Categories for Authorized Travel to Cuba
According to Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) of the U.S. Department of Treasury, there are 12 permitted reasons to travel to Cuba under the General License. For more information, feel free to read this 2014 Press Release. Also, watch our short video about Legal Travel to Cuba.
*Note that American citizens who travel to Cuba must meet certain activity-related requirements. Tourist travel to Cuba is not yet authorized by U.S. Law.
1. Family Visits (FAMLY)
a. I am traveling to visit a close relative in Cuba, who is (i) a Cuban national, (ii) related to me by blood, marriage, or adoption and (iii) is no more than three generations from me or from a common ancestor, or
b. I share a common dwelling as a family with a generally licensed family traveler authorized under above, and I am accompanying the licensed traveler on a family visit. c. I am visiting a close relative, who is a U.S. Government employee assigned to the U.S. Interests Section in Havana, or d. I share a common dwelling as a family with a generally licensed family traveler in 6(a) above, and I am accompanying the licensed traveler on a family visit. e. I am a person located in Cuba pursuant to full-time educational activities pursuant to CFR 515.565 (a) (1) through (4) provided the authorized traveler will be in Cuba for more than 60 days.
2. Official Government Business (GOVMT)
I am an employee, contractor or grantee of the United States government or any foreign government or a representative of an international organization of which the United States is a member, and I am traveling on official business of my government or intergovernmental organization.
3. Journalistic Activity (JOURN)
I am traveling to Cuba directly to engage in journalistic activities in Cuba. I am regularly employed as a journalist by a news reporting organization, or I am regularly employed as supporting broadcast or as a technical person or a freelance journalist with a record of previous journalistic experience working on a freelance journalistic project or broadcast or technical personnel with a record of previous broadcast or technical experience and whose schedule of activities in Cuba does not include free time or recreation in excess of that consistent with a full-time schedule.
4. Professional Research and Meetings (PRORM)
I am a full-time professional whose travel transactions are directly related to my profession, professional background, or area of expertise, including area of graduate – level full-time study. My research in my full-time professional area will comprise a full work schedule in Cuba and I will not engage in recreational travel, tourist travel, travel in pursuit of a hobby, or research for personal satisfaction only.I am a full-time professional whose travel transactions are directly related to attending a professional meeting or conference in Cuba, which directly relates to my profession, professional background or area of expertise, including area of graduate level full- time study; for which the purpose of the meeting or conference is not to promote tourism in Cuba and whose schedule of activities does not include free time or recreation in excess of that consistent with a full-time schedule of attendance at professional meetings or conferences.
5. Educational Activities or People-to-People Exchanges (EDUCA)
General license for educational activities
I am a faculty member, staff person, or student of an academic institution (the “University”), and my travel is incident to (1) participation in a structured educational program in Cuba as part of a course offered for credit by the undergraduate or graduate degree granting academic institution that is sponsoring the program, (2) non-commercial academic research in Cuba specifically related to Cuba and for the purpose of obtaining a graduate degree, (3) participation in a formal course of study at a Cuban academic institution, which will be accepted for credit toward a graduate or undergraduate degree, (4) teaching at a Cuban academic institution by a person, who is regularly employed in a teaching capacity at the University, (5) organization of, and preparation for, educational activities authorized in the Regulations, (6) educational exchanges sponsored by Cuban or U.S secondary schools involving secondary school students participation in formal course of study or in a structured educational program offered by a secondary school or other academic institution and led by a teacher or other secondary school official, (7) Sponsorship or co-sponsorship of noncommercial academic seminars, conferences, and workshops related to Cuba or global issues involving Cuba and attendance at such events by faculty, staff and students of a participating U.S. academic institution.
General license for people-to-people travel.
I am traveling to Cuba directly incident to educational exchange not involving academic study pursuant to a degree program and my travel (1) takes place under the auspices of an organization that is a person subject to the U.S. jurisdiction and that sponsors such exchanges to Cuba to promote people-to-people contact; (2) the travel is for the purpose of engaging while in Cuba in a full-time schedule of activities intended to enhance contact with the Cuban people, support for civil society, or promote the Cuba people’s independence from the Cuban authorities; (3) Each traveler will have a full-time schedule of educational activities that will result in meaningful interaction between the traveler and individuals in Cuba (4) an employee, paid consultant or agent of the sponsoring organization is accompanying the group travel to ensure that each traveler has a full-time schedule of educational exchange activities, and (5) the predominant portion of the activities to be engaged in will not be with individuals or entities acting for or on behalf of a prohibited member of the Cuban Communist Party.
6. Religious Activities (RELIG)
I am a person subject to the U.S. jurisdiction, including religious organizations located in the U.S. and members and staff of such organizations, traveling to Cuba directly incident to engaging in a schedule of full-time religious activities in Cuba.
7. Sports and Public Events (PERFO)
General license for amateur/semi-professional international sports federation competitions
I am a person whose travel to Cuba is directly incident to athletic competition by amateur or semi-professional athletics or athletics teams traveling to participate in athletic competition in Cuba provided that (1) the competition is held under the auspices of the international sports federation for the relevant sport;(2) the U.S. participants are selected by the U.S. federation for the relevant sport; (3) the competition is open to the public.
General license for public performances, clinics, workshops, other athletic completion or non-athletic competitions and exhibitions
I am a person whose travel to Cuba is directly incident to participation in a public performance, clinic, workshop, non athletic competition or other athletic competition not covered by (a) above provided that: (1) the event is open to for attendance and in relevant situations participation by the Cuban public;(2) all U.S. profits from the event after the costs are donated to an independent nongovernmental organization in Cuba or a U.S.-based charity, with the objective of promoting people–to-people contacts or otherwise benefiting the Cuban people; and (3) any clinics or workshops in Cuba must be organized and run, at least in part, by the authorized traveler.
8. Support for the Cuban People (SUPRT)
I am a person whose travel to Cuba is directly incident to promoting independent activity intended to strengthen civil society in Cuba, and the schedule of activities does not include free time or recreation in excess of that consistent with a full-time schedule.
9. Humanitarian Projects (HUMAN)
I am a person whose travel to Cuba is directly related to the humanitarian projects in or relation to Cuba that are designed to directly benefit the Cuban people.
10. Research (PRIRM)
I am a person whose travel to Cuba is directly incident to activities by private foundations or research or educational institutions with an established interest in international relations to collect information related to Cuba for non-commercial purposes.
11. Information Materials (INFOR)
I am a person whose travel to Cuba is directly related to the exportation or re- exportation, directly or indirectly, from the United States or for services incident to the exchange of communications over the Internet, provided that it is not for promotion of tourism and domain name registration services. I am a person whose travel to Cuba is directly incident to exportation, importation, or informational materials provided that the schedule of activities does not included free time or recreation in excess of that consistent with a full-time schedule.
12. Authorized Export Activities (EXPRT)
I am a person whose travel is directly incident to the conduct of market research, commercial marketing, sales negotiation, accompanied delivery, or servicing in Cuba of items consistent with the export or re-export licensing policy of the Department or Commerce (DOC) provided that the schedule of activities does not included free time or recreation in excess of that consistent with a full-time schedule.