US clarifies entry rule for Brits who have previously visited Cuba

By Linsey McNeill
Home » US clarifies entry rule for Brits who have previously visited Cuba

The US has finally clarified its entry rule for visitors who have previously travelled to Cuba.

On 1 January 2021, outgoing President Donald Trump announced that foreigners who had visited the Caribbean island would no longer be allowed to enter the US under its visa waiver scheme.

He added Cuba to the list of ‘state sponsors of terrorism’, which was first announced in March 2011.

This meant that instead of being able to apply for an ESTA online, Brits who had been to Cuba would have to obtain a visa.

But it was initially unclear whether the new rule only applied to tourists who had travelled to Cuba after 1 January 2021, or if those who had been to Cuba in the previous 10 years would also need a visa to enter the US.

Travel agents feared that clients would cancel trips as a result of the new ruling, with one reporting the loss of an £8k booking.

However, the Foreign Office has updated its travel advice to make it clear that the rule only applies to those who have travelled to Cuba since January 2021.

It said: “If you have travelled to or been in Cuba any time since 1 January 2021, you can not apply for an ESTA to travel under the US Visa Waiver Program.

“You will instead need to apply for a US visa. You should consult the US State Department website to determine which US visa you will need.”

Share this article

Latest News