Customs Regulations and Visa Requirements of Cuba
If a Russian tourist decides to take a trip to Cuba, not exceeding 30 days, then he does not need to apply for a visa, entry into the country is visa-free. But even in this case, when crossing the border of Cuba, you need to have several documents with you:
- Passport valid for at least 6 months from the date of entry into Cuba;
- Round-trip airfare;
- An immigration card, which is filled out upon arrival in 2 copies. The first copy is presented along with the passport during passport control. The second copy must be kept for the entire duration of the trip – it is taken away when leaving the country.
In addition, the tourist needs to provide checks confirming his financial security sufficient for the trip (calculation of 50 USD per person per day). But for using the services of travel agencies, this is not necessary.
There are no border fees, but a fee of 25 pesos (i.e. 18.75 USD) is charged when departing from Cuba. Check a2zdirectory for history of Cuba.
If the trip to Cuba takes more than 30 days, you need to start applying for a visa at the consular department of the Cuban Embassy in Moscow. For this you will need the following documents:
- Passport with a six-month validity period from the moment of arrival in the country;
- 1 color or black-and-white photograph 3×4 cm, in which the face occupies about 70% of the space;
- Copies of round-trip tickets;
- A document certifying the fact of an invitation to the country (a fax signed by a responsible person), confirmation of a hotel reservation or a travel agency voucher.
Applications are accepted and ready visas are received on Monday, Tuesday and Friday, from 09:00 to 13:00. The term for issuing a visa is 5 working days.
When the applicant personally applies for a visa, a consular fee of 30 USD is charged. If the registration is handled by third parties, the fee will be 50 USD. Payment is made directly upon submission of documents. If a tourist is denied a visa, the fee is not refundable.
The visa is valid for six months.
In order not to get into an uncomfortable situation, a tourist needs to remember about the customs rules for importing and exporting various things from the territory of Cuba. See Cuba import restrictions.2
Allowed to import duty-free:
- Tobacco products: cigarettes in the amount of not more than 200 pieces or tobacco weighing not more than 250 g;
- Perfumes, medicines and household items in quantities not exceeding personal needs;
- 1 photo and 1 video camera (with five cassettes for each), as well as 1 binoculars, 1 portable music center or laptop computer.
Allowed to export duty-free:
- Cuban cigars are the most popular commodity exported from Cuba. You can withdraw no more than 23 pieces per person duty-free. If there are more cigars, then the tourist will need to present a receipt from their purchase, and the cigars themselves must be packed in accordance with all the rules, with official seals. However, it is worth considering that more than 50 cigars will not be allowed through Russian customs.
- Jewelery or crocodile skin goods often purchased in Cuba require a special export license issued by the seller in the store (it is worth remembering that you cannot get such licenses in the markets, although such goods are cheaper there).
- The import and export of foreign currency is most often not limited. However, the amount exceeding 5 thousand dollars must be declared before export or provide assurance of its legal acquisition. National currency can be exported in the amount of not more than 100 pesos.
It is forbidden to import and export from Cuba:
- Narcotic substances;
- pornographic materials;
- Firearms and explosives;
- Cars, motorcycles and spare parts for them;
- Medicines without indication of the manufacturer’s brand;
- Exotic birds and animals;
- Items of cultural or historical value;
- Bark and wood of valuable species;
- Precious metals;
- Sea shells;
- Books with local library stamps.