Each state has its own visa policy, and it created over the years as a result of negotiations and treaties. Cuba is no different, and the country has a pretty mild visa policy. As for the part that interests you the most, there are three main categories of people that travel to Cuba: the citizens of visa-exempt countries, the travelers who can apply for a Cuba Tourist Card, and travelers whose only option is to go to a Cuban diplomatic mission to get a visa.
Citizens of visa-exempt countries
Cuba’s visa policy states that there are 18 countries whose citizens can enter Cuba without a visa. The allowed stay period varies from 28 days to 90 days, depending on the nationality. For example, if you are from Barbados, you can stay in Cuba for maximum 28 days, while if you are from Serbia, you can remain inside the country for 90 days. People who are from visa-exempt countries can cross the Cuban border with just a passport
People eligible for a Cuba Tourist Card
The next category of people qualifies for a Cuba Tourist Card, also known as a Tarjeta del Turista. All you need to apply for it is a valid passport that remains as such for at least another 6 months from your date of arrival in Cuba. The document can be acquired online, through travel agencies, as well as purchased from airlines. The document allows a 30-day stay period inside Cuba, except for Canadian citizens who are granted a 90-day stay. The Cuba Tourist Card can be extended for the same period of time as it was issued. However, the application for extension must be submitted before the visa expires. Otherwise, you will get deported.
People who are not eligible for a Cuba Tourist Card
The last category of travelers consists of nationals who cannot obtain a Cuba Tourist Card. The only option for these people is to apply for a Cuba Visa at the nearest Cuban diplomatic mission. That entails a trip to an embassy, and you need to submit your application there. 20 nationalities around the world have only this option.
Visa policies are continuously changing since new treaties are signed every year. For Cuba, 2018 includes the signing of visa-exemption agreements that will be signed with Kazakhstan, Kosovo, and Russia.
Cuba visa for Transit
People who wish to transit Cuba on their way to another destination are exempt from holding a Cuba visa or Tourist card. However, there are some rules. You can enter Cuba, but your transit cannot last more than 72 hours from your hour of arrival.
As you can see for yourself, Cuba’s visa policy does not include many rules for ordinary passport holders. At the same time, the easiest way to get a visa is to apply for a Cuba Tourist Card online. To check if you are eligible for such a document, you can use iVisa’s Visa Checker. Not only that it will let you know in just an instant if you qualify for a Tarjeta del Turista, but you will be redirected to a page that allows you to apply on the spot. It takes 10 minutes, and your visa can arrive in as little as 1 business day if you submit your application in the AM.