Cuba passport stamp or not

Has anyone visited Cuba recently and can confirm if your passport is stamped on entry and exit?
Travelling on a non-Cuban passport as a tourist
I understand a Cuban stamp can cause difficulties elsewhere, any thoughts on this…

I haven’t been since 2015, so hopefully someone can provide a more recent datapoint… However, back then they did stamp my passport (right next to my latest US entry stamp, no less).

On my most recent ESTA application I had to disclose that I had visited Cuba, since the US now once again considers it a State Sponsor of Terrorism. If you’ve visited Cuba since January 12, 2021 you no longer qualify for an ESTA and need to apply for a visa instead:

The U.S. Department of State designated Cuba as a State Sponsor of Terrorism (SST) on January 12, 2021.

With limited exceptions, a traveler who is found to have visited Cuba on or after this date is not eligible for travel under the Visa Waiver Program (VWP) using an Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) and must apply for a visa to travel to the United States.

Additionally, a traveler who at the time of application for an ESTA holds dual nationality with both a VWP country and Cuba is not eligible for travel under the VWP using an ESTA and must apply for a visa to travel to the United States.

If an ESTA has already been approved and it is later determined that the traveler has been present in Cuba or holds dual nationality with both a VWP country and Cuba, the ESTA will be revoked.

Ineligibility for an ESTA is not a bar to travel to the United States. Individuals who are not eligible to travel under the VWP may apply for a visa at any U.S. embassy or consulate.


So that’s one impact of traveling to Cuba currently… Just like traveling to Iran, etc.

But perhaps Cuba stopped stamping people’s passports after they landed on the SST list again? I don’t know.

I flew from Miami direct to Havana and if I recall correctly they did stamp my passport both ways.
This was not a concern back then as US and Cuba were ‘friends’.

Couple of things I can suggest:

  • get a second passport of your home country (yes, it is possible and fairly easy to do) and use that for your Cuba trip (most preferred method)
  • ask Cuban border control not to stamp your passport (well, this may or may not work)

I’ve definitely had success with this approach elsewhere (e.g. when entering Gaza), however it seems you may not even need to ask…

According to this it seems Cuba recently stopped stamping passports (just stamping the separate tourist card instead):

I visit Cuba regularly and now some friends of mine are considering a first-time trip there. Their travel agent has told them that Cuba has recently stopped stamping passports “…to avoid any problems for travellers flying to and from the US, whether around the dates of their trip to Cuba or at a later date.”

Even if you don’t get a stamp in your passport, you of course run the risk that the US will find out through some other means.

Of course, if you have no desire traveling to the US on an ESTA (either since you don’t travel there in general, or you anyway have a proper visa or US citizenship) then I guess there’s no issue.

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