Working and Living in Cuba

Working and Living in Cuba

Labor market

In order to otherwise be allowed to work in Cuba, you need either a temporary or a permanent residence permit. If you go to Cuba on behalf of a foreign company, you will receive a temporary residence permit. If the reason for residence no longer applies or after a year, the temporary residence permit expires. If the reason for your stay requires an extension, this is possible.

According to countryvv, you need a permanent residence permit (Residencia Permanente) in order to be allowed to work for state-owned companies / institutions. Wages are between 500 and 750 CUP per month. That translates to between 16 and 25 euros. On July 1st, 2019 the salaries were doubled and some even tripled, so that, for example, a lecturer who previously earned 50 euros now earns 150 euros.

Real estate – buy or rent

In Cuba, it is not possible for foreigners to acquire property in the form of real estate. There are two ways to rent living space. One option is through state real estate companies. Another option is with locals. However, these require a valid license for this.

Cost of living

Cubans receive free meal allowances and are allowed to buy additional basic groceries at cost from state bodegas and depots.

A good lunch in a local restaurant (state) costs about 1.50 euros. Tourists will hardly know these restaurants, but emigrants will quickly get to know them. The cost of living prices given here are not subsidized by the state.

You would need around € 2,404.11 in Havana to maintain the same standard of living that you could have in Berlin with € 3,600.00 (assuming you rent in the cities).

  • Consumer prices in Havana are 23.18% lower than in Berlin (without rent)
  • Consumer prices in Havana are 33.22% lower than in Berlin (including rent)
  • Rental prices in Havana are 56.12% lower than in Berlin
  • Restaurant prices in Havana are 44.01% lower than in Berlin
  • Food prices in Havana are 23.95% lower than in Berlin
  • The local purchasing power in Havana is 98.35% lower than in Berlin

Average cost of living in Havana (from 08/2019 – 07/2020)

Restaurant Ø € Price € Price from / to
Food, price w. restaurant 5.09 1.70 – 12.73
Middle class, 3 courses for 2 people. 26.01 21.22-42.45
Local beer, 0.5 l 1.70 0.85 – 2.55
Imported beer, 0.33 l 1.70 1.27 – 2.55
cappuccino 1.16 0.42-3.40
Coca / Pepsi (0.33 l) 1.33 0.85 – 1.70
Water (0.33 l) 0.74 0.51-1.27
Food Ø € Price € Price from / to
Milk (1 L) 2.12 1.70-3.18
White bread (500g) 0.48 0.21-0.85
Rice (white), (1kg) 0.88 0.34 – 1.70
Eggs (12) 0.42 0.27 – 1.02
Local cheese (1kg) 3.35 1.70-5.94
Chicken breast fillet (1kg) 3.23 1.53-5.09
Beef (1kg) or other red meat 8.52 2.97-16.98
Apples (1kg) 3.23 1.06-6.11
Bananas (1kg) 0.53 0.34-0.85
Oranges (1kg) 0.52 0.34-0.85
Tomatoes (1kg) 1.08 0.68-3.40
Potatoes (1kg) 1.17 0.59-2.12
Onions (1kg) 1.22 0.68 – 2.55
Lettuce (1 head) 0.40 0.21-0.85
Water (1.5 l) 0.70 0.59-1.19
Bottle of wine (middle class) 7.22 1.70 – 12.73
Local beer (0.5 l) 1.04 0.84 – 1.29
Imported beer (0.33 l) 1.41 1.02-1.70

Average costs for local transport, utilities, clothing, leisure, education in Havana (from 08/2019 – 07/2020)

Mode of Transport Ø € Price € Price from / to
One-time ticket 0.08 0.04-0.15
Monthly pass 2.55 0.00-3.40
Taxi base amount 0.64 0.34-0.85
Taxi 1 km 0.42 0.42-0.85
Ancillary housing costs Ø € Price € Price from / to
for 85 sqm apartment (electricity, water, garbage, etc. 16.57 8.49-25.47
1 minute prepaid mobile tariff 0.28 0.13-0.30
Internet (60 Mbps or more, unlimited data, cable / ADSL) 92.54 55.18-212.25
Clothes, shoes Ø € Price € Price from / to
Jeans (Levis 501 or similar) 40.33 16.98-59.43
Summer dress (Zara, H&M,… 33.11 12.73-78.02
Nike sports shoes, middle class 69.51 38.20-93.39
Leather business shoes 51.87 25.47-67.92
leisure time Ø € Price € Price from / to
Fitness center, month / adult 10.61 4.24-12.73
Tennis, 1 hour on weekends 5.66 4.24-8.49
a movie ticket 0.68 0.42-1.06
training Ø € Price € Price from / to
Preschool / Kindergarten, private, whole day, monthly per child 21.22 16.98-25.47
International primary school per year and child 7,640.85 4,244.92-10,187.80

Average rental prices / purchase and salaries of Havana (from 08/2019 – 07/2020)

Monthly rental price Ø € Price € Price from / to
Apartment (1 bedroom) in the city center 147.97 84.90-212.25
Apartment (1 bedroom) outside the center 63.67 33.96-127.35
Apartment (3 bedrooms) in the city center 283.56 169.80-1018.78
Apartment (3 bedrooms) outside the center 101.88 67.92-212.25
Purchase price of apartments Ø € Price € Price from / to
Price per square meter for an apartment in the city – purchase 357.21 127.35-848.98
Price per square meter – apartment outside the center – purchase 204.56 84.90 – 502.61
wages Ø € Price € Price from / to
Average monthly salary (after taxes) 27.37

Emigration and living in Cuba

Cuba is very attractive to many because of its pleasant climate, beautiful beaches, friendly people and low crime rate. But it is not easy to get a long-term residence permit. This is tied to an employment relationship or family reunification. Some advantages of the country: Free of nuclear power, low cost of living (LHK-I 64.6).

Working and Living in Cuba