Current State of Affairs
Diplomatic relations between the United States and Cuba were severed in 1961 during the Cold War. As a result, travel to Cuba was off limits to Americans due to an agreement between both countries.
However, on December 17, 2014, the United States and Cuba restored diplomatic relations. In January 2015, President Barack Obama expanded the categories of authorized travel for Americans who wish to travel to Cuba. As of October, 2015, Americans can travel to Cuba as long as their trip falls within one of 12 categories:
- Family visits
- Official business of the U.S. government, foreign governments, and certain intergovernmental organizations
- Journalistic activity
- Professional research and professional meetings
- Educational activities
- Religious activities
- Public performances, clinics, workshops, athletic and other competitions, and exhibitions
- Support for the Cuban people
- Humanitarian projects
- Activities of private foundations or research or educational institutes
- Exportation, importation, or transmission of information or informational materials
- Certain export transactions that may be considered for authorization under existing regulations and guidelines
All U.S. travelers are required to have a full-time schedule of activities related to their category of travel and keep travel receipts for five years after they return to the United States.
As travel regulations continue to change, the American experience while traveling to Cuba will also evolve. CompareCards has created a brief list of what Americans can expect when traveling to Cuba.