Travel to Cuba

The US government restrictions on travel to Cuba require that all travelers to Cuba from American institutions travel under specific licenses or categories. Most BU travelers to Cuba fall under two categories: educational tours or professional research or conferences. Let Global Programs help you navigate through the shifting restrictions and legislation surrounding Cuba travel. It will take a little more time and care, so contact us as early in the process as possible to help ensure a successful program in Cuba!

Key Steps in planning your Trip

  • 1Ensure your travel falls under a permitted travel category:

Note that the US Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control sets the rules and restrictions which govern travel to Cuba, and specifically prohibit all tourist-oriented activities in Cuba. In special circumstances and if the activity qualifies, Boston University may consider applying for a specific license for proposed educational or research activities.

These guidelines apply to all students, faculty and staff at Boston University regardless of whether they hold dual citizenship or are nationals of countries that do not restrict travel to Cuba.

  • 2Apply for Approval to Travel

    Please fill out the relevant application below with as many details as possible. You’ll hear from Global Programs as soon as we receive the application, but please allow at least one month for processing the approval and getting the appropriate paperwork in place, especially if your trip involves the import/export of technology. In addition to this application, international students, scholars and employees may be required to apply for visas to Cuba in their home country.

Full Programs or multi- course projects  submit through eCAP


  • 3Get Notification of Approval

    You’ll be notified once you’ve received approval to travel to Cuba. For record keeping purposes, Global Programs will issue an official memo from the Vice President & Associate Provost for Global Programs for the trip, stating the basis for the travel. No other member of the University community, including chairs, deans, or department heads, may provide a verification letter for travel to Cuba.

  • 4Get Ready to go!

    a) Attend pre-departure training conducted by Global Programs, either individually or in groups, addressing:

    • General country information
    • Travel documents
    • Health, safety & security
    • Import/export requirements
    • Money matters
    • Telecommunications/internet/social media

    Bring the following with your passport/travel documents:

    • Official Memo from Vice President & Associate Provost for Global Programs
    • A detailed agenda/itinerary for the entire stay in Cuba
    • Visa (if required)
  • 5When you’re back

    a) Keep those receipts: OFAC regulations state that travelers are responsible for maintaining a record of their trip receipts and financial documents for at least 5 years.