What changes did Trump actually make on June 16th, 2017 related to Cuba travel?
Trump cancelled the popular individual self-directed general license category of people-to-people travel. Many of thousands of Americans used this license to visit Cuba in 2016 and 2017.
Trump did not cancel people-to-people travel sponsored by US tour operators. Americans can visit Cuba with family or friends on private or public tours if arranged by a US-based tour operator. Educational travel for schools remains the same, it has not been cut.
Trump has prohibited American visitors from using hospitality services provided by the Cuban military, which manages many of the island’s hotels, restaurants and transportation resources.
How will I know if my travel dollars are going to the Cuban military?
The US State Department will publish a list of Cuban entities with which “direct transactions are generally prohibited.” If you travel with a US tour operator, they assume responsibility for compliance.
When will Trump’s June 16, 2107 changes be implemented?
The Department of the Treasury Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) has 90 days to draft, adopt and issue the new regulations.
Help! I self-arranged independent travel before Trump’s rollbacks. Is my trip still legal?
Don’t worry, Cuba travel arrangements booked prior to June 16, 2017 are not affected.
Can I purchase an airline ticket and a Cuban Tourist Visa to come to Cuba?
Americans can continue to purchase air tickets and Cuba Tourist Visas for all categories of authorized travel.
Can I still take a cruise ship to Cuba?
Are there other categories of individual travel available to me?
You can visit Cuba independently albeit under greater scrutiny and record keeping requirements on 11 other general license categories including research, meetings, workshops, competitions, and exhibitions, religious and humanitarian projects, journalism, Cuban family visits, among others.
Can I bring home Cuban souvenirs, rum and cigars?
Yes. There are no spending limits while in Cuba or on the value of items you can bring home for personal use including rum and cigars (which are subject to US customs duties).
Will Trump’s Cuba travel rules be enforced?
Trump has directed his Department of the Treasury to “stringently” audit American travelers likely resulting in more scrutiny at US airports from immigrations and customs agents, and increased post travel record requests. Travelers must maintain a full schedule of licensable activities in Cuba and keep trip records for five years. US tour operators maintain these records for their US travelers and provide certification of authorized Cuba travel.
Source Department of the Treasury Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) Frequently Asked Questions on President Trump’s Cuba Announcement, June 16, 2017
More questions about legal Cuba travel?
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