Where to get a visa in cuba
  • We're Canadian. Going to Cuba on Sept 4th. Can we get our visa on the plane (or once we land) like Mexico, or do we need to do it before hand?

    Help would be greatly appreciated.

  • You can get the visa at the airport in Mexico at either Mexico city or Cancun. There is a desk by the check in counter and you purchase the visa there in a matter of minutes for the same price.
    Many airlines departing from Canada provide the visa as well. Check with the flight provider.
  • I would personally get your visa sorted before you go to Cuba, either through the operator you're travelling with or yourself. Cuba have also made it obligatory that you show your medical insurance documents on arrival, so don't forget to bring them along with you!

    Have a look at the following link for advise on getting a tourist card for Cuba: www.wordtravels.com/Travelguide/Countries/Cuba/Visa
  • The visa will be handed to you during the flight, no need to do anything but fill out a few simple questions and hand it to immigration as you pass through the airport. I don't think they really look at it very closely, mere technicality.
  • Do NOT bother with trying to get a Cuban Tourist Card (Visa) through an Embassy or any other agency before you leave. It's a waste of time and money.

    1.) If you're flying from Canada the Tourist Card is supplied to you by the airline, tour operator, etc.

    2.) If you flying from Mexico - or anywhere else in the Western Hemisphere - the Tourist Card is available for purchase before you board the flight.

    The situation is different for European departures, but the Tourist Card is NO BIG DEAL flying from anywhere in the Western Hemisphere.

  • Thanks Terry, great advice there.
  • Hello,

    I am an Indian National currently living in the grand Bahamas , Freeport , Bahamas. I am working on a legal bahama work permit.

    Is there any possibility where I could travel to Cuba for 1 day stay. Please let me know do I need a visa for the same.

    Look forward for an advise or reply.

  • All you require is a Tourist Card which is the same thing as a visa. You can buy it right at the Airport in Nassau, no problems. They won't allow you to board the aircraft without it.

  • im a permanent resident in canada, with Philippine passport, what do i need to go to cuba, or do i need a canadian passport?

  • No idea, but I've met lots of people from the Philippines in Cuba and both countries have embassies in each others countries so I'm guessing it's a non issue. Drop an email to the embassy just to be sure:


    Have fun.

  • Hi, I am hoping to travel to Cuba, from Canada, with a British passport. Should I sort out a Tourist Visa before I leave UK or can I do it in Canada?
  • Barky66, read my post above in this thread from Oct 22nd 2010.

    The Cuban Tourist Card is a complete no brainer when departing from Canada - the airline, tour operator, etc. MUST provide it to you. No worries.

    Have fun.

  • I am getting very confused now....We fly out to Holguin in 10 weeks time on honeymoon and I had no idea about visa/tourist card and nobody has mentioned it either when booking our package. I decided to check for myself what was required just in case but I am no further on as websites are all saying you must get your tourist card/visa BEFORE departing the UK....arghhhhh. Phone call to tour operator in order I think!
  • If you are flying on an all inclusive package then your Cuban Tourist Card will be mailed to you under separate cover or issued to you at the airport - policies vary between the different UK Tour Operators.

    If you had a flight-only ticket then the procedure is different yet again, usually you're required to obtain your Tourist Card independently.

    And yes, you need the Tourist Card BEFORE you depart the UK.

  • my husband and i live in the uk, i hold a uk passport and my husband a candian one. we have booked a package holiday from virgin i wonder if the visa they will be sending to us is also valid for my husband given he is a different nationality. not getting very clear advice from agencies would be grateful for your advice. many thanks.
  • Your nationality is immaterial. Everyone requires a Cuban Tourist Card to enter Cuba, period.

    I am not familiar with Virgin specifically but if you have booked an all inclusive package then they should supply you both with Tourist Cards.

    Check directly with Virgin to confirm their policy is the same as all other UK Tour Operators like Thomas Cook, etc.

    Have fun!

  • im american, planning to visit havana, can my credit/debit card work in cuba? Do the hotels accept these cards or do i have to pay them in cuban money exchange amount? When i check in a local hotel will they accept my cards there? thanks
  • The US has had Cuba under a punishing economic embargo for almost a half century, so no, of course your credit/debit cards will not work there. US cash also suffers a 10% surcharge that no other foreign currency faces.

    Read this then come back with any further questions:


    Have fun.

  • I am an american traveling to cuba with my 18 year old son.
    does the fact that you are us matter in Terry's post:
    ) If you flying from Mexico - or anywhere else in the Western Hemisphere - the Tourist Card is available for purchase before you board the flight.
    ) I am trying to decide between going with one of these tours, or just going on our own. The tour operators say it is very expensive, and they ave the days so booked!
    Is it a problem traveling on our own, we have about 10 days...
  • and another question, about spending american dollars, is it really a problem if you do not have a valid visa/licence if you are not going with some tour organization?
  • Dear Sally,

    1.) Tourist Card: Your nationality is immaterial. Everyone requires a Tourist Card to enter Cuba and like I said above it's either supplied with your ticket or available for purchase at any departure point in Canada, Mexico and Central/South America.

    2.) Independent Travel: If you're an experienced traveller in developing countries and you've stayed in inexpensive hostels/hotels elsewhere and used local transport then Cuba will hold NO surprises. Travelling independently in Cuba is very easy.

    Cuba is no longer an exotic destination... there are loads of excellent guide books like Moon, Rough Guide, Lonely Planet, etc... there are several Internet forums/blogs (Lonely Planet, Trip Advisor, etc.) that make it an easy place to research... the whole country is very safe and non-threatening... it has a very defined Gringo Trail with decent transport and accommodation options... tourist scams are simple and no big deal, almost to the point of being naively innocent (compared to most other developing countries)... if you're still nervous it's easy to have a local guide/resolver/travel agent give you a really nice comfort zone by setting you up with a semi-arranged itinerary so you're not completely on your own... etc.

    For a first time visitor a guide book is by FAR your most important (and cheapest/easiest) investment to start your research.

    3.) Travelling illegally: Read my Reply #9 from Oct. 22nd here, then come back with any further questions:


    Have fun.

  • Hi Terry
    I must thank you for the time you take to answer all our questions. I do have a question for you. If I am not a Canadian citizen but am only a Canadian resident who holds a Canadian residency card, I am assuming the only visa I will require is the tourist card?
  • I am flying into Cuba and joining friends on their Canadian boat and then leaving with them. How do I show customs that I have a place to stay and will be leaving?
  • Hi,i've booked holiday package to visit cuba,from thomas cook.com,but that's the uk page and i'm Irish resident...so they let me pay for that trip,where was written that visas are included in price...but when i called them,they said that them visas are just for UK passport holders or UK residents and they can't guarantee me that i would be abble to travel...they asked me to contact cuba embassy in uk to be sure that my passport is ok to travel and as well to ask if the cards they'll give to fill in for UK residents,are ok for me as well.I'm from Slovakia originaly,we in EU as well....anyone can help?We are supose to fly next monday(27th of february)Cheers
  • Kim99: As stated above your nationality is immaterial. All anyone requires is a Tourist Card.

    Bax35: Cuban Immigration doesn't require proof of accommodation upon entry so that's a moot point. When you leave with your pals you'll show Immigration at the Marina your Tourist Card and that will be stamped for your exit, no worries.

  • Roro rebro,

    I think you simply spoke to an idiot at Thomas Cook, but to be absolutely sure post your question at this website, there are loads of UKers there who will know exactly what the truth is:


    Have fun.

  • I'm planning to leave from Portugal to Cuba, stay there for 3 weeks and leave to M
  • I WILL have only 1 hour to change planes in Mexico City. Will that give me enough time to get the visa?
  • Pedro: You don't say how you'll be flying from Portugal to Cuba, but if you're leaving from Europe then be sure you have made arrangements to acquire a Cuban Tourist Card before you depart. The Tourist Card is valid for 30 days before it has to be renewed. Unless you're a scruffy backpacker chances are very slim that you'll be asked to provide proof of your departure to Mexico, but you should have that all arranged before arrival anyway - you do not want to be buying onward tickets in Cuba unless absolutely necessary.

    Tovah: The Tourist Card (Visa) is a very fast purchase... but only 1 hour to change airplanes... that is cutting it very close unless you have carry-on luggage only... Good luck...

  • Hi, we are planning to go to Cuba for a week trip by the end of June, leave from San Francisco. How can we get a visa? or do we even need one in advance? Can we go to Mexico or other country first to get a Cuban tourist card?

    I have a Chinese passport and my friend has a Danish one, both are not residents of USA.

    Can anyone provide detail information about the visa application? I read something like LEGIBLE photocopies of passport and air tickets, but I don't want to buy an air tickets if the visa cannot be processed in a month.

