Student Travel to Cuba

Travel to Cuba is restricted because of a comprehensive economic embargo on Cuba administered and enforced by the US Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC).  Any Indiana University student seeking to travel to Cuba for individual research or educational activities, such as a conference or non-IU structured education program, must submit a travel proposal to the Office of the Vice President for International Affairs (OVPIA) at  That travel proposal must contain a description of the proposed activities and a letter of permission and support from the appropriate head of the relevant academic unit (e.g. dean, department chair, dissertation advisor, director of undergraduate or graduate study). Students should make contact with OVPIA at minimum one month before travel, but the earlier we receive notification the better. Students traveling to Cuba on group travel that is primarily organized by an IU unit, working through the Office of Overseas Study, do not need to make separate notification. Notification is only needed for individual student travelers, or students traveling on a non-IU program.

ORC will determine whether the proposed travel is permitted under a general OFAC license or if a specific license from OFAC is required in order to undertake the trip. ORC will assist with applying for a specific license.

If the OVPIA approves such travel and the trip is permissible under OFAC regulations, the OVPIA will issue a letter to the student on official Indiana University letterhead signed by a designated representative of the university, typically the Vice President for International Affairs. The student must carry this letter on his or her person for the duration of the travel to Cuba. No student may travel to Cuba for research or educational activities without approval from the OVPIA and confirmation of compliance with OFAC’s rules by the ORC.

General information about OFAC’s Cuba sanctions and the requirements for traveling to Cuba can be found on OFAC’s website:  Information about sanctions programs and export controls can be found on the Indiana University Export Control website: