What is visa policy in Cuba?
Each state has its own visa policy, which it has created over the years through negotiations and treaties. Cuba is no different and has a relatively moderate visa policy.
In terms of the part that interests you most, there are three main categories of people who travel to Cuba: Citizens of countries that are exempt from visa requirements, travelers who can apply for a Cuban tourist card, and travelers whose only option is a Cuban diplomat mission to obtain a visa.
Citizens of visa-free countries
Cuba’s visa policy stipulates that there are 18 countries whose citizens can enter Cuba without a visa. The length of stay varies between 28 and 90 days depending on nationality.
For example, if you come from Barbados, you can stay in Cuba for up to 28 days. If you come from Serbia, you can stay up to 90 days in the country. People from countries without a visa can cross the Cuban border with a simple passport.
Persons eligible for a Cuban Tourist Card
The next category of people are Cuban tourists, also known as Tourist Card. All you need to do is get a valid passport that will remain valid for at least 6 months from the date of arrival in Cuba. The document is available online through travel agencies and can be purchased from airlines.
The document allows a stay of 30 days in Cuba, except for Canadian citizens who are granted a stay of 90 days. The tourist card of Cuba may be extended for the same period as that in which it was issued. However, the application for extension must be made before the visa expires. Otherwise it will be deported.
Persons not entitled to a Cuban Tourist Card
The last category of travellers are citizens who cannot obtain a Cuban tourist card. The only possibility for these people is to apply for a visa for Cuba from the nearest Cuban diplomatic mission.
This is a trip to the embassy and you must make a request to the embassy. 20 nationalities from all over the world have only this option.
Visa policy is constantly evolving as new contracts are signed every year. For Cuba, the year 2018 includes the signing of visa waiver agreements with Kazakhstan, Kosovo and Russia.
Transit visa for Cuba
Those who wish to travel through Cuba while travelling to another destination do not have a Cuban visa or tourist map. However, there are some rules. You can enter Cuba, but your transit cannot take longer than 72 hours from the time of your arrival.
As you can see for yourself, there are not many rules in Cuban visa policy for holders of normal passports. At the same time, the easiest way to get a visa is to apply online for a Cuban tourist card.
Not only will you know immediately if you qualify for a tourist card, but you will be redirected to a page where you can register on the website. It takes 10 minutes and your visa can arrive in less than a working day if you submit your application in the morning.