Cuban visa for direct flights from the us
Replies: 12 - Last Post: Feb 25, 2013 4:22 PM Last Post By: johnabbotsford
Jan 21, 2013 10:40 PM
Cuban visa for direct flights from the usI have not taken one for some time and was wondering what the deal is on purchasing your Cuban visa. I and the kid are us citizens flying in to visit family. Can we just buy our visas in Havana or do we have to buy them from the charter companies here in the states. Bob, I know you do this often so maybe you could chime in. If I can buy one in Havana airport less than the $70 or something they say they charge with the charter flights that would be great. What's the scoop now?
Jan 22, 2013 3:52 AM
Jan 22, 2013 5:16 AM
2In early December 2012, I had to pay ABC Charters $75 for my tourist visa. The invoice specified it was $50 for the visa and $25 handling fee. I specifically asked ABC and was told they believed the visa now costs $50 if purchased on arrival in Cuba.
I purchased a tourist visa in October 2012 at terminal #2 (where the US charter flights land) in Havana for $25. I tend to believe ABC Charters that the price had increased but do not have actual knowledge.
As Beardo says, things change but it does always seem to be in the form of increased fees for tourists.
Buying the visa in Cuba did take almost an hour, all waiting for the correct Cuban official to arrive. So you will have to make the call if that time is worth it to save the $25 fee for each member of your family.
Jan 22, 2013 6:30 AM
3Though will the charters allow you to board without a tourist card ? (October was different because the rules didn't allow them to sell the TCs, wasn't it ?)
And also in October it was pre-arranged that someone would sell you the TC in Havana - and it still took an hour. I could imagine it taking longer if it is not pre-arranged.
Jan 22, 2013 7:47 AM
4I do not know the answer if a charter airline will allow someone to board without a tourist visa or not. Most of those on charter flights do not need tourist visas because they have Cuban Passportes even though they are US residents.
Yes, it was supposed to be "prearranged" for someone to meet us so we could purchase the required tourist visa. It still took almost an hour. My experience is that "prearranged" implies a degree of organization that seldom exists in Cuban government. My guess is that when we arrived, someone realized they should go find the guy who had the key to the safe where the tourist visas are kept.
Jan 22, 2013 12:58 PM
5I may just try to get a A2 visa from the Cuban Int. Sec. In D.C. Before we leave but I think I go with buying the tourist visa here and arriving with everything in hand. Beardo is most likely right as to not allowing passengers to board without all the proper paper work.
Waiting in the airport in Habana for something to happen is not my cup of tea and with a six year old less.
Jan 22, 2013 4:40 PM
Jan 22, 2013 5:10 PM
If you know what, how much and how to send to them, with all your i's and t's crossed and dotted, then it's no problem. What is frustrating to most or those not up with the procedures is that there is really no way to email or call and get any response from them. I think if you sent them a letter with "please send me the info need to blah blah they will reply back to you with the proper info.
It just may be that we have been doing this for 10 years plus and just seems easier now. I will say that there was a time the interest section here was a nightmare to deal with or should I say that there were no dealing what so ever.
Jan 22, 2013 5:19 PM
8Yes Carlan that's exactly the problem that I read a raft of recent reports about - the difficulty of obtaining suffient before one commences a particular process.
In Oz recently we had the absurd situation of no Consular and noone else deputised for several MONTHS to sign e.g. new passports, Letter of Invitations etc.
10 years - yes you must be an expert by now!!
Do have a great trip BTW!!
Jan 23, 2013 4:47 PM
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