Travel Regulations

NOTICE TO CUBA TRAVELERS


The Cuban Assets Control Regulations (the “CACR”) – located at 31 C.F.R. Part 515 – prohibits a person subject to U.S. jurisdiction (“U.S. person”) from engaging in travel-related transactions to Cuba, unless such person qualifies for a general license or holds a specific (written) license issued by the Office of Foreign Assets Control of the U.S. Department of the Treasury (“OFAC”). The general licenses are listed below. Each potential traveler must review the general licenses very carefully. To qualify for a general license, each person – whether traveling alone or in a group – must determine that he/she satisfies all stated conditions.


TRAVEL GENERAL LICENSES


  1. Visiting Close Relatives (Section 515.561(a)): U.S. persons, and persons traveling with them who share a common dwelling as a family, may travel to Cuba to:
    1. Visit close relatives who are Cuban nationals;
    2. Visit close relatives who are ordinarily resident in Cuba;
    3. Visit close relatives located in Cuba or accompany close relatives (who are subject to U.S. jurisdiction) traveling to Cuba under one of the following general licenses:
      1. Section 515.562 (authorizing travel for official government business);
      2. Section 515.563 (authorizing travel to engage in journalistic activity);
      3. Section 515.564(a) (authorizing travel to conduct professional research or to attend professional meetings);
      4. Section 515.565(a)(1)-(4) and (6) (authorizing travel to engage in specified educational activities);
      5. Section 515.566 (authorizing travel to engage in religious activities);
      6. Section 515.575 (authorizing travel to engage in humanitarian projects);
      7. Section 515.576 (authorizing travel by private foundations or research or educational institutes).

    [The term “close relative” is a person related by blood, marriage or adoption, who is no more than three generations from the U.S. persons or their common ancestors.]
  2. Official Government Business (Section 515.562): Persons who are:
    1. Employees, contractors or grantees of the U.S. government, foreign governments, or intergovernmental organizations of which the United States is a member or holds observer status;
    2. Traveling on official business of their government or intergovernmental organization.
  3. Journalistic Activities (Section 515.563(a)): U.S. persons:
    1. Who are:
      1. Regularly employed as journalists by a news reporting organization;
      2. Regularly employed as supporting broadcast and technical persons;
      3. Freelance journalists with a record of previous journalistic experience working on a freelance journalistic project;
      4. Broadcast or technical persons with a previous record of broadcast or technical experience who are supporting freelance journalists meeting the requirements in 3(c) above
    2. Who are engaging in a full-time schedule of activities that does not include free time or recreation “in excess of that which is consistent with a full-time schedule.”
    3. Traveling on official business of their government or intergovernmental organization.
  4. Professional Research and Professional Meetings:
    1. Professional Research (Section 515.564(a)(1)): U.S. Persons who are traveling to conduct professional research, provided that:
      1. The purpose of the research directly relates to their profession, professional background, or area of expertise (including graduate level full-time study);
      2. Such persons will engage in a full-time schedule of activities that does not include free time or recreation “in excess of that which is consistent with a full-time schedule.”
    2. Professional Meetings (515.564(a)(2)): U.S. Persons who are traveling to attend or organize professional meetings and conferences in Cuba, provided:
      1. For persons attending a professional meeting or conference, the purpose of the meeting or conference must directly relate to their profession, professional background, or area of expertise (including graduate level full-time study);
      2. For persons organizing a professional meeting or conference, the traveler’s profession must be related to the organization of professional meetings or conferences or the traveler must be an employee or contractor of the entity organizing the professional meeting or conference;
      3. Such persons will engage in a full-time schedule of activities that does not include free time or recreation “in excess of that which is consistent with a full-time schedule.”
  5. Educational Activities and People-to-People Exchanges:
    1. Educational Activities (Section 515.565(a)): U.S. persons (including U.S. academic institutions and their faculty, staff, and students), whose travel is for:
      1. Participation in a structured educational program in Cuba as part of a course offered for credit by a U.S. graduate or undergraduate degree-granting academic institution that is sponsoring the program;
      2. Non-commercial academic research in Cuba specifically related to Cuba and for the purpose of obtaining an undergraduate or graduate degree;
      3. Participation in a formal course of study at a Cuban academic institution, provided that credit will be accepted toward the undergraduate or graduate degree;
      4. Teaching at a Cuban academic institution related to a program at the Cuban academic institution, provided the person is regularly employed by a U.S. or non-Cuban academic institution;
      5. Sponsorship of a Cuban scholar to teach or engage in other scholarly activities at the sponsoring U.S. academic institution;
      6. Educational exchanges sponsored by Cuban or U.S. secondary schools involving participation by secondary students and a reasonable number of parent chaperones in either a structured educational program or a formal course of study offered by the secondary school or other academic institution, provided that the course or program is led by a teacher or other secondary school official;
      7. Sponsorship or co-sponsorship by U.S. academic institutions, and attendance by faculty, staff, and students of the participating U.S. academic institution, of non-commercial academic seminars, conferences, symposia, and workshops related to Cuba or global issues involving Cuba;
      8. Establishment of academic exchanges and joint non-commercial academic research projects with universities and academic institutions in Cuba;
      9. Provision of standardized testing services, including professional certificate examinations, university entrance examinations, and language examinations and related preparatory services for such exams, to Cuban nationals (wherever located);
      10. Provision of Internet-based courses, including distance learning and Massive Open Online Courses, to Cuban nationals (wherever located, provided the course content is at the undergraduate level or below;
      11. Organization of, and preparation for, activities described in (a)(i) through (x) above by employees or contractors of the U.S. sponsoring organization;
      12. Facilitation by an organization subject to U.S. jurisdiction, or a staff member of such organization, of licensed educational activities in Cuba on behalf of U.S. academic institutions or secondary schools, provided that:
        1. The organization is directly affiliated with one or more U.S. academic institutions or secondary schools;
        2. The organization facilitates one or more educational activities authorized in (a)(i), (ii), (iii), and (vi) above.
    2. People-to-People Exchanges (Section 515.565(b)): U.S. persons (including organizations and individuals) participating in educational exchanges not involving academic study pursuant to a degree; provided that:
      1. Travel must be for purposes of engaging in a full-time schedule of activities intended to enhance contact with the Cuban people, support civil society in Cuba, or promote the Cuban people’s independence from the Cuban authorities;
      2. Each traveler must have a full-time schedule of educational activities that will result in meaningful interaction with the Cuban people;
      3. The predominant portion of the activities cannot be with or on behalf of individuals or entities acting for Prohibited Government Officials or Prohibited Communist Party members (as defined in the CACR)
      4. For travel conducted under the auspices of an organization that sponsors exchanges to promote people-to-people contacts, an employee, paid consultant or agent of the sponsoring organization must travel with each group to ensure that each traveler has a full-time schedule of educational activities;
      5. The organization and the travelers must maintain records sufficient to demonstrate that each traveler has engaged in a full-time schedule of activities that satisfies requirements (i) through (iii). [When an individual travels under the auspices of a sponsoring organization, the individual may rely upon the sponsoring organization to maintain these records.]
  6. U.S. Religious Organizations (Section 515.566(a)): U.S. persons (including U.S. organizations and their members and staff) traveling to Cuba to engage in a full-time schedule of religious activities.
  7. Public Performances, Clinics, Workshops, Athletic and Other Competitions and Exhibitions:
    1. Amateur or Semi-Professional International Sports Federation Competitions (Section 515.567(a)): U.S. amateur or semi-professional athletes and athletic teams participating in or organizing athletic competitions, provided that:
      1. The athletic competition is held under the auspices of an international sports federation of the relevant sport;
      2. The U.S. federation of the relevant sport selects the U.S. participants in the competition;
      3. The competition is open for attendance and, in relevant situations, for participation by Cuban nationals.
    2. Public Performances, Clinics, Workshops, Athletic and Non-Athletic Competitions, and Exhibitions (Section 515.567(b)): U.S. persons participating in or organizing public performances, clinics, workshops, athletic competitions (not covered in (7)(a) above), and exhibitions, provided the event is open for attendance and, in relevant situations, for participation by Cuban nationals.
  8. Support for the Cuban People (Section 515.574): U.S. persons supporting the Cuban people, provided that:
    1. The activities are of:
      1. Recognized human rights organizations;
      2. Independent organizations designed to promote a rapid and peaceful transition to democracy;
      3. Individuals or nongovernmental organizations that promote independent activity to strengthen civil society in Cuba;
    2. Such persons will engage in a full-time schedule of activities that does not include free time or recreation “in excess of that which is consistent with a full-time schedule.”
  9. Humanitarian Projects (Section 515.575): U.S. persons developing and participating in humanitarian projects, such as medical and health related projects, construction projects intended to benefit legitimately independent groups; disaster preparedness, relief and response; historic preservation; environmental projects; formal or non-formal educational training projects (within Cuba or off-island) on the following topics: entrepreneurship and business, civil education, journalism, advocacy and organizing, adult literacy, or vocational skills; community-based grassroots projects, small scale private enterprise projects, agricultural and rural development projects, certain microfinancing projects (except for loans, extensions of credit and other financing prohibited in Section 515.208 of the CACR), and projects to meet basic human needs, provided that such persons will engage in a full-time schedule of activities that does not include free time or recreation “in excess of that which is consistent with a full-time schedule.”
  10. Private Foundations or Research or Educational Institutes (Section 515.576): U.S. private foundations or nonprofit organizations or research or educational institutes with an established interest in international relations collecting non-commercial information relating to Cuba, provided that the travelers will engage in a full-time schedule of activities that does not include free time or recreation “in excess of that which is consistent with a full-time schedule.”
  11. Exportation/Importation of Informational Materials:
    1. Exempt Informational Materials (Section 515.545(b)(1)): U.S. persons engaging in activities directly related to the exportation to, importation from, and transmission to and from Cuba of exempt information and informational materials, provided that such persons will engage in a full-time schedule of activities that does not include free time or recreation “in excess of that which is consistent with a full-time schedule.”
    2. Professional Media and Artistic Productions (Section 515.545(b)(2)): U.S. persons engaging in activities directly incident to professional media or artistic productions of information or informational materials for exportation to, importation from, or transmission to and from Cuba, including filming and producing media programs (such as movies and television programs), recording music, and creating artworks in Cuba, provided that such persons:
      1. Are regularly employed, or have demonstrated professional experience, in a field related to such professional media or artistic productions;
      2. Engage in a full-time schedule of activities that does not include free time or recreation “in excess of that which is consistent with a full-time schedule.
  12. Exportation of BIS Authorized or Licensed Goods:
    1. Authorized or Licensed Goods (Section 515.533(d)(1)): U.S. persons engaging in activities directly related to market research, commercial marketing, sales or contract negotiation, accompanied delivery, installation, leasing, or servicing in Cuba of items that BIS has authorized or licensed, provided that such persons engage in a full-time schedule of activities that does not include free time or recreation “in excess of that which is consistent with a full-time schedule.”
    2. Aircraft or Vessels on Temporary Sojourn (Section 515.533(d)(2)): U.S. persons – including personnel who are required for normal operation and services on board the aircraft or vessel or who are required to provide services to aircraft on the ground or the vessel in the port – engaging in activities directly incident to facilitating the temporary sojourn of aircraft and vessels to Cuba, as authorized licensed by BIS, provided:
      1. The aircraft or vessel is transporting other individuals (not just the personnel) whose travel between the U.S. and Cuba is authorized under the CACR;
      2. The travel transactions are limited to the duration and scope of their duties for the particular authorized temporary sojourn.
    3. Medicines and Medical Supplies (Section 515.559(d)): U.S. persons engaging in activities directly related to market research, marketing, commercial sales negotiation, delivery, or servicing of medicines and medical supplies that BIS has authorized or licensed, provided that such persons engage in a full-time schedule of activities that does not include free time or recreation “in excess of that which is consistent with a full-time schedule.”

    Licensed air carriers and travel agencies may assist with travel arrangements after each U.S. person has certified that one of the above general licenses authorizes his/her travel. If a U.S. person does not qualify for a general license, he/she must apply for and obtain a written specific license from OFAC. Carriers and travel agencies will request a copy of the specific license or the specific license number.

    Licensed Travelers must retain all records relating to the trip for a period of five years. These records include but are not limited to copies of written certifications, airline tickets, hotel and ground confirmations, flight itineraries, invoices, receipts, and payment records. This recordkeeping requirement is in addition to any other documentation that may be required in a travel general license (such as the people-to-people travel general license).

    If a traveler has any questions regarding the license requirements, he or she may visit OFAC’s website (http://www.treasury.gov/resource-center/sanctions/Programs/Pages/cuba.aspx) or contact OFAC’s Miami office at (786) 845-2828.

The Cuban travel restrictions apply to all U.S. citizens and U.S. residents – wherever they are located – even to those who are traveling to Cuba from another country or who are holding dual citizenship with another country.  The travel restrictions also apply to (i) foreign citizens who are within the United States and who want to travel from the United States to Cuba and (ii) foreign citizens who are in Cuba and who want to travel from Cuba to the United States).  Only persons licensed by OFAC may travel to and from Cuba.  This rule applies regardless of whether the person wants to travel from Miami or any other authorized U.S. airport.


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