Cuba license information

On January 28, 2011, the Department of the Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) issued a Final Rule ("Rule") amending the Cuban Assets Control Regulations (31 CFR Part 515) governing transactions with Cuba, including travel to Cuba to engage in educational activities. The amendments implement a policy directive announced by the President on January 14 to continue efforts to promote exchanges with the Cuban people. The new Rule allows for greater licensing of travel to Cuba for educational, cultural, religious, and journalistic activities, and expands licensing of remittances to Cuba. Information about the Office of Foreign Assets Control Cuba Sanctions and comprehensive guidelines (pdf) can be found at:

http://www.treasury.gov/resource-center/sanctions/Programs/Documents/cuba.pdf
http://www.treasury.gov/resource-center/sanctions/Programs/Documents/cuba_tr_app.pdf
(These documents are presently being updated to reflect the January 2011 changes to the Cuban Assets Control Regulations.)

General license authorizing accredited U.S. graduate and undergraduate degree-granting academic institutions to engage in Cuba travel-related transactions incident to certain educational activities 31 CFR Part 515.565(a):

(1) Participation in a structured educational program in Cuba as part of a course offered for credit by the sponsoring U.S. academic institution. An individual traveling to engage in such transactions must carry a letter on official letterhead, signed by a designated representative of the sponsoring U.S. academic institution, stating that the Cuba-related travel is part of a structured educational program of the sponsoring U.S. academic institution, and stating that the individual is a member of the faculty or staff of that institution or is a student currently enrolled in a graduate or undergraduate degree program at an accredited U.S. academic institution and that the study in Cuba will be accepted for credit toward that degree;

(2) Noncommercial academic research in Cuba specifically related to Cuba and for the purpose of obtaining a graduate degree. A student traveling to engage in such transactions must carry a letter on official letterhead, signed by a designated representative of the sponsoring U.S. academic institution, stating that the individual is a student currently enrolled in a graduate degree program at an accredited U.S. academic institution, and stating that the research in Cuba will be accepted for credit toward that degree;

(3) Participation in a formal course of study at a Cuban academic institution provided the formal course of study in Cuba will be accepted for credit toward the student's graduate or undergraduate degree. An individual traveling to engage in such transactions must carry a letter on official letterhead, signed by a designated representative of the sponsoring U.S. academic institution, stating that the individual is a student currently enrolled in a graduate or undergraduate degree program at an accredited U.S. academic institution and that the study in Cuba will be accepted for credit toward that degree;

(4) Teaching at a Cuban academic institution by an individual regularly employed in a teaching capacity at the sponsoring U.S. academic institution, provided the teaching activities are related to an academic program at the Cuban institution and provided that the duration of the teaching will be no shorter than 10 weeks. An individual traveling to engage in such transactions must carry a letter on official letterhead, signed by a designated representative of the sponsoring U.S. academic institution, stating that the individual is regularly employed in a teaching capacity at that institution;

(5) Sponsorship, including the payment of a stipend or salary, of a Cuban scholar to teach or engage in other scholarly activity at the sponsoring U.S. academic institution (in addition to those transactions authorized by the general license contained in §515.571). Such earnings may be remitted to Cuba as provided in §515.570 or carried on the person of the Cuban scholar returning to Cuba as provided in §515.560(d)(3); or

(6) The organization of, and preparation for, activities described in paragraphs (a)(1) through (a)(5) of this section by members of the faculty and staff of the sponsoring U.S. academic institution. An individual engaging in such transactions must carry a letter on official letterhead, signed by a designated representative of the sponsoring U.S. academic institution, stating that the individual is a member of the faculty or staff of that institution, and is traveling to engage in the transactions authorized by this paragraph on behalf of that institution.

Note 1 to paragraph (a): U.S. academic institutions and individual travelers must retain records related to the travel transactions authorized pursuant to this paragraph. See §§501.601 and 501.602 of this chapter for applicable recordkeeping and reporting requirements. Exportation of equipment and other items, including the transfer of technology or software to foreign persons ("deemed exportation"), may require separate authorization from the Department of Commerce.

Note 2 to paragraph (a): This paragraph authorizes all members of the faculty and staff (including but not limited to adjunct faculty and part-time staff) of the sponsoring U.S. academic institution to participate in the activities described in this paragraph. A student currently enrolled in a graduate or undergraduate degree program at any accredited U.S. academic institution is authorized pursuant to this paragraph to participate in the academic activities in Cuba described above through any sponsoring U.S. academic institution, not only through the institution at which the student is pursuing a degree.

Students, faculty and staff traveling to Cuba for educational activities covered by the general license must carry with them a letter on official letterhead signed by a designated University official stating that they meet the applicable licensing criteria. At this time, UCOP’s Office of Academic Planning, Programs and Coordination is the contact office for UC students, faculty and staff who need a UC letter for the purposes of traveling under the general license provisions of 31 CFR §515.565(a). To request for a UC official letter, please provide information pertaining to the planned activities in Cuba, dates of intended stay, and proof of UC affiliation. Travelers also required to sign a "Licensee Agreement" stating that they understand, and will comply with, the provisions of the license and that they absolve UC of any possible liability in connection with their travel to Cuba. Students must also obtain a brief statement of support from their faculty sponsors or advisors. For additional information, please email Padona Yeung.

Individuals or units seeking specific licenses from OFAC for activities not covered under the general "educational activities" license, and those seeking to travel under other general license provisions (e.g., the general license for full-time professional researchers), may do so without going through UCOP. The Academic Planning, Programs and Coordination office or the Office of General Counsel may be consulted regarding which activities are covered by the general educational activities license and which may be covered by a specific license or a different general license.

Specific License for Academic Activities CFR 31 Part 515.565(b):

Specific licenses may be issued on a case-by-case basis authorizing the travel-related transactions directly incident to:

(1) An individual's educational activities of the types described in paragraphs (a)(2) through (a)(4) of this section but not authorized by the general license contained in paragraph (a) of this section;

(2) Educational exchanges not involving academic study pursuant to a degree program when those exchanges take place under the auspices of an organization that sponsors and organizes such programs to promote people-to-people contact; or

(3) Sponsorship or co-sponsorship by an accredited U.S. graduate or undergraduate degree-granting academic institution of academic seminars, conferences, and workshops related to Cuba or global issues involving Cuba and attendance at such events by faculty, staff, and students of the licensed institution.

Other General License for Professional research and professional meetings in Cuba § 515.564(a):

(1) Professional research. The travel-related transactions set forth in §515.560(c) and such additional transactions that are directly incident to professional research by full-time professionals who travel to Cuba to conduct professional research in their professional areas are authorized, provided that:

  1. The research is of a noncommercial, academic nature;
  2. The research comprises a full work schedule in Cuba;
  3. The research has a substantial likelihood of public dissemination