CUBA – Know Before You Go

Note: The following information is provided by JetBlue, one of the US carriers with daily flights to Havana, after booking. Some of it refers to information (i.e. “general” license category) you will be asked to supply when booking your ticket.


Step 1: Review U.S. Government License Requirements

The U.S. Department of Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) has authorized people to travel to Cuba under one of 12 “general” license categories. Individuals who meet the requirements of one of the 12 general license categories do not need to apply to OFAC for a “specific” license to travel to Cuba. [We will be traveling under the Support for Cuban People category.] If, however, you do not fall under one of the 12 general license categories, you may need to apply to OFAC for a specific license.

If you fall within one of the 12 general license categories, you do not need to supply JetBlue with an OFAC license or license number. Alternatively, if you are not traveling under one of the 12 categories, then you must provide JetBlue the specific license number.

When you completed your booking via the JetBlue website, you indicated via electronic affidavit the category that applies to your specific reason for travel.

Additional information on this subject is available on the JetBlue website by, clicking here.

For information about recent changes to U.S. policy on Cuba travel, see the OFAC FAQs. Customers should also continue to check and  for additional information as it becomes available.

Step 2: Confirm your passport status

Your passport must:

  • Be valid (not expired) at the time of entry into Cuba and at the time of return into the U.S. and/or the country of issuance.
  • Have two blank pages available.
  • Be in good, clean condition.

If you find you need to address any of these requirements, U.S. citizens must make arrangements through the Department of State as soon as possible.

Step 3: Determine the type of Cuban visa you will need

All customers from countries that do not have a visa waiver agreement with Cuba and are not merely in transit (i.e., not leaving the airport in Cuba) must obtain a Cuban visa (e.g., all U.S. citizens must get a visa). For customers who qualify for a Cuban Tourist Visa, this document can be purchased from JetBlue at the gateway airport (the final airport before departing the U.S.). Any customer who qualifies for a Tourist Visa must have a pink tourist visa issued in the U.S. Green tourist visas issued in third countries will not be accepted. Other visa types, such as business, journalism and other special visas (but not tourist visas), are issued by the Cuban Consulate.

Step 4: Familiarize yourself with your included health insurance

All customers must obtain Cuban health insurance in order to travel. JetBlue has automatically taken care of a basic 30-day ESICUBA policy for you upon the purchase of your flight.

Return to the Cuban Ukulele Rhythms itinerary.