REQUIREMENTS

The long-lasting ban on Cuban travel has been amended, allowing all Americans to take part in tours to Cuba that encourage “people to people” contact.

Legal Cuba travel options for Americans explained
In December 2014, President Obama greatly expanded legal Cuban travel opportunities for Americans. On January 16, 2015 the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) issued regulations allowing nearly every American to visit Cuba without applying for a license. According to the OFAC as of April 16th 2015:

What are the travel changes to the Cuba program?
OFAC has issued general licenses within the 12 categories of authorized travel for many travel related transactions to, from, or within Cuba that previously required a specific license (i.e., an application and a case-by-case determination).

Do travelers who fall within the scope of a general license need to submit a written request to OFAC for permission to travel or conduct transactions?
No. No further permission from OFAC is required to engage in transactions by a person who meets all criteria in a general license. Individuals wishing to engage in activities that may fall within the scope of a general license should review the relevant general licenses contained in the CACR to determine whether their travel-related transactions are covered by such general licenses. Persons subject to U.S. jurisdiction who wish to engage in any travel within the 12 categories of activities specified in the CACR that does not meet the requirements of a general license will need to apply for a specific license from OFAC.

Is travel to Cuba for tourist activities permitted?
No. Consistent with the Trade Sanctions Reform and Export Enhancement Act of 2000 (TSRA), travel-related transactions involving Cuba are only permitted for the 12 categories of activities identified in the CACR. Travel-related transactions for other purposes remain prohibited.

What constitutes “a close relative” for generally authorized family travel?
OFAC regulations generally authorize U.S. persons and those sharing a dwelling with them as a family to visit a close relative in Cuba, including a close relative who is a Cuban national or ordinarily resident there, who is a U.S. Government official on official government business, or who is a student or faculty member engaging in authorized educational activities in Cuba with a duration of over 60 days. A close relative is defined as any individual related to a person “by blood, marriage, or adoption who is no more than three generations removed from that person or from a common ancestor with that person.” For a complete description of what this general license authorizes and the restrictions that apply, please see 31 CFR §515.339 and § 515.561

What constitutes “educational activities” for generally authorized travel?
OFAC has issued an expanded general license that incorporates prior specific licensing policy and authorizes, subject to appropriate conditions, travel-related transactions and other transactions that are directly incident to certain educational activities in Cuba. Among other things, this general license authorizes, subject to appropriate conditions, faculty, staff, and students at U.S. academic institutions and secondary schools to engage in certain educational activities in Cuba, Cuban scholars to engage in certain educational activities in the United States, certain activities to facilitate licensed educational programs, and certain people-to-people travel. An entire group does not qualify for the general license merely because some members of the group qualify individually. For a complete description of what this general license authorizes and the restrictions that apply, please see 31 CFR § 515.565.

What constitutes “people-to-people travel” for generally authorized travel?
OFAC has issued a general license that incorporates prior specific licensing policy and authorizes, subject to appropriate conditions, travel-related transactions and other transactions that are directly incident to people-to-people educational activities in Cuba. Among other things, this general license authorizes, subject to appropriate conditions, persons subject to U.S. jurisdiction to engage in certain educational exchanges in Cuba under the auspices of an organization that is a person subject to U.S. jurisdiction and sponsors such exchanges to promote people-to-people contact. Additionally, an employee, paid consultant, or agent of the sponsoring 4 organization must accompany each group traveling to Cuba to ensure the full-time schedule of educational exchange activities, and the predominant portion of the activities must not be with individuals or entities acting for or on behalf of a prohibited official of the Government of Cuba, as defined in 31 CFR § 515.337, or a prohibited member of the Cuban Communist Party, as defined in 31 CFR § 515.338. For a complete description of what this general license authorizes and the restrictions that apply, please see 31 CFR § 515.565(b).

Categories of travel that do not require a license:
You can go to Cuba legally and without a license as long as you affirm your travel fits into one of these US government approved categories:

1.- Educational activities in Cuba for schools, including people-to-people exchanges open to everyone
2.- Professional research and professional meetings in Cuba
3.- Public performances, clinics, workshops, athletic and other competition, and exhibitions in Cuba

Restrictions still apply:
• US visitors are required to engage in full time itinerary activities related to the above categories of travel.
• People-to-people educational exchanges can only be arranged by an organization based in the United States. All other categories of travel can be provided by a US agency or one based in another country.
• There is no limit on the amount of money you can spend in Cuba. Travelers can use US credit and debit cards in Cuba (this facility will be place after May 2015).
• This page and its content are current at Thursday 12 March 2015. Information herein is provided as a courtesy and does not constitute legal advice or a legal opinion. For official informantion please see the following webpages:
• US Department of Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) complete rules on Cuba.

http://www.treasury.gov/resource-center/sanctions/Programs/Documents/cuba_faqs_new.pdf
http://www.treasury.gov/resource-center/sanctions/Programs/pages/Cuba.aspx