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Non-resident US Citizen visiting Cuba?

Non-resident US Citizen visiting Cuba?

Old Mar 16, 13, 8:51 pm
  #1  
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Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: Auckland, New Zealand
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Non-resident US Citizen visiting Cuba?

Hi... I'm a US-Citizen living in New Zealand (and have done so since I was 13 years old). I have recently obtained NZ citizenship after 30+ years here, and will have a NZ passport shortly.

I will be visiting family in Wash DC area later this year, and was thinking that I'd like to spend 2-3 weeks in Cuba on my way back home. I'd probably fly from Wash DC via Cancun, and then fly back to NZ via SFO as I already have a SFO-AKL ticket.

I understand the legal issues around US citizens spending money in Cuba. I also understand that the restrictions apply to non-resident citizens who have dual citizenship (as in my case). If I were to fly back direct back to NZ, this may not be a problem, but I will be re-entering the US as I fly back to NZ via SFO (either in transit, or overnight).

What I haven't been able to determine is whether or not it matters that the money that I would invariably spend was earned in NZ, and not in the US? Is that a loophole that makes these potential 'spend money' issues go away for me?

Would appreciate any insite or suggested web links...
Busylizzy is offline  
Old Mar 17, 13, 9:12 am
  #2  
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: LGA, JFK
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Originally Posted by Busylizzy View Post
Hi... I'm a US-Citizen living in New Zealand (and have done so since I was 13 years old). I have recently obtained NZ citizenship after 30+ years here, and will have a NZ passport shortly.

I will be visiting family in Wash DC area later this year, and was thinking that I'd like to spend 2-3 weeks in Cuba on my way back home. I'd probably fly from Wash DC via Cancun, and then fly back to NZ via SFO as I already have a SFO-AKL ticket.

I understand the legal issues around US citizens spending money in Cuba. I also understand that the restrictions apply to non-resident citizens who have dual citizenship (as in my case). If I were to fly back direct back to NZ, this may not be a problem, but I will be re-entering the US as I fly back to NZ via SFO (either in transit, or overnight).

What I haven't been able to determine is whether or not it matters that the money that I would invariably spend was earned in NZ, and not in the US? Is that a loophole that makes these potential 'spend money' issues go away for me?

Would appreciate any insite or suggested web links...
Based on my research of the CFR 10 years ago, no and no. I concluded that the only way to be "legal," was to be accompanied by a person not subject to U.S. law, who purchased everything for me in Cuba with his or her own money, not at my request. "Oh, what a nice jacket/hotel room/rental car/airline flight (non-Cubana)!" Please allow me to buy/rent this for you!" "Why, thank you so much!"

On the other hand, these are regulations that are commonly flouted.
GaryD is offline  
Old Mar 17, 13, 1:31 pm
  #3  
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Join Date: Mar 2013
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Thanks for that Gary - that's pretty much what I had expected.

I do understand that the regulations are generally flouted - was just hoping that I could do it 'by the book' so I didn't have to worry too much.

Maybe I need to talk a Kiwi friend into going with me to be my walking wallet! :-)
Busylizzy is offline  
Old Mar 17, 13, 2:14 pm
  #4  
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: YOW
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Fly to Mexico on your US passport, fly to Cuba on your NZ passport and back to Mexico and then fly to SFO on your US passport. Stay a couple days on Mexico on either end and when you are asked what you were doing in Mexico you can legitimately say I was on vacation.
mromalley is offline  

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