A holiday in Cuba is a dream come true for many travellers. Who wouldn’t want to visit the home of the Cuban cigar, the land of Che Guevara, and Ernest Hemingway’s stomping ground? Add the architecture, great weather, pristine beaches, and fantastic cuisine, and Cuba becomes irresistible for holidaymakers worldwide.
This guide explains how to get a Cuba visa from the UK to help you plan your hassle-free vacation.
|Requirement type||Mandatory for UK citizens|
|Purpose of travel||Tourism, leisure, recreation|
|Valid||One year after issue; 30 days after arrival; extension for 30 more days|
|Processing time||1 week; for urgent applications 1 working day|
|Cost||Base price: £17; but with additional postage and processing, £25 or more|
|Application method||Online only|
|Payment method||Visa, Mastercard, PayPal, American Express|
What Is a Cuba Visa?
A Cuba visa, also called a Cuba tourist card or Tarjeta de Turista is a physical document that you must travel with and show at the point of entry. There is no electronic version of a Cuba visa card, so you must apply for it online and receive it by post to your home or work address. Travellers cannot get a Cuba visa on arrival. You are also not required to visit the Cuban embassy to get your visa. In fact, there is a £25 surcharge for embassy applications, so your best bet is to apply online instead.
The visa itself has a left and right segment into which you fill in your details as they appear in your passport: your nationality, first name, last name, date of birth, and passport number. When you arrive, one part of the document stays behind, and when you leave at the end of your holiday, you hand over the other part. Please keep your Cuba visa safely as soon as you receive it and throughout your holiday in Cuba.
Requirements For Cuba Visa
To apply for a Cuba visa, you need:
- A valid passport. If you are a UK or EU national, you need at least two months left on your passport expiration date. For other nationalities or individuals with a UK visa, you need at least six months remaining on your passport.
- Booked flights in and out of Cuba
- The accommodation for your first night in Cuba book either a hotel, a private B&B or a cruise.
If you are in the US or connecting from the US to Cuba, you need a Pink Tourist Card regardless of your nationality. Typically, you can pick this card at the airport, but contact your airline for more information about applying and collecting yours.
If you travel through the Cayman Islands, Mexico or Canada, you will require a Green Cuban Tourist Card. This is also usually supplied by your airline, so consult with your carrier or tour operator in advance.
Who Needs a Cuba Visa?
All travellers of all ages require a Cuban tourist card, from infants to adults.
How Long Does the Cuba Visa Last?
The Cuba visa allows you a maximum of 30 days in Cuba, plus one entry and one exit. Tourists have up to a maximum of 60 days in the country.
To extend your visa within Cuba for an additional 30 days, visit the closest immigration service office at your location.
How Long Does It Take to Get a Cuba Visa?
You can typically receive your Cuba tourist card within 7 to 14 days with a standard visa service. You can also obtain your Cuba visa within 24 working hours using a priority service for urgent applications.
How Much Does a Cuba Visa Cost?
A standard Cuba tourist card costs £25, including postal fees (1st Class Royal Mail-Signed for) and admin fees depending on your visa provider. You can also apply for multiple (up to 10) Cuba visas at a time for group travellers. After filling your online application, pay for your Cuba tourist card with Visa, American Express, Mastercard or PayPal.
- Apply for your Cuba visa before 3.00 pm on a working day to have it delivered to your mailbox the next day.
- Arrange for an office pickup if that is more convenient for you and save on postage fees.
- You do not need to send your passport to any travel agency to receive your Cuba visa. All you have to do is apply online and enter your details exactly as they appear on your visa. In case of errors, email your application service and inform them of the necessary changes.
- When you arrive in Cuba, the immigration authorities at the airport will tear off and keep one part of the card, while you keep the other part. Travel with both your card and passport in your hand luggage for convenience.
- You should not stick your Cuban visa onto your passport. Simply keep your part of the travel card inside the pages.
- Once you possess your Cuba visa, it is valid for one year. This means that you can apply for your Cuban tourist card well in advance of your trip or even change the travel dates or accommodation details if you need to. However, once you arrive in Cuba, you can only stay for 30 days or extend your visa for another 30 days.
- There are Covid-19 requirements for all travellers to Cuba. You need a negative PCR test to travel from the UK, plus two more tests when you arrive in Cuba. Expect your first PCR test upon landing in Havana, followed by a 6-day quarantine period at your hotel in Havana or Varadero. The second test takes place at your hotel on the fifth day of quarantine. On the sixth day, when your results come back clear of Covid-19, you are free to travel around Cuba, as long as you wear a face mask.
- Keep in mind that you will need another PCR test before you travel back to the UK. This can happen at a local clinic or hospital in Cuba 72 hours before your return flight.
Frequently Asked Questions About Cuba Visa
Can I work using a Cuba visa?
If you are applying for a Cuban tourist card, you cannot use it to seek employment in Cuba. You must apply for a work visa or permit instead.
I do not qualify for a Cuba tourist card. Why?
Particular countries do not allow you to visit Cuba using a tourist card and must apply for a Cuban visa through the embassies. These countries are:
- India (nationals from other countries who are travelling to Cuba from India will need a visa through the Cuban embassy too)
- Sierra Leone
- Sri Lanka
I want to apply for a Cuba visa, but I am away from my office or work address right now. Can you post my Cuba visa to my relative or friend instead?
Yes. In your online application, you can add the recipient’s name who can collect your Cuba tourist card when you’re away. Fill in their names as they appear on their ID because the Royal Mail will need to verify their identification and proof of their address.
All set for your Cuban holiday? It’s quick, easy and affordable, so apply for your Cuba tourist card today.