Frequently Asked Questions

695. What are the general travel authorizations in the Cuba program?

Answer

Travel-related transactions are permitted by general or specific licenses for certain travel related to the 12 categories of activities identified in 31 CFR § 515.560(a).  Those travel-related transactions permitted by general license, subject to specified criteria and conditions, include: family visits; official business of the U.S. government, foreign governments, and certain intergovernmental organizations; journalistic activity; professional research and professional meetings; educational activities; religious activities; athletic competitions by amateur or semi-professional athletes or athletic teams; support for the Cuban people; humanitarian projects; activities of private foundations or research or educational institutes; exportation, importation, or transmission of information or information materials; and certain authorized export transactions.  Each person relying on a certain general authorization must retain specific records related to the authorized travel transactions.  See §§ 501.601 and 501.602 of the Reporting, Procedures and Penalties Regulations for applicable recordkeeping and reporting requirements.

Effective June 9, 2022, OFAC amended § 515.564(a) to include a general license authorizing, subject to conditions, persons subject to U.S. jurisdiction to travel to Cuba for purposes of attending or organizing professional meetings or conferences in Cuba.  OFAC also amended § 515.565 to remove certain restrictions on authorized academic educational activities (§ 515.565(a)) and to authorize group people-to-people educational travel conducted under the auspices of an organization that is subject to U.S. jurisdiction and that sponsors such exchanges to promote people-to-people contact, provided such travelers are accompanied by an employee, paid consultant, or agent of the sponsoring organization (§ 515.565(b)).  Travel-related transactions authorized pursuant to § 515.565(b) must be for the purpose of engaging, while in Cuba, in a full-time schedule of activities that are intended to enhance contact with the Cuban people, support civil society in Cuba, or promote the Cuban people’s independence from Cuban authorities; and will result in meaningful interactions with individuals in Cuba.  This amendment does not authorize individual people-to-people travel.  Travel for tourist activities is not permitted.

The CACR continue to include the prohibition added on November 9, 2017 that restricts certain direct financial transactions with entities and subentities identified on the State Department’s Cuba Restricted List.  For a description of the scope of the prohibition on direct financial transactions and the restrictions and exceptions that apply, see § 515.209.   

Also, the CACR continue to include a prohibition added on September 24, 2020 at § 515.210, which prohibits any person subject to U.S. jurisdiction from lodging, paying for lodging, or making any reservation for or on behalf of a third party to lodge, at any property that the Secretary of State has identified as a property in Cuba that is owned or controlled by:  the Cuban government; a prohibited official of the Government of Cuba, as defined in § 515.337; a prohibited member of the Cuban Communist Party, as defined in § 515.338; a close relative, as defined in § 515.339, of a prohibited official of the Government of Cuba, or a close relative of a prohibited member of the Cuban Communist Party, when the terms of the general or specific license expressly exclude such a transaction.  The State Department maintains the Cuba Prohibited Accommodations List, which identifies the names, addresses, or other identifying details, as relevant, of properties identified as meeting such criteria. 

Updated: June 08, 2022

Date Released
September 23, 2020