Do Indian Citizens Need Visa For Cuba

You may have read stories on the internet about Indian citizens who visited Cuba and had trouble at immigration due to visa not being stamped in their passport. There is no doubt as law abiding traveller, you would try to avoid this. Well, I’ve got good news and bad news for you.

Each year, the tourism industry is losing money due to outdated visa policies. For example, those travellers who are citizens of India, are not required to get a visa when travelling to Cuba according to rules of Indian Government. But when they land in Cuba airport, they are coerced into purchasing a tour and pay extra money. This is because Cuban government officials say that they need a Tourist card prior to arrival. What should we do except telling them like – “Oh sorry! Our government already take care of that issue!”.

India is an extremely popular tourist destination being an exotic country with a very rich culture. Cuba is one of the most breathtaking countries in the world and a great holiday destination. So, if you are planning to visit Cuba, then there are some important facts related to visa that you should be aware of.

Do Indian Citizens Need Visa For Cuba

Is there a Cuba visa for Indian Citizens?

No, an Indian citizen does not require a Cuban visa but must still apply for a Cuba Tourist Card. The Tourist Card is necessary for temporary visits that does not exceed 30 days.

What are the requirements?

iVisa will not ask you to upload any document during the application process. Instead, you need to fill in a personal and travel information form. However, once you arrive in Cuba, you will need to provide the following documents:

  • Valid passport – your passport needs to be valid for at least another 6 months from the date of arrival in Cuba. If it is not, you need to renew it before you apply.
  • Tourist Card – the equivalent of a Cuba visa that iVisa will send to you via postal mail.
  • A flight itinerary both to and from Cuba.
  • Travel insurance – this is a rule that began to take effect back in 2010. If you do not have travel insurance, you need to purchase one once you arrive in Cuba.

Keep in mind that minors should have their Tourist Card since they cannot travel on their parents’/guardian’s visas.

CUBA VISA FOR INDIAN CITIZENS – THE PROCESSING TIME AND FEES

The cost of the Cuba Tourist visa depends on two factors: the visa type and the processing time. As for the former, Indian citizens must select the International Tourist Card. When it comes to processing time, you have three options, and you can choose the one that fits your needs and budget. They are as follows:

  • Standard processing – your application will be processed and your Tourist card delivered in 3 to 5 business days. This option costs $55.
  • Rush processing – your Tourist card will arrive within 1 to 3 business days, and the fee is $75.
  • Super Rush processing – you will have your Cuba Tourist card in 1 business day, and you will be charged $95. The prices already include the shipping fee.

The Cuba visa for Indian citizens grants you a 30-day stay inside Cuba, and you are allowed a single entry. If you need it, you can extend that period with another 30 days once you are inside the country. The same period you get from a consular visa, but you have to admit that it is more convenient to apply online than going to a diplomatic mission.

If you are an Indian passport holder, you already know the pain of procuring a Visa for entering a vast majority of countries on this planet. The pain feels even more real when you see people around you from other nationalities. They can just hop on a plane to land in some faraway land on the other side of the ocean. On a whim! Nope. That is a luxury we, Indians, simply cannot afford. Well, in most cases. So, how difficult is it to score a Cuba Visa for Indians?

Cuba is a country where the entry process is complicated even for the supposedly privileged American passport holders. However, we have good news for you! Instead of going through the ordeal of filling lengthy forms, you just need to get something called “Cuba Tourist Card”. Read on to know the details. We have included all the information about Cuba Visa based on our first-hand experience of traveling to Cuba on Indian passports in 2019.

Note: Many of our readers, friends and fellow travelers shared with us their experiences of procuring Cuba entry stamps on Indian passports. So, to provide an even broader perspective to you, we have updated this post in 2020 incorporating some other experiences of Indian travelers who have already been to Cuba.

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Do Indians need Visa to enter Cuba?

There are two separate types of documents for entering Cuba – Cuba Visa or Cuba Tourist Card, the latter being easier to procure. Arriving tourists of most nationalities need just the Cuba Tourist Card to enter Cuba. But does the Cuban Tourist Card suffice for Indian passport holders too? Or do Indians need to apply for a separate Cuba Visa?

Unfortunately, there is a lot of conflicting information on the internet about whether Indians need a visa to enter Cuba. Stay with us, so that we can clear all those confusions about this.

According to Wikipedia, Indian citizens requires Visa for entering Cuba. However, the “Cuba Tourist Card” should suffice if the Indian citizen holds a valid visa or a residence permit issued by Canada, the United States or an EU member state. (This is NOT 100% accurate though, more details to follow.)

There is very little information available online about the details. So, when we planned our Cuba trip, we scoured the internet for first-hand experiences of Indians who have traveled to Cuba. The result was more confusion!

In many travel forums and sites, people (Indian passport holders) had actually stated that only the Cuba Tourist Card should suffice for entering Cuba. But two facts about those statements raised some skepticism for us. First, all such statements that we read, were made by Indians living in USA or Canada. Second, there were lot of ‘replies’ and ‘comments’ to those statements citing counter examples.

Plan your Cuba 10-day itinerary with the aid of this guide.

Cuba Tourist Card for Indian passport holder

We decided not to get bewildered by all that we read on the internet about Cuba visa for Indians. Instead, we planned our Cuba itinerary, booked our flights and reserved all accommodation. And we believed that just the Cuba Tourist Card would suffice. We left it for the D-Day for that belief to get validated, based on our first-hand experience. [That is, if we were going to be allowed to enter the country!  ] What? We never said we are wise!

Turns out, Indian citizens CAN travel to Cuba using the Cuba Tourist Card, irrespective of their residence status or other visa holding.

What is Cuba Tourist Card (Tarjeta del Turista)?

Cuba Tourist Card is a mandatory entry card required for traveling to Cuba. It is a piece of paper that looks like a bank checkbook slip. You will need to fill in some details like name, Passport number etc. with a pen, before you land in Cuba. At Havana airport, the immigration official will tear off one half of the paper document. You have to retain the other half carefully as you need to return this part before you exit Cuba.

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