Update on Traveling to the United States with ESTA for Travelers Who Have Visited Cuba.

by | Sep 23, 2022

The US State Department website indicates that as of today, there are four countries designated as State Sponsors of Terrorism: Cuba, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (North Korea), Iran, and Syria.  Travelers could find they most likely be denied entry to the U.S. if they have visited Cuba before or after 12 January 2021 (there is no time limitation*), the date Cuba was added to the list.

All visitors to the US require either a valid US visa or ESTA visa waiver. Those with an ESTA issued prior to a visit to Cuba are likely to be denied entry to the U.S. under the visa waiver scheme.

How traveling to one of these countries affect my traveling to the U.S. using an ESTA?
The U.S. Customs and Border Protection site specifically states that: “If a traveler is found to have visited a country designated as State Sponsor of Terrorism, the traveler is no longer eligible to participate in the Visa Wavier Program and must apply for a visa to enter the United States.” The official ESTA website has a link to answer questions about

If you have an approved ESTA and have travelled to Cuba, your ESTA is no longer valid.  If you have traveled to CUBA at any point before or after 12 January 2021, you will most likely not allowed to travel to the U.S. with ESTA.  Travelers will need to apply for a B1/B2 visa at the U.S. consulate in their country if residence prior to travel to the U.S.

*This information was confirmed directly by CBP/ESTA help desk by phone on 9/23/2022.  

Silvina Tondini, Esq.
Silvina Tondini is a bilingual, skilled, international advocate and a national speaker on Immigration Law with years of diversified experience providing counsel and directing individuals and business clients on business and immigration law matters.

Attorney Silvina Tondini can be reached at (760) 579-2216 or by email at info@tondinilaw.com

Disclaimer: This blog is for informational purposes only. If you have any questions, please contact our office.