    Thank you very much for helping.
  • Hi Offramp,

    You'll have a hard time finding flights from the US to Cuba, as travel is still highly restricted. In fact, after a quick search the only flight I found from San Francisco to Cuba was via London and Madrid! You'll be better off booking individual flights through Mexico City, and should be able to get a Cuban Tourist Card there. Be advised that it may take a few days, but that gives you the chance to explore Mexico City a bit in the meantime!
  • 1.) Impossible for you to fly as a tourist from the US directly to Cuba. It's illegal.

    2.) From the US west coast the most popular transit point would be Mexico City or Cancun directly into Havana.

    3.) There is no Visa application. There is no wait of a "few days" for the Visa. The Cuban Tourist Card (same thing as a Visa) is available for immediate purchase from any departure point in Mexico. Everyone else on your flight will be doing the very same thing... you can't board the aircraft without it. So no worries, it's a no brainer.

    Have fun.

  • Thanks for the correction Terry, good to know!
  • Departing from anywhere in Canada, Mexico, Caribbean or Central/South America is easy... the Tourist Card is either supplied or you're given the opportunity to purchase it. Couldn't be simpler.

    Departing from the UK and Europe is another story...

  • For me, It's better to have it before going there. Because if you'll have it there it would be difficult for you to comply the things required by the embassy.
  • There is nothing to comply with at any Embassy. The Cuban Tourist Card is a simple piece of paper. There's no application with photos, etc. like a normal Visa.

    Where are you flying from? What is your nationality? Are you going to Cuba on a package tour or travelling independently?

  • Hoping someone can help. I want to go to Cuba for a holiday,but as it is weekend now and I would fly in 2 days. Is it possible to obtain a visa or tourist card when I would land in Cuba?
  • Sorry I forgot to say I will be flying (well maybe) from UK. Thanks.
  • You will not be allowed to board the aircraft in the UK without the Tourist Card so you MUST get it beforehand.

    No one can give you any further advice though when you give no clue which airline you're flying with, whether you're on a package tour or travelling independently, which Passport you're holding and where you're located at this moment.

    Good luck.

  • The visa will be handed to you during the flight, no need to do anything but you need to determine what type of visa you need to enter Cuba depends on the purpose of your visit. As a socialist state, Cuba is very keen on bureaucracy and this can often mean the need for a lot of patience when applying for a visa to Cuba. This is why it is very important that you determine what type of visa for Cuba you need before you start the process.

    Halong cruise-Valentine Halong bay-Hanoi tours
  • 1.) "... The visa will be handed to you during the flight..."

    That is incorrect. Tourist Cards have to be completed and presented BEFORE boarding a flight departing from the UK.

    2.) "... As a socialist state, Cuba is very keen on bureaucracy and this can often mean the need for a lot of patience when applying for a visa to Cuba..."

    Also incorrect when the trip is for a vacation. The Tourist Card is not complicated, it doesn't require any patience whatsoever.

  • i am a resident in turks and caicos island ,i am a philippine passport holder. and no cuba embassy in the island, do you have an idea where i can get a cuban tourist visa card? would be greatful for your advice.

  • As mentioned back in Post #5 on Oct. 22nd and also in another reply on May 14th departing from anywhere in Canada, Mexico, Caribbean or Central/South America is easy... the Tourist Card is either supplied or you're given the opportunity to purchase it at the airport. Couldn't be simpler.

    Your nationality is immaterial.

    Have fun.

  • Hello

    I'm a Taiwanese and plan to go Cuba on Dec via Paris, I will have 5-day stopover at Paris and take Air France to destination. Is it possible to get Cuban Tourist card in Paris or at airport ?

    Many thanks

  • Air France will NOT allow you to board the aircraft without a Cuban Tourist Card.

    Figure out how to get one once you arrive in Paris. You have loads of time to acquire one. Air France, Cuban Embassy, Travel Agent, etc...

  • Thank you Terry, I will try to obtain a Cuban Tourist card in Paris.

    Best Regards
  • Have a great time.

  • hello, we are planing to fligh from Nassau to Cuba and then Cuba to Mexico. Buying a visa in the UK is very expensive, can you confirm if I can buy the visa at Nassau's airport? thanks a lot
  • hello, I am not interested in fake or dodgy deals, I just want to know if I can buy the visa fron Nassau airport. Thanks a lot for your answers
  • As mentioned back in my reply on Oct. 22nd and also in my reply on May 14th and also in my reply on November 18th when you're departing from anywhere in Canada, Mexico, Caribbean or Central/South America it's easy... the Tourist Card is either supplied or you're given the opportunity to purchase it at the airport.

    You can purchase the Tourist Card right at the airport in Nassau. Everyone else on your fight will be doing the same. You can't board the aircraft without it.

    Couldn't be simpler.


Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

In this Discussion