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How to apply for a Cuban Visa
The process of applying for a Cuban visa from the UK is actually very straightforward. However there seems to be little information on the internet, and what is there is unclear and a slightly confusing. This post covers all you need to know about how to apply for a Cuban visa.
This post covering how to apply for a Cuban visa applies to UK citizens, although the process is the same if you live in the EU, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.
If you live in the USA, or are travelling through the USA, you still need the tourist card. However there is another step to the process. People travelling to Cuba through or from the USA must fill in a form (affidavit) declaring their reason of your travel to Cuba. There are 12 categories which these can fall under as approved by the US Government, which permits its citizens to travel to Cuba.
After filling in the form you will then be able to purchase the Cuban Tourist Card (Visa) from a travel agency or at an airport of the USA. These are only sold in the USA and allows you to travel to Cuba through from the USA.
What you need to apply for
If you are visiting Cuba for a holiday, then you need to apply for a tourist card. This allows you to stay in Cuba for 30 days from your DATE OF ARRIVAL into the country.
Other types of visa’s are: business visa, event visa, journalist visa, diplomatic visa and family visa. These require a different processes which are not covered in this post.
When you need to apply
The actual process doesn’t really take that long. Though recommended to apply at least two weeks before you travel, just in case! For reference, I sent my application off Monday afternoon via recorded delivery. I then received my tourist card Wednesday afternoon, again via recorded delivery.
Applications can only be made by post, so you cannot go and visit the Embassy if you have left it too late. Make sure you apply with plenty of time to spare.
What you need to send
Firstly you need to fill out the application form for tourist card form. Find this HERE. You also need to send a photocopy of the photo page of your passport. Ideally send in colour, just in case! Gather these two along with the other documents required.
For the application you need to send:
- Completed form
- Photocopy of your passport page
- Proof of both your inbound and outbound flights
- Your accommodation booked in Cuba (I sent this handwritten on my group travel tour itinerary)
- Postal cheque or bankers draft (see below)
- Self addressed and paid for envelope to return the documents
When sending your documents, make sure you pay for special or recorded delivery for both your self addressed envelope and also for the envelope you are sending everything in. It is the safest and quickest way to send. Plus you can then track and check when it has arrived.
With your passport make sure you have at least two months left from the date you leave Cuba before your passport expires.
How to pay
There are only two forms of payment which are accepted. One is a bankers draft, and the other a postal cheque. Postal cheque is really easy to apply for. Head to your local Post Office and ask them to make out a postal cheque payable to ‘Havin Bank’.
Note that postal cheques can only be paid for in cash. However, if you bank with a mainstream UK bank then the post office can withdraw money for you – meaning you can then pay with card. Also remember that there is a 12.5% cost for purchasing a postal cheque, so it will cost a little more than you initially thought.
Total cost of applying for a Cuban visa
The cost of all the little elements can add, so here is a breakdown of what it costs to apply for a Cuban visa:
- Photocopy of passport: £1
- Cost of visa: £39
- Charge for postal order: £4.88
- 2 x special delivery: £13.20
Total = £58.08
The costs of visas might be something you haven’t considered. Take a look at this post for more hidden costs! Cost of travelling – hidden costs
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