Getting a Cuban Visa- Your Step by Step Guide

cuban buildings

South African passport holders are familiar with the painful process of applying for visas which often can be so difficult, time consuming and expensive. The Cuba visa application process provides a refreshing change to this red tape-it’s cheap and quick – the way all visas should be, and makes it easy to visit this magical country!

cuba cigar

Here is a step by step guide how to apply for your Cuban visa…

 

  1. Book your return flights to Cuba on travelstart.co.za
  2. South African Passport Holders flying to Cuba via Europe, London or Turkey must apply for a Cuban Visa prior to departing South Africa.
  3. Please also check your transit visa requirements – for example if flying via the UK you will require a UK visa.

IMPORTANT: Effective February 2017, for security reasons, South Africans travelling to Cuba via the USA can no longer apply for visas at a Cuban embassy in South Africa. They must apply for a visa at the airline desks in the USA, regardless of the airline they travel with. You should plan your flights carefully to allow time to apply for the visas at the airline desk. (Approximately two to three hours.) Please check with the Consulate about requirements.

  1. The Tourist Visa or Tourist Card for Cuba is only for travel to Cuba for tourism purposes. It is valid for one single entry for a 30-day trip.
  2. Minors must have their own Tourist Card.
  3. A minimum of 3 days are required to process the Cuban Tourist Visa application.
  4. The Embassy in Pretoria accepts direct couriers so you can courier your documents directly to them, give them at least three full days then call to check if your visa has been processed and send the courier to collect your passport and visa. You do not have to apply in person.

Visa Requirements

  1. Valid Passport (minimum six month validity)
  2. 1 passport colour photo glued to the form
  3. Application form – fully completed
  4. Bank statement (at least three months)
  5. Airline E ticket (itinerary to/from Cuba)
  6. Proof of accommodation -name and/or address of accommodation in Cuba- regardless of whether it is a hotel or rental house booking.
  7. Travel Insurance – From 01 May 2010 all tourists entering Cuba will require “Medical Travel Insurance” that is on a Government approved list. We urge you to check with your insurance provider to ensure your policy is on the list of approved providers. If it is not, tourists will be forced to purchase a Government approved policy on arrival in Cuba-they do random spot checks on arrival. The cost of buying this insurance in Cuba will be in addition to any insurance already purchased, and it is likely the rates for these polices will be inflated compared to what you may purchase in advance from home.
  8. Copy of Visa Proof of Payment – R270 per person (payments have a validity of 30 days from the date they were deposited, thereafter the payment will be declared non-refundable) Reference: VISA + YOUR NAME. Fax a copy of the proof of payment to (012) 346 2216 and attach a copy to your visa application.
  9. The Visa is not stamped in your passport but arrives back loose with your passport and resembles a bus ticket-it is perforated down the middle. On arrival in Cuba they will tear the one half and keep it and on departure they will take the other half so keep it safe while travelling.

Visa Guide above is for South African Passport Holders only.

 

Handy Contacts

  • Cuban Consular Office Pretoria

Address: 45 Mackenzie Street, Brooklyn, 0181, Pretoria

Telephone: TBC

  • Banking Details for Visa

Payments can be done only by Cash deposit or bank transfer to

Account Name: Embassy of Cuba

Bank: First National Bank

Branch Name: Brooklyn

Account Number: 62241028374

Branch Code: 251345

Travelstart endeavours to ensure that all details are correct but please note visa information is not guaranteed. Kindly confirm details with the Cuban Consulate in Pretoria.

Our Readers Comments

  1. If you travel via South America must you apply for the Tourist Card in South Africa?

    • Hi Felicia,

      Thanks for contacting us.

      If you are referring to a visa, you would need to contact the Embassy of the country you are flying via. Please advise the passport you are holding and what route you will be traveling.

      They will be able to advise accordingly.

  2. Greetings,

    I am abit confused and need some clarity on the visa. I have a South African passport and will be traveling to Cuba via the United States. Does this mean that I need to contact the United States Embassy for obtaining the Visa to enter Cuba?

    • Hi there,

      Thanks for getting in touch.

      You will need to contact the Cuban Embassy to obtain your visa for when travelling to Cuba.

      If you are transiting via the USA please contact the US Embassy direct they will advise on the correct procedures to follow when applying for a transit visa.

  3. My husband and I are South africans. We will be visiting Canada and the USA. We may want to visit Cuba. Do we apply for the Cuba visa in South Africa

    • Hi Vani,

      Thanks for getting in touch.

      To my knowledge this is correct.

      Please contact the Cuban Embassy direct in Pretoria, they will be able to advise you on what documents are required when applying for a visa before you depart South Africa. As well as the correct procedures to follow and cost.

  4. Re Cuban tourist vsa/card

    I am still confused. I have been informed that you have to apply via the American airline with which you will be flying but all the airlines say that they cannot do so

    Please clarify

    • Hi Glenn,

      Thanks for getting in touch.

      Effective February 2017, for security reasons, South Africans travelling to Cuba via the USA can no longer apply for visas at a Cuban embassy in South Africa. They must apply for a visa at the airline desks in the USA, regardless of the airline they travel with. You should plan your flights carefully to allow time to apply for the visas at the airline desk. (Approximately two to three hours.) Please check with the Consulate about requirements.

  5. Good afternoon
    My husband and I are flying to Cuba via Miami and we’ve been told by the Cuban Embassy that we have to apply for Cuban visas via the American Airline with which we are travelling or contact the US Embassy for further information.

    We have been unsuccessful with all these attempts. Please advise.
    Thank you.

    • Hi Cecilia,

      Thanks for getting in touch. And sorry to hear you have not had much luck.

      I’m afraid we do not specialise in applying for visa’s.

      For this you would need to go back to the airline to get assistance as they would be the ones who are granting the visa’s. Or if they have advised you to contact the American Embassy you would need to contact them.

      I am sorry we are not able to be of more assistance and wish you best of luck in applying for your Cuban visa.

  6. I am traveling to Cuba via Turkey and will be cruising from Cuba. Will I require a multi entry visa. Cruise is from Cuba back to Cuba

    • Hi there,

      Thanks for getting in touch. For this you will need to contact the Embassy direct. They specialise in visa related queries and will be able to provide you with the correct information on what visa is required as well as the cost and documents required when applying for the visa.

  7. How or where do I get a visa or tourist card for day trip to Cuba via the Royal Carribean cruise as I am South African citizen

    • Hi Peter,

      Thanks for getting in touch.

      Please contact the Cuban Embassy. They will be able to advise on the correct procedures to follow, what documents are required when applying and the cost.

      Embassy of the Republic of Cuba (Pretoria)
      Telephone No : (012) 346-2215
      Fax No : (012) 346-2216
      Street Address : 45 Mackenzie Street, Brooklyn 0181, Pretoria
      Postal Address : P.O. Box 11605, Hatfield 0028
      Email Address : consul@za.embacuba.cu or embajada@za.embacuba.cu
      Web Address : http://www.cubadiplomatica.cu/sudafrica/EN/ConsularServices.aspx

    • Hi Peter

      Did you take the cruise and how did you go about getting the visa?

      Thank you
      N

  8. It is important to read your travel insurance policy thoroughly. I just discovered that the AIG policy I took out through Standard Bank would be worthless if Cuba was included in our trip as AIG is an American company. Rather confirm when you are taking out the policy.

  9. Good Afternoon,

    As a South African, living in France on a Carte de Sejour (Schengen Visa), where is the best place to apply and is it actually necessary to apply in this case?

    Thank you

    • Hi there,

      Thanks for getting in touch.

      I’m afraid we do not specialise if visa applications. I would suggest contacting the Embassy direct. They are the ones granting the visa’s and will be able to provide you with the most up to date information.

  10. Hi there,

    I am a south African citizen and I was supposed to leave the country with my partner who is now my ex boyfriend because he got a job opportunity in Cuba,now the problem is that I’m not leaving with him anymore and the Cuban council had already appointed an agency to deal with all our visa applications,work permits and other documents,since these are personal and important documents,I want to know where can I check if these documents were already approved and notify that department that I’m not leaving South Africa anymore.

    • Hi Sithembile,

      Thank for getting in touch.

      I’m afraid as we do not specialise in this area we would not be able to advise nor would we have access to these document.
      You will need to contact the agency you applied through, they will have access to your records and will be able to assist and answer any queries you might have.

  11. Hi,
    I live in South Africa and have a South African passport.
    I will be holidaying in Cayman Islands with my son in November /December 2017.
    We will be visiting Cuba for 5 days during this time.
    If Cayman airlines fly direct to Cuba – where do I apply for a Cuban tourist visa
    If we fly from Cayman Island to Miami then on to Cuba, where do I apply for a visa ?

    • Hi Beryl,

      Thanks for contacting us.

      I have found the following info, however please contact the Embassy direct as they are the ones who will be granting the visa and be able to provide you with the most up to date information on the correct procedure to follow.

      Notice from the Consulate:
      You must apply a month before flying to Cuba.

      If the applicant is travelling to Cuba directly from the United States of America, they must purchase their tourist cards in the United States with the airlines or travel agencies that sell trips to Cuba. This only applies if applicants are travelling to Cuba from the United States. If they are arriving in Cuba from any other country, they can obtain the tourist visas from any Cuban embassy or consulate around the world.

      Embassy of the Republic of Cuba (Pretoria)
      Telephone No : (012) 346-2215

  12. please visa aplication form

    • Hi Joseph,

      Thanks for getting in touch.

      Please contact the Cuban Embassy direct for their visa application form. They will be able to provide you with their most up to date document they need you to complete when applying for a visa.

      Their contact details are:

      Embassy of the Republic of Cuba (Pretoria)
      Telephone No : (012) 346-2215

Have something to say...