European travelling from the US to CUBA - VISA
  • I know the issue regarding obtaing a VISA to Cuba has been discussed numerous times, so sorry if this is annoying... but, Im a danish citizen currently living in the US and I'm going to Cuba late May. Will the american authorities give me trouble for not having a VISA to Cuba, when leaving the US? Im going through Mexico, and my plan is to acquire the VISA there. I dont see a problem in this, but then again, I'd like to avoid the "oh, you didnt know that"-experiance... Also is more affordable to buy a health insurance upon arriving in Cuba, or should that be done prior to this?
    Thank you all!
  • Dear Casper,

    You have a lot of misconceptions about travel to Cuba.

    1.) It is 100% illegal for you to travel to Cuba as a tourist. There are no loopholes and your nationality is immaterial. It is illegal for ANYONE residing in the US to go to Cuba as a tourist. Period.

    2.) That makes your question, "... will the American authorities give me trouble for not having a VISA to Cuba, when leaving the US?..." immaterial because you do NOT want the US authorities knowing that you're going to Cuba. As a foreign national you have NO rights (compared to a US citizen) so your legal repercussions for re-entry into the US are way more complicated.

    3.) If you wish to travel to Cuba it is (as stated above) illegal/impossible for you to depart from the US (only passengers with OFAC clearance/permission can fly from the US) so you have to travel through a third country - Canada, Mexico, Bahamas, etc.

    I don't have Internet time at this moment to go into more detail. Start Googling and come back with further questions and I'll be happy to answer them.

    All the best.

    Cheers,
    Terry from Havana
  • Hi Terry,

    Thanks alot you for your reply. Wow, I honestly didnt know that these restrictions applied to anyone else but Americans. I'm here on a student VISA, dont know if that makes a different. I bought my ticket going from SFO to HAV through MEX, but I guess I have to change my ticket then, and buy separete tickets, so the final distination dont appear?
  • 1.) "... I'm here on a student VISA, don't know if that makes a different..."

    As mentioned above there are no loopholes. If you live in the US it's illegal to visit Cuba s a tourist. Period.

    2.) "... I bought my ticket going from SFO to HAV through MEX, but I guess I have to change my ticket then, and buy separate tickets, so the final destination dont appear?..."

    No US travel agent can sell a continuous ticket from the US to Cuba for tourist travel. Did you by it from a foreign travel agent perhaps?

    Cheers,
    Terry
  • Yes, I bought it through a danish company. The thing Im worried about is, that upon return to the US, Cuba will appear as my original departure destination on my boradingpass/itinerary. You suggest that I change my tickets to prevent this? Im flying via Canada on the way home.
  • Since your travel is illegal naturally it makes sense to not return to the US with written proof that you went to Cuba.

    Most Travel Agents would know that and would book the Cuba portion separately...

    Cheers,
    Terry

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