Moving to Cuba from the USA

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Moving to Cuba from the USA

Can you move to Cuba as an American? Yes, you can if you comply with Cuba visa requirements. Those moving to Cuba from the USA usually come to a country to join their families, do authorized business, or for educational or research purposes.

The only viable option for those who want to immigrate to Cuba is to marry a Cuban national. Otherwise, the process of getting permanent residency will be complicated due to bureaucracy. 

However, once you are all settled, get help from an international company to move your household goods.

Moving to Cuba from the USA

Whether an adventurous expat or moving to Cuba from the USA for your research, SDC International Shipping is ready to help you move your household goods. 

We have experience moving international students, foreign business managers, government employees, expatriate families, and their children to Havana and other cities, so we know all the legal intricacies of the shipping process. 

How to Move to Cuba from the USA

Read on to learn what moving to Cuba from the USA involves. Start your journey by filling out an online quote form.

Shipping Home Items 

Any international move can’t be successful without thorough planning and preparation. Relocation to Cuba requires even double efforts. As your international household mover, we can arrange the packing and storage of your personal belongings based on your budget. 

Here’s what you need to know about shipping household goods to Cuba: 

  • New and used household items are duty-free if you’ve lived outside Cuba for at least 12 months. Next, you’ll have to provide the following documents: 
  • Original Bill of Lading or Air Waybill
  • Your passport
  • A valid Visa 
  • Proof of residency (housing lease copy, etc.)
  • Inventory in English or Spanish

We can assist you with customs documentation. Regardless of where you will move to in Cuba, you can count on our 360-degree service to get your things through customs. 

Sending Vehicles 

When writing this page, we didn’t find any information about import duty for shipping cars to Cuba. However, you will have to obtain a permit. Not every motor vehicle is allowed in the country, so talk to your logistics coordinator to know the exact requirements. 

Documents you’ll need to present to ship a car to Cuba:

  • Passport copy
  • Title
  • Registration
  • Invoice 
  • Proof of residence (e.g., rental contract) 

Travel rules applied to Americans are subject to change. To be safe, it’s best to check the latest news on the official website of the U.S. State Department

Moving to Cuba By Sea or Air

SDC International Movers operate international shipping by sea and air. Sea or ocean freight is inexpensive to move your belongings to Cuba. For example, you can save money by sending your items in a shared container or LCL (Less than Container Load). For large houses, we offer FCL (Full Container Load) options.   

Since shipping by sea from the U.S. Gulf or South Atlantic ports take 4-8 weeks, some clients choose air freight, which is much faster. Yet, it is a very expensive transportation mode for cargo over 100 kg. 

Ocean Ports in Cuba: 

  • Havana 
  • Santiago de Cuba
  • Mariel 
  • Cienfuegos

Main cargo airport: 

Havana (HAV)

Where Do We Ship from in the USA?

Cuba is a Northern Caribbean island, 90 miles from North America. The closest U.S. port to the country is the Port of Tampa Bay, which is 307 miles from Havana on water. However, we can arrange ocean transit from New Orleans, Mobile, and Miami

Other SDC Services for Moving Internationally

As an international moving company, we cater to a wide range of shipping solutions. If you book door-to-door service, we’ll arrange every intermediate process from packing to prep for customs and final delivery. Our clients can take advantage of international pet relocation services too. 

Port-to-port delivery is available for those who can transport their household goods or vehicles to the port themselves. This also means that they will have to arrange delivery of their items to the doorstep of their home. 

How else can we help you? We also cater to specialized services like artwork shipping and piano transport. Do you want to protect your valuable items from damage during ocean freight? We can arrange marine insurance or international moving insurance. 

How Much Does It Cost to Move to Cuba?

The cost of moving to Cuba depends on whether you are choosing a door-to-door delivery or port-to-port service. Of course, the volume and the size of your goods matter too. Finally, the distance between the origin and destination is another thing in play. 

Since each move is unique, we provide custom quotes based on each situation. Please fill out our online quote form or call one of our representatives to discuss the details of your move. 

What Is The Cost of Living in Cuba?

If we look at Numbeo data, we’ll see that the cost of living in Cuba is really low. For example, when comparing Havana and New York, this is what we’ve got: 

  • Rent prices in NYC are almost 500% higher than in Havana. Renting a 3-bedroom apartment in a city center is only $1,742, while the rent price in New York City is $7,521. 
  • If you want to dine out in New York, a meal for two people will cost you $40 in Havana and $90 in New York. 

We can go on with the list, but the point will be the same. Even if we take Brownsville, Texas, considered the cheapest place to live in the USA, we’ll still see a significant difference. Numbeo states that rent prices in Havana are 26.21% higher than in NYC, and restaurant expenses are 18,74% higher than in Havana.

Best Places to Live in Cuba for Expats

Most foreigners moving to Cuba settle in Havana, the capital known as the “Gateway to the Gulf of Mexico.” But we also deliver personal belongings to: 

  • Santa  Clara
  • Santiago de Cuba
  • Camaguey 
  • Trinidad
  • Cienfuegos 
  • Pinar del Rio
  • Holguin
  • Puerto Padre
  • And more! 

Facts to Know Before Moving to Cuba

  • Many Americans use Snowbird visas to live legally in Cuba. 
  • Americans can only rent and not own property or a car.
  • Marrying a Cuban national is the only way to start your own business. 
  • Salaries in Cuba are very low, so the best is to rely on income from abroad.
  • You won’t find fast food chains, movie theaters, or big outlet malls. 
  • Cuba is the largest island in the Caribbean.
  • The country has nine heritage sites. 
  • Cigars in Cuba are part of a lifestyle. 
  • Cuba invented many popular cocktails. 
  • Finding a reliable internet connection can be challenging. 
  • The most popular sport in Cuba is baseball. 
  • Cuba exports tobacco, sugar, and nickel. 

A reliable Mover for Your International Relocation 

SDC International Shipping offers tailored solutions for international moves within the state of California (based in San Fernando Valley, CA) and the whole USA. We have almost ten years of experience in the industry. 

From port-to-port moving to door-to-door services covering packing, storage, and customs clearance, our team can handle everything from A to Z. Start working with SDC for your upcoming move!

Frequently Asked Questions 

Is It Safe to Live in Cuba?

Cuba’s state of peace according to Economics & Peace Index 2021 and crime rate as per the U.S. Department of State is assessed as medium. This means that you are relatively safe in Cuba, taking preliminary precautions and knowing how to avoid fraudsters. For example, stay away from beggars and fake guides. Also, be careful on local roads when driving because Cuban drivers are pretty rough. 

Can an American Retire in Cuba?

U.S. citizens can retire and live in Cuba if they show that they have enough funds to cover their expenses. Depending on the location, the sum may vary from $750 to $1,500.  

Can I Move to Cuba as a Student?

Yes, if your university has a program to pursue your degree in Cuba. For example, Burlington College, the University of Carolina at Chapel Hill, offers such opportunities for students. 

Does Cuba Have a Good Nightlife?

Havana boasts one of the best nightlifes in Latin America. It’s mainly about music and dancing. You will find many bars and clubs with great drinks. 

Moving to Cuba from the USA

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