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Traveling to Cuba

What Faculty, Staff and Students at Ohio University Should Know about Traveling to Cuba

The U.S. Department of Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) prohibits persons subject to the jurisdiction of the U.S. from engaging in transactions in which Cuba or a Cuban national has any interest whatsoever, direct or indirect, including transactions related to travel unless specifically authorized. However, travel-related transactions related to certain educational activities by faculty, staff, and students of accredited U.S. graduate and undergraduate degree-granting academic institutions may be authorized under a general license (31 CFR § 515.565).

Travel-related transactions that fall under the general license of the university must be directly related to:

  • Participation in a structured educational program in Cuba as part of a course offered for credit by the sponsoring US academic institution;
  • Noncommercial academic research in Cuba specifically related to Cuba and for the purpose of obtaining a graduate degree;
  • Participation in a formal course of study at a Cuban academic institution, provided the formal course of study in Cuba will be accepted for credit toward the student’s graduate or undergraduate degree;
  • Teaching at a Cuban academic institution by an individual regularly employed in a teaching capacity at the sponsoring US academic institution, provided the teaching activities are related to an academic program at the Cuban institution and provided the duration of the teaching will be no shorter than 10 weeks;
  • Sponsorship, including the payment of a stipend or salary, of a Cuban scholar to teach or engage in other scholarly activity at the sponsoring US academic institution; or
  • The organization of, and preparation for, activities described above by members of the faculty and staff of the sponsoring US academic institution.

Travelers to Cuba for the above purposes will need to carry letters on official letterhead signed by the official responsible for overseeing the institution’s Cuba travel program. The University and the traveler must retain records related to all Cuba-related transactions. Individuals may be asked to provide such documentation to OFAC or other law enforcement for up to five years. The above information is taken from the “  Comprehensive Guidelines for License Applications to Engage in Travel-related Transactions Involving Cuba  ”, put out by the Office of Foreign Assets Control, US Department of the Treasury.

At Ohio University, the Office of Global Affairs (OGA) serves as the authorizing agent of the general license. In order to facilitate the general licensing process, a Cuba Pre-Travel Questionnaire must be completed no less than 3 months prior to booking any travel to Cuba. OGA will use this information, in conjunction with the traveler and the Office of Legal Affairs, to understand if this fits within the general license requirements.

The survey must be completed as soon as possible but no less than three months prior to the proposed travel date to Cuba.

Contact the Office of Global Affairs at with questions.