UK citizen travelling to Cuba from Florida

Travel Forums North America UK citizen travelling to Cuba from Florida

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1. Posted by stevieh (Respected Member 615 posts) 2y Star this if you like it!

Hello,
I'm being dragged around Disneyworld in Florida next May, but have suggested a week in Cuba afterwards.
I know there are restrictions on US citizens, but as UK passport holder will I be free from those?

2. Posted by hummingbird500 (Budding Member 39 posts) 2y Star this if you like it!

As of now, it's extraordinarily easy even for American citizens to enter Cuba. You should be able to purchase a tourist visa in the airport (or with your airline ticket) with no problems. The only issue is that you may be subject to a hefty exit tax upon arrival if you are coming on a charter flight from Miami.

A friend from home went earlier this year and reported she had not a single problem with her UK passport, and met many Americans there too.

Hope this was useful.

[ Edit: Edited on 30-Sep-2016, at 10:42 by hummingbird500 ]

3. Posted by CheersT (Inactive 2578 posts) 2y Star this if you like it!

1.) Tourist travel for Americans is still illegal and since you're departing from the US you're of course under the very same restrictions. You need an OFAC General Licence, there are 12 different categories of non-touristic travel that you can choose to make the trip legal. At the airport you'll need to sign a document stating which category you're flying under, the airline holds this for 5 years.

2.) That all sounds complicated, but here's the upside: It's ridiculous US bureaucracy at its absolute finest so in actually it's a fairly easy process because the OFAC licence has NO application and NO paperwork. It's done on the honour system. Yes, you read that correctly. Totally stupid, but that's how it works to keep the US Department of State happy. Tick a box and sign a piece of paper for the airline and you're good to go.

3.) All you need to enter Cuba is your Passport and Cuban Tourist Card. The charter companies have the Tourist Card figured out - they simply charge you an arm and a leg for it at the airport - but the newly announced regularly scheduled airlines are still scrambling to streamline the process. Some of them offer it for sale (at wildly differing prices) and others make you purchase it through a third party like the Cuba Travel Network.

4.) There is no exit tax for Cuba, that was dropped over a year ago. It's now included in the price of your ticket.

Bottom line: Your plan is totally doable, but it's not as straightforward as simply rocking up to the counter and buying a ticket.

Have fun.

Cheers,
Terry

4. Posted by hummingbird500 (Budding Member 39 posts) 2y Star this if you like it!

[quote=CheersT]

4.) There is no exit tax for Cuba, that was dropped over a year ago. It's now included in the price of your ticket.

I am not sure. I had two American friends fly there from Miami in July of this year and they had to pay the tax upon arrival. I think it may still be in effect under certain circumstances.

5. Posted by CheersT (Inactive 2578 posts) 2y Star this if you like it!

There has never been an arrival tax. There are no special circumstances. If your friends paid one then they were scammed.

There was a 25 CUC exit tax in place for many years. You paid it after check-in and your boarding pass was then stamped. This allowed you to go through exit immigration. As I stated above this tax was dropped over a year ago and it is now included in the price of your ticket.

Cheers,
Terry

6. Posted by stevieh (Respected Member 615 posts) 1y Star this if you like it!

To update in case anyone else from the UK wants to travel from Florida to Cuba...
We eventually went in May, hoping for the best, and it was seamless.
We bought a Tourist visa in Orlando airport ($50 each) and the only question that was asked was if we were resident in the US - presumably this would have made a difference. As it was, we just boarded and flew on JetBlue like we would any other flight.

Havana airport was a breeze - baggage collected and out within half an hour. A lot easier than the US!

Flying back to Orlando was fine too - we were grilled a little at immigration as to the purpose of our trip (has to be one of the 12 reasons on the visa form) and whether we'd brought back alcohol or cigars, but as long as you're just a tourist you shouldn't have a problem.

7. Posted by Teoni (Respected Member 659 posts) 1y Star this if you like it!

I really hope Cuba and all the Caribbean Islands can bounce back from this brutal hurricane season. Now with this Mexican earthquake, it really is not a good year for this part of the world