Cuba requires U.S. citizens traveling to Cuba to have both a valid passport and a visa specific to the type of travel, advises the Cuban Interests Section of Cuba's Ministry of Foreign Affairs. However, the United States does not allow tourist travel to Cuba, explains the U.S. Department of State.
The tourism ban applies to U.S. citizens attempting to enter Cuba from other countries, such as Canada or Mexico, advises the Cuban Interests Section. Failure to obtain a visa and permission to enter Cuba could result in arrest and other charges by the Cuban government. In addition, individuals who violate the tourism ban may face civil and criminal charges upon return to the United States, advises the U.S. Department of State.
Travelers going to Cuba for reasons other than tourism must obtain a visa from the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control, advises the U.S. Department of State. Twelve categories of visas are available, including journalism, religious purposes and humanitarian projects. Other types of visas include family, business and student visas, states the Cuban Interests Section.
Dual citizens must enter and exit the United States with a U.S. passport, and must enter and exit Cuba with a Cuban passport, according to the U.S. Department of State.