Planning a holiday to the States? There’s been some speculation about whether UK travellers who have visited Cuba are able to obtain an ESTA to permit their entry into the USA, or whether they will need to apply for a full visa. Read on to find out the key information you’ll need if you’re booking a holiday to the USA but have also travelled to Cuba in recent years.
Will I Need An ESTA Or A Visa If I’ve Been To Cuba?
If you have visited Cuba in recent years, you will need to apply for a visa to visit the USA – an ESTA application will unfortunately not be available to you.
Does It Matter When I Last Visited Cuba?
You will need to apply for a visa to visit the United States if you have visited Cuba on or after 1st March 2011. If your visit to Cuba was before this time, you will be able to apply for an ESTA for your trip.
What’s The Difference Between Getting An ESTA And Getting A Visa?
When travelling to the USA from the UK, most travellers get an ESTA (Electronic System for Travel Authorisation) in order to be allowed into the country. Acquiring an ESTA is quite straightforward – it’s an online permit that costs just $21 and doesn’t take long to apply for.
The process of getting a visa is a little more long-winded and expensive. You will need to pay approximately £140 for your visa upon applying. Once you’ve sent off your application, the US embassy will process it and schedule an interview appointment which you will need to attend at the embassy itself in London. The US embassy website states that no processing times can be guaranteed in advance, so we recommend you apply for your visa as early as possible – at least a few months before your planned departure to America.
You can read more about this on the official US Customs and Border Protection website.