If you are a non-U.S. citizen and you are traveling to the U.S. on the way to Cuba, here are some helpful tips:
- Visa/Tourist Card: You will need the pink tourist card/visa. Anyone traveling to Cuba from the U.S., regardless of citizenship, is required to have the pink tourist card/visa. The card can be purchased at the airport before departure (either at the check-in counter or at the departure gate), or it can be purchased ahead of time through Cuba Visa Services.
- Timing: If you have a connection in the U.S. for your flight to Cuba, you should be sure to allow for adequate time to disembark and then go through check in again. While the tourist card/visa process does add an extra step, it is a quick process and will likely not delay you more than 5 or 10 minutes.
- Other Paperwork: There is no application, paperwork or prior approval needed to travel to Cuba via the U.S. You won't be asked by any airport/airline employees or customs officials to show proof that you have an itinerary that meets the guidelines of the travel category that you declared. The Cuba travel regulations state that you must keep records of your trip for 5 years after you return in order to be able to show evidence that you indeed met the guidelines if asked by the U.S. government to provide this. Other than your passport and the pink tourist card/visa, there is no other documentation needed to travel to Cuba via the U.S.