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Dual US/EU citizen travel to Cuba

Dual US/EU citizen travel to Cuba

Old Sep 15, 16, 12:30 pm
  #1  
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Dual US/EU citizen travel to Cuba

Hi all,
I have been considering going to Cuba, and I was wondering how this will work given that both a German and an American passport (I live near ORD).

I know that Cuba & the USA are lax about traveling, especially now, but since I don't really qualify for one of "the" American reasons for going to Cuba, would it be better to use my German passport, meaning the trip would go like this?:

- Leave US on US Passport
- Land in Cuba, show DE passport
- Leave Cuba, show DE passport again
- Arrive in the US, show US passport again

If I did this, would I book the flight using my US passport info or the German one?

Has anyone done this (surely I'm not the only Dual citizen wanting to go to Cuba)?

Thanks!
EtoileFilante is offline  
Old Sep 15, 16, 1:57 pm
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If you are leaving from a US airport, you have to get the same tourist card/visa (pink, more expensive) and fill out the same form for the reason for your trip (not tourism) with a US passport or a German one. The airlines are checking that you have everything in order before you are allowed to embark from the US airport.
VidaNaPraia is offline  
Old Sep 15, 16, 6:03 pm
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Dual citizenship does not make you two different people. As long as you have a U.S. passport, you are a U.S. citizen and are bound by all U.S. laws governing travel to Cuba. As VNP says, you'll have to have everything in order as a U.S. citizen to be able to book and board your flight to Cuba.
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Old Sep 15, 16, 7:30 pm
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Originally Posted by SJOGuy View Post
Dual citizenship does not make you two different people. As long as you have a U.S. passport, you are a U.S. citizen and are bound by all U.S. laws governing travel to Cuba. As VNP says, you'll have to have everything in order as a U.S. citizen to be able to book and board your flight to Cuba.
Not exactly. Speaking in practical terms, if he went through Mexico City, for example, he wouldn't need to fill out the form and could use a cheaper green tourist card/visa, and either passport. He could also buy insurance once he landed, if he were asked if he had it (which is apparently not always happening).
And the US government has not been interested in checking up on anyone for quite some time, according to those who travel there regularly.
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Old Sep 15, 16, 10:09 pm
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All true, but the OP's question was about traveling on a USA-Cuba-USA itinerary with no connection in a third country. As you said, he doesn't meet the requirements to travel like that. Connecting in a third country doesn't meet the letter of the law either, but it's easier to do.

I traveled SJO-PTY-HAV and back last year on Copa. The airline produced a form for me to sign saying that, as a U.S. citizen, I was traveling to Cuba for an approved reason. As a journalist, I was.
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Old Sep 15, 16, 11:16 pm
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Originally Posted by SJOGuy View Post
All true, but the OP's question was about traveling on a USA-Cuba-USA itinerary with no connection in a third country. As you said, he doesn't meet the requirements to travel like that. Connecting in a third country doesn't meet the letter of the law either, but it's easier to do.

I traveled SJO-PTY-HAV and back last year on Copa. The airline produced a form for me to sign saying that, as a U.S. citizen, I was traveling to Cuba for an approved reason. As a journalist, I was.
The point was that departing from a US airport has certain requirements which the same passport holder might not face from an airport outside the US.
Not in a practical sense "bound" by anything to do with US as you state above is the case.

The journalist category is different from most of the 12, requiring a different visa afaik, to satisfy the Cuban government, not just the US, perhaps the reason for your form, despite originating your flight in Costa Rica.
So your case is not comparable to the OP's.

Last edited by VidaNaPraia; Sep 15, 16 at 11:23 pm
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Old Sep 15, 16, 11:38 pm
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No one is disagreeing with you.
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Old Sep 16, 16, 7:59 am
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Originally Posted by SJOGuy View Post
No one is disagreeing with you.
Sorry, but I read this as doing so:

Originally Posted by SJOGuy View Post
As long as you have a U.S. passport, you are a U.S. citizen and are bound by all U.S. laws governing travel to Cuba.

Technically. Practically, the US laws are not being enforced at airports outside the US, nor are they being enforced by the US government for all practical purposes. US passport holders have been going through Mexico and Canada and other places and facing no problems or questions on re-entry to the US, even if stating they went to Cuba, for quite some time, and no one checking on the paperwork proof either, and apparently no fines levied for non-compliance in the last 10 years.
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Old Sep 16, 16, 8:16 am
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There's nothing false about my statement. I was echoing what you said in my first post here. You seem to be looking for a disagreement here.

Anyway, back to the OP: You will have an easier time of it if you travel via a third country. That does not mean that you've followed U.S. law.
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Old Sep 16, 16, 10:36 am
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Originally Posted by SJOGuy View Post
There's nothing false about my statement. I was echoing what you said in my first post here. You seem to be looking for a disagreement here. .
I would simply like those who would like to travel directly from the US to know that the world apparently doesn't come to an end these days, with fines or imprisonment or immigration re-entry problems or being "bound" by anything, for people who choose to create their own people-to-people tour.

Originally Posted by SJOGuy View Post
Anyway, back to the OP: You will have an easier time of it if you travel via a third country. That does not mean that you've followed U.S. law.
The fares are really not any cheaper from the US (unless maybe you live in Florida or get one of the cheap promotional "new route" flights) or through another nearby country, so it's a toss up.
As for easier, going direct from the US is now no much more difficult than through a third country. (pay for flight, get visa, get insurance, get boarding pass, fly)
There are 12 categories, among them "people-to-people", that are being more liberally interpreted by all parties concerned as "following US law".

So there is no real need for scary or off-putting phrasing that might put doubt into the mind of any reader who is thinking about traveling to experience the culture there now.
It is not uncharted territory; millions of non-US passport holders regularly vacation there. And the regular travelers with US passports go ....regularly and often. Nor is the country probably going to succumb to US culture and lose its uniqueness when the embargo is lifted (at least one more year, according to Obama the other day), with a MickyD's on every street corner as some fear.
A good, reliable resource are the frequent travelers on the Lonely Planet's Thorn Tree forum for Cuba.

Not an argument; just facts.
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