidents, and repatriation.
  • Proof you have paid the Cuba visa fee. The method of payment differs on the specific consulate, so make sure to learn about payment requirements beforehand. However, all payments must be made either in cash, through a certified bank or a bank transfer.
  • If you apply by mail, include a pre-paid envelope with sufficient stamps and an address where the consulate can return your documents.
    • Do not include cash for the Cuba visa fee on the envelope. If you apply by mail, pay the fee by bank.

Requirements for Cuba Journalist Visa

The Cuba Journalist Visa is issued to foreign journalists who are travelling to Cuba for their work. To requirements for a Cuba journalist visa are:

  • Authorization to travel for journalism purposes, issued by the Cuban Press Office of the Cuban Embassy.
  • Your valid passport, which has at least 2 more months’ validity after you leave Cuba.
  • A passport-size picture of yourself
  • The completed Cuba Journalist Visa application form, available on the website of the Cuba diplomatic mission through which you are applying.
  • A letter of sponsorship from your employer in Cuba.
  • A list containing the equipment you intend to bring with you, such as filming or photographic equipment.
  • A letter detailing the reason you are travelling (your journalistic project).
  • Proof of travel health insurance, covering sudden illness, accidents, and repatriation.
  • Proof you have paid the Cuba visa fee. You have to pay either in cash, through a certified bank or a bank transfer.
  • If you apply by mail, include a pre-paid envelope with sufficient stamps and an address where the consulate can return your documents.
    • Do not include cash for the Cuba visa fee on the envelope. If you apply by mail, pay the fee by bank.

Requirements for Cuba Family Visa

You can only apply for a Cuba family visa if you are the spouse or minor child of a Cuban citizen. The requirements for a Cuba family visa include:

  • Proof of permission for residency in Cuba, issued by the Cuban consulate
  • A valid passport, which has at least two more months of validity from the date you intend to leave Cuba.
  • Complete Cuba Family Visa application form, which you can download from the website of the Cuba consulate through which you are applying.
  • A passport-size picture of yourself.
  • Proof of family relationship, such as birth and marriage certificates.
  • Proof of having paid the Cuba visa fee, either in cash or through a certified bank or a bank transfer.
  • Proof of travel health insurance, covering sudden illness, accidents, and repatriation.
  • If you apply by mail, include a pre-paid envelope with sufficient stamps and an address where the consulate can return your documents.
    • Do not include cash for the Cuba visa fee on the envelope. If you apply by mail, pay the fee by bank.

Requirements for Cuba Study Visa

A Cuba student visa is issued to foreign nationals who want to study in a Cuban educational institution. The requirements for a Cuba student visa include:

  • Your Birth Certificate.
  • Your High School Diploma.
  • Proof of proficiency in the Spanish language, if you aren’t from a Spanish-speaking country.
  • A valid passport, which has at least two more months of validity from the date you intend to leave Cuba.
  • Complete Cuba Study/Academic Visa application form, which you can download from the website of the Cuba consulate through which you are applying.
  • A passport-size picture of yourself.
  • Health certificate, which includes blood tests, AIDS test, and radiographic examinations of the thorax, proving you are in good health. The results cannot be older than six months, and must be legalized.
  • Proof of having paid the Cuba visa fee, either in cash or through a certified bank or a bank transfer.
  • If you apply by mail, include a pre-paid envelope with sufficient stamps and an address where the consulate can return your documents.
    • Do not include cash for the Cuba visa fee on the envelope.

Requirements for Cuba Work Visa

The Cuba work visa is for foreign nationals who want to work in Cuba for a Cuban employer/company. The requirements for a Cuba work visa are:

  • Proof of permission for residency in Cuba, which you can get at the Cuban consulate.
  • Certificates, diplomas, or other qualifications which prove you have the relevant experience for the job.
  • Proof of financial solvency, which indicates you can support yourself and any family members coming with you in Cuba.
  • Two passport-size pictures of yourself.
  • Certificate of police clearance, issued in the past three months.
  • Medical certificate, which includes results of your blood tests, AIDS test, and radiographic examinations of the thorax. The results cannot be older than six months, and must be legalized.
  • A valid passport, which has at least two more months of validity from the date you intend to leave Cuba.
  • Proof of having paid the Cuba visa fee, either in cash or through a certified bank or a bank transfer.
  • If you apply by mail, include a pre-paid envelope with sufficient stamps and an address where the consulate can return your documents.
    • Do not include cash for the Cuba visa fee on the envelope.

Requirements for Cuba Residency

You must apply for a Cuba residence permit at the Cuba consulate nearest to you, where you have to submit the following:

  • A certificate of police clearance from your country, issued in the past three months and legalized.
  • Medical screening, including blood tests, AIDS test, and radiographic examinations of the thorax. The results cannot be older than six months, and must be legalized.
  • A letter which states what is the reason that you are applying.
  • Any documents which support your request, such as marriage certificates, birth certificates, etc.
  • A passport-size picture.
  • A photocopy of your passport.

Cuba Visa Documents Guidelines

The documents you submit for your Cuba visa application have to be in Spanish. If they are not, they have to be translated by a sworn translator. You must submit both the original document and the translation.

All the documents you submit (original and translation) have to be legalized by the competent authorities in your country and then by the Cuban Consulate as well.

What Should I Do After I Collect These Documents?

You have to submit these documents at a Cuban consulate, except in the case of Tourist visas, which you can also receive from travel or visa application agencies or even at certain airports.

For more, see: How to apply for a Cuba visa?