The Top 16 Countries That Require Visas for US Citizens

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You’re all packed for the big trip. Ready to explore the sights and sounds of an African Safari – or see the Great Wall of China.

But did you pack your Visa?

We’re not talking about visa credit cards. We’re talking travel Visas.

Officially speaking, a visa is an endorsement. It grants a passport holder entry into a country for a specific time-period. Every country has a unique set of rules that dictate which nationalities can enter with or without a visa.

US citizens have one of the ‘strongest’ passports in the world and can travel without a visa to 116 countries.

This is fantastic – until you realize there are over 80 countries that require a Visa of some kind. Forty-nine of them are eVisa or ‘visa on arrival’ countries.

– ‘eVisa’ is an option that enables travelers to submit a visa application online prior to visiting a country. It enables you to enter a country immediately upon arrival with a passport and visa on hand.

– ‘Visa on arrival’ allows a traveler to purchase a visa when arriving to their destination country. For example, upon crossing the Mexican border – visitors can purchase a six-month tourist visa for $25. Plenty of time for tamales, tequila and addressing an endless taco addiction.

Travel is fun – but logistics can be a bureaucratic drag. Obtaining visas requires yet another step for people to deal with in their travel.

But don’t forget, there are also 33 countries that require US citizens to obtain a physical visa prior to arrival. When this is the case, you’ll need to undergo an often-lengthy process that takes time, paperwork and money.

Our Visa Service Department assists with the process. If you need a new passport, visa, or both: we can help make the application MUCH smoother.

Check our list to see if your upcoming travel destination requires a visa. If so – don’t panic. Refer to our website where you can select your destination and see which visas are available.

China

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It isn’t easy for US citizens trying to visit this beautiful ancient country. Chinese law requires US passport holders to apply for a visa at their local Chinese consulate. Once the visa is ready, they require applicants to pay the application fee and pick up the visa from the Embassy or Consulate General.

This a massive inconvenience for people who live hundreds of miles from their nearest Chinese consulate – for US tourists, China requires a particularly long list of documents and a travel itinerary.

Luckily, we aim to please. For over 20 years, our service has allowed people to get their passports and visas quickly and without taking time and expense to go to the nearest Chinese consulate.

Russia

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One of the strictest countries for US citizens seeking a visa. To explore the world’s largest country, US citizens will undergo a complex visa application process that is infamous for rejecting applicants for the smallest of reasons. You’ll be needing a shot of vodka before you even get to Russia.

Applicants must submit (and pick up) their visa applications at a regional office. You need a lengthy list of documents and (also) an invitation from a host, tour operator or hotel in Russia confirming your stay.

It’s such a time intensive process it should almost be a crime to not have your Russian visa expedited. The amount of time and effort saved would seem a no-brainer.

Kenya

Most African countries require US citizens to obtain a visa – and east Africa’s most popular tourist destination is no exception.

It’s a country that is home to some of the world’s most well-known safaris, national parks and of course Africa’s largest mountain – the majestic Mount Kiliminjaro.

Kenya is an eVisa or ‘visa on arrival’ country which means we can help you get your visa quickly and in as little time as 1-2 days. The perfect option for people who want to leave the bureaucratic work to us – and walk straight into Kenya on arrival.

Egypt

Before you decide to elope out to the pyramids you’ll need to get your passport and visa sorted out. Luckily, Egypt is another eVisa country which enables our Visa Service Department to process the application in 5 business days or less.

Once that is taken care of, you’ll be walking like an Egyptian in no time and enjoying the sights and sounds of one of the world’s most fascinating and breathtakingly historical countries.

Between pyramids, ancient cities, citadels and temples… it’s very tempting to apply for our own visa right now! Meet us at Mount Sinai?

India

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Visitors to India should expect a complex visa processing system which has many variables to consider. There are business visas, tourist visas and a variety of other options such as student, conference, research and so on.

US citizens can apply online for an eVisa but should be advised that travelers can only use the visa to enter one time for up to 30 days. Also, it is only for use entering India through a list of specific airports and seaports.

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If you apply for a visa at an Indian consulate, you can get a multiple entry visa that is valid for up to 10 years. But the primary drawback is that the application process is lengthy and requires a surprising amount of paperwork and time to complete.

Take a look at our website for details on which visa you will need. Once you decide which to apply for we will give you straightforward steps to make the process as fast and painless as possible. It makes us happy when things are this easy.

Brazil

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Carnival nights. Colors in the lights. Caipirinha cocktails with sