General License for Educational Travel to Cuba
Legal Cuba travel license options for Americans explained
The White House greatly expanded travel to Cuba for Americans in January 2011. There are two legal Cuba travel license categories available: the simple General License for educational, research and religious travel, and the more complicated Specific License. This page explains both license options, and how to obtain them.
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General Licenses for Cuba travel
The general license is a do-it-yourself process.
The General License is a simple do-it-yourself process. You do not submit an application or request approval from Washington. You produce a couple documents which together serve as your license to travel to Cuba legally. It's that easy. It is fast and free.
Eligibility and preparation of a General License.
Professional Research Travel License for individuals going to Cuba to conduct thematic research for public dissemination. Preparation time is less than five minutes.
Educational Travel License for college and university faculty, staff and students going to Cuba for academic purposes. Preparation time is less than an hour. (K-12 teachers, staff and administrators must travel on a Professional Research Travel License. K-12 students must travel on a Specific Travel License.)
Religious Travel License for groups and individuals hosted by a U.S. church, synagogue, mosque or other religious organizations going to Cuba for religious and spiritual activities. Preparation time is less than an hour.
Specific Licenses for Cuba travel
Eligibility and application process for a Specific License.
To secure a Specific License (such as a People-to-People License or another Specific License), an individual or organization must submit a lengthy narrative application for the U.S. Department of the Treasury Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) to approve or reject. Response time may be as little as six weeks, but often takes much longer. There is no guarantee an application will be granted. Most are denied, or returned with requests for further information. Preparation time ranges from weeks to months. The services of an attorney is recommended to ensure the application is properly prepared. Download the official 52-page application package PDF document from U.S. Department of the Treasury Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC).
Leonardo Hechavarría of Cuba Explorer Tours
I am Leonardo Hechavarría. I co-founded Cuba Explorer Tours. My colleagues and I are here to help you decide what travel license best meets your needs. Many thousands of Americans have witnessed my homeland on General Licenses since 1997. Not one has faced complications. We require all of our American travelers to go to Cuba with a valid travel license.




Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) Cuba Travel Guidelines.OFAC
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travel
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The Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) website on Cuba travel.
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