The Division of International Studies (DIS) administers the UW-Madison's
license for educational travel to Cuba.
In 2005, the UW-Madison was granted a license by the U.S. Department of the Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) under which academic institutions may authorize educational travel to Cuba for specific categories of visitors. This license will expire April 30, 2009. Individuals from UW-Madison who wish to go to Cuba for educational purposes may request authorization from the Division of International Studies.
To request such authorization, one must review the license information below and then submit to the Division of International Studies a completed waiver along with a letter containing the traveler’s name, address, and UW-Madison affiliation/academic status. The letter should also state the educational purpose and dates of the proposed travel. If approved, the traveler receives a letter of authorization from the Division of International Studies and a copy of the license. The two documents must be kept together and presented to U.S. Immigration officials upon return to the U.S.
The following categories of travelers may be eligible to apply for travel under this license:
Participation in a structured educational program in Cuba as part of a course offered at the licensed institution, provided the program includes a full term, and in no instance includes fewer than 10 weeks, of study in Cuba. An individual planning to engage in such transactions must carry a letter from the licensed institution stating that the individual is a student currently enrolled in an undergraduate or graduate degree program at the institution or is a full-time permanent employee of the institution, stating that the Cuba-related travel is part of a structured educational program of the institution that will be no shorter than 10 weeks in duration, and citing the number of the institution’s license;
Noncommercial academic research in Cuba specifically related to Cuba and for the purpose of obtaining a graduate degree. A student planning to engage in such transactions must carry a letter from the licensed institution stating that the individual is a student currently enrolled in a graduate degree program at the institution, stating that the research in Cuba will be accepted for credit toward that degree, and citing the number of the institution’s license;
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 undergraduate or graduate degree at the licensed U.S. institution and provided the course of study is no shorter than 10 weeks in duration. An individual planning to engage in such transactions must carry a letter from the licensed U.S. institution stating that the individual is a student currently enrolled in an undergraduate or graduate degree program at the U.S. institution, stating that the study in Cuba will be accepted for credit toward that degree and will be no shorter than 10 weeks in duration, and citing the number of the U.S. institution’s license;
Teaching at a Cuban academic institution by an individual regularly employed in a teaching capacity at the licensed 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 planning to engage in such transactions must carry a written letter from the licensed U.S. institution stating that the individual is a full-time permanent employee regularly employed in a teaching capacity at the U.S. institution and citing the number of the U.S. institution’s license;
Sponsorship, including the payment of a stipend or salary, of a Cuban scholar to teach or engage in other scholarly activity at the licensed institution (in addition to those transactions authorized by the general license contained in CFR § 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
The organization of and preparation for activities described in paragraphs (a)(1) through (a)(5) of this section by a full-time permanent employee of the licensed institution. An individual engaging in such transactions must carry a written letter from the licensed institution stating that the individual is a full-time permanent employee of that institution and citing the number of the institution’s license.
Further details on the educational license, as well as information
on specific licenses for individual cases related to education but
not fulfilling the criteria of the categories listed above may be
found on the OFAC website: http://www.treas.gov/offices/enforcement/ofac/programs/cuba/cuba_tr_app.pdf.
Please note that revisions to the Cuban Assets Control Regulations were published in the Federal register and took effect September 30, 2004. For details see: http://www.treas.gov/offices/eotffc/ofac/actions/20040616.html
How to Apply for License Authorization
To request authorization, applicants must:
Provide a letter with the name, address, and institutional affiliation/academic status of each traveler. State the educational purpose and dates of the proposed travel. The purpose should demonstrate how the proposed trip fits the criteria explained above. A supervising professor of any student traveler should also provide a letter confirming the purpose, the academic status of the traveler, and that credit toward a degree will be awarded for the activities undertaken while in Cuba.
Read the U.S. Department of Treasury regulations governing authorized travel to Cuba, found at http://www.treas.gov/offices/enforcement/ofac/programs/cuba/cuba.pdf.
Complete and sign the Release and Waiver agreeing to abide by the U.S. Department of Treasury regulations while in Cuba and releasing the UW-Madison from liability for any claims or damages that may arise while traveling under the University license. Violation of these regulations may result in the University's loss of its Cuba license.
The Release and Waiver is available here and should be downloaded, completed and submitted with a letter from the applicant and supervising professor, if applicable, to:
Cynthia P. Williams, Director of External Relations
Division of International Studies
265 Bascom Hall
500 Lincoln Drive
Madison, WI 53706
It is a condition of the educational license that the university must provide each traveler with a written letter that confirms that the named individual will engage in authorized educational activities under the license.
Individual letters of authorization and a copy of the license itself will be furnished to each approved traveler. These two documents should be kept together, as U.S. Immigration usually asks to see both upon reentry to the U.S. Responsibility for travel and other costs must be borne by the traveler and/or sponsoring unit. Transactions related to activities that are primarily tourist-oriented, including self-directed educational activities that are intended only for personal enrichment, are not authorized under this license.
Travelers are responsible for their own travel arrangements and related costs, as well as the procurement of a Cuban visa via an OFAC-authorized Travel Service Provider or the Cuban host. The list of OFAC-licensed travel service providers is available at: http://www.treas.gov/offices/enforcement/ofac/programs/cuba/cuba_tsp.pdf.
For other information regarding travel to Cuba, follow the links for Cuba on the OFAC web site at: http://www.treas.gov/offices/enforcement/ofac/programs/cuba/cuba.shtml.
U.S. State Department Consular Information Sheet: http://travel.state.gov/travel/cis_pa_tw/cis/cis_1097.html