Travelers must qualify for one of two licenses, or authorization from the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) to travel to Cuba.
1) Specific license: Are issued only in certain cases to the traveler directly by the U.S. Department of State. Spirit customers will need to provide the specific license number prior to travel.
2) General license: Most U.S. travelers will qualify for this license. A general license means travelers do not have to seek express approval from the U.S. government before traveling to Cuba as long as they fall within the Office of Foreign Assets Control’s (OFAC’s) 12 reasons for travel below:
- Educational activities, including people-to-people exchanges open to everyone
- Professional research and professional meetings
- Public performances, clinics, workshops, athletic and other competitions and exhibitions
- Religious activities
- Humanitarian projects
- Journalistic activities
- Family visits
- Activities in Cuba by private foundations, or research or educational institutes
- Support for the Cuban people
- Exportation, importation, or transmission of information technologies or materials
- Certain authorized export transactions including agricultural and medical products, and tools, equipment and construction supplies for private use
- Official business of the US government, foreign governments and certain intergovernmental organizations
The following persons are licensed to travel to Cuba as unblocked nationals: (a) any individual national of Cuba who has taken residence in the United States and is a United States citizen; is a lawful permanent resident alien of the United States; has applied to become a lawful permanent resident alien of the United States and has an adjustment of status application pending; or is lawfully present and intending to lawfully remain in the United States on a permanent basis; and is not a prohibited official of the Government of Cuba or a prohibited member of the Cuban Communist Party; and (b) any individual national of Cuba who has taken up permanent residence outside of Cuba and the individual is not a prohibited official of the Government of Cuba or a prohibited member of the Cuban Communist Party.
Additional and frequently updated information can be found on the U.S. Treasury Department's FAQ page.
Click here for some helpful Havana travel tips.