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US citizens travelling to Cuba are restricted to a set of "reasons" for travel, of which tourism is not one. I have US-Philippines dual citizenship, and both passports. Would I just buy the ticket using my Filipino passport? What kind of documentation/proof would I need to return back to the US? And as a US citizen travelling with a foreign passport, where would I go for US customs?

Thanks.

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Even if you are traveling on a foreign passport, you remain a US citizen, and the US will still consider that you are subject to any restrictions it has placed on its citizens regarding travel to Cuba or indeed any other matter.

US citizens are required by law to use their US passports to enter the country. There is no penalty for violating this law, but you will raise all sorts of red flags if you show up with a Filipino passport without a visa in it. You will not be able to get a US visa in your Filipino passport because you are a US citizen. You will therefore need to show your US passport to board the plane for the US, and, of course, at the US immigration desk.

Would I just buy the ticket using my Filipino passport?

You can do that, yes. You can show your Filipino passport in Cuba.

What kind of documentation/proof would I need to return back to the US?

You will need your US passport to return to the US.

And as a US citizen travelling with a foreign passport, where would I go for US customs?

You can go to the US citizens line, because you will be traveling with your US passport.

One strategy you could use would be to book two round trips. The first is to Mexico, Canada, or some other country. The second is from that country to Cuba. More information about this approach is available on this site at I have two passports/nationalities. How do I use them when I travel?; it is covered in the accepted answer under the heading Case 3: Same name, dual citizenship not OK.

To reiterate: traveling with your Filipino passport will not protect you from any action the US may pursue against you for violating its laws.

  • I thought about using Canada as an in between, guess that would be the easiest way.. but if I were to come back to the US straight from Cuba, when they ask me the purpose of my trip when I come back would I get in trouble if I said vacation or tourism? – physlexic May 8 '17 at 15:44
  • @physlexic I do not know. The safest thing for you to do is to comply with the US travel restrictions like all the other US citizens who visit Cuba legally. Thinly veiled excuses for tourism are both common and easy to come by (as I understand it from indirect knowledge). If you insist on flouting the restrictions then you would be ill advised to travel directly from Cuba to the US. – phoog May 8 '17 at 16:26
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In my opinion you need to follow the US rules because it looks like your trip will be returning directly to the USA from Cuba. In that event, the immigration officer who will admit you upon arrival will definitely know you're returning from Cuba.

Since you will need to enter the USA with your American passport, he will know you're a US citizen. He can cause problems for you.

Bottom line you may choose to buy the tickets with your Philippines passport however with your travel itinerary, you will be exposed and a zealous I/O can give you a lot of unnecessary grief.

It is very easy to tailor your visit to satisfy one of the 12 categories of authorized travel to Cuba for US citizens.

HAVANA TIMES — The Cuban government has acknowledged that the shortage and unstable supply of products sold through its retail network is chiefly owed to a lack of the financial resources needed to guarantee the production or import of these articles, adding that sanctions were recently applied in cases in which such deficient market offers “had no justification.”

For example carrying a few tubes worth $15 of toothpaste and deodorant which are in short supply could be classified as support for the Cuban people which is one category of authorized travel. Be creative.

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    "In my opinion you need to follow the US rules because it looks like your trip will be returning directly to the USA from Cuba." The person needs to follow US rules because he/she holds a US passport and therefore is a US citizen. Whether the US finds out about it is different. But as far as the US Treasury is concerned, this is a crime. – Calchas May 3 '17 at 18:40
  • @the toothpaste thing, ha seriously? – physlexic May 8 '17 at 15:41
  • @Calchas What is a crime? People having been visiting Cuba for the past few years with a nod and a wink from US authorities. Those are the facts. – user 56513 May 8 '17 at 16:35

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