Now that the dust has had time to to settle on the “new” US regulations regarding travel to Cuba, I thought it would be a good time to revisit them.
Here is what Marazul Tours, arguably the most prominent provider of arrangements for travel to Cuba has to say:
The first step in planning any trip to Cuba is to read the information about U.S. restrictions on Cuba and determine whether you need to obtain a license from The Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC). These restrictions apply to all citizens and residents of the United States – no matter what country you travel to Cuba from and whether or not you are a citizen of another country as well.
Only persons whose travel falls under certain categories may be authorized to travel to Cuba. This authorization is called a General License if no application to OFAC is necessary or, a Specific License when OFAC must authorize your travel to Cuba. Please see Regulations for detailed information.
Want more info on planning a trip to Cuba? Download information on Your Trip to Cuba.
Global Exchange, another provider of travel to Cuba, provides a nifty checklist to help you determine if you qualify to travel to Cuba legally. I’m reproducing most of it below.
CUBA TRAVEL AFFIDAVIT
I understand that, under current United States travel restrictions with respect to Cuba, travel-related transactions are prohibited except for the following categories and that by signing my name at the bottom of this Affidavit, I am declaring that I fall under the category I have checked below.
___ 1. I am a U.S. or foreign government official or a representative of an international organization of which the United States is a member, and I am traveling on official business.
___ 2. I am regularly employed as a journalist by a news reporting organization, or I am regularly employed as supporting broadcast or as a technical person, and I am traveling to Cuba to engage in journalistic activities.
___ 3. I am a full-time professional whose travel transactions are directly related to non-commercial, academic research in my full-time professional area, and my research will comprise a full work schedule in Cuba and have a substantial likelihood of public dissemination.
___ 4. I am a full-time professional whose travel transactions are directly related to attending a professional meeting or conference in Cuba, which is organized by an international professional organization not headquartered in the United States that regularly sponsors meetings or conferences in other countries. The purpose of the meeting or conference is not to promote tourism or other commercial activity involving Cuba or the production of biotechnological products.
___ 5 (a). I am traveling to visit a close relative in Cuba, who is (i) a Cuban national, (ii) related to me by blood, marriage, or adoption and (iii) is no more than three generations from me or from a common ancestor, or
___ 5 (b). I share a common dwelling as a family with a generally-licensed family traveler in 5(a) above, and I am accompanying the licensed traveler on a family visit.
___ 6. (a) I am visiting a close relative, who is a U.S. Government employee assigned to the U.S. Interests Section in Havana, or
___ 6 (b). I share a common dwelling as a family with a generally-licensed family traveler in 6(a) above, and I am accompanying the licensed traveler on a family visit.
___ 7 (a). I am regularly employed or duly appointed by a producer or distributor of agricultural commodities, and my travel is incident to commercial marketing, sales negotiation, accompanied delivery, or servicing in Cuba of agricultural commodities that appear consistent with export or re-export licensing policy of the U.S. Department of Commerce (“DOC”).
___ 7 (b). I am regularly employed or duly appointed by a producer or distributor of medicine or medical devices, and my travel is incident to commercial marketing, sales negotiation, accompanied delivery, or servicing in Cuba of medicine or medical devices that appear consistent with export or re-export licensing policy of DOC.
___ 8. I am regularly employed or duly appointed by a telecommunications service provider, and my travel is for the commercial marketing, sales negotiation, accompanied delivery, or servicing in Cuba of telecommunications-related items that have been authorized for commercial export or re-export to Cuba by DOC.
___ 9. I am regularly employed or duly appointed by a telecommunications service provider, and my travel is for participation in professional meetings for the commercial marketing, sales negotiation, or performance under contracts for the provision of telecommunications services, or the establishment of facilities to provide telecommunications services.
___ 10. I am a faculty member, staff person, or student of an accredited U.S. graduate and undergraduate degree-granting academic institution (the “University”), and my travel is for (a) participation in a structured educational program in Cuba as part of a course offered for credit by the University, (b) non-commercial academic research in Cuba specifically related to Cuba and for the purpose of obtaining a graduate degree, (c) participation in a formal course of study at a Cuban academic institution, which will be accepted for credit toward a graduate or undergraduate degree, (d) teaching at a Cuban academic institution by a person, who is regularly employed in a teaching capacity at the University, when such teaching in Cuba will be no shorter than 10 weeks, or (e) organization of, and preparation for, educational activities authorized in the Regulations.
___ 11. I am a member or staff of a U.S. religious organization, and my travel is for participation in a full-time program of religious activities in Cuba.
___ 12. I have a specific license from OFAC, which was issued prior to my trip. My OFAC license # is ___________________________
. . . I certify that the above information is true and correct . . .
I hope this information clears the air. Be sure to let me know how I can help you plan your legal trip to Cuba.
Photograph by Lisa Reynolds Wolfe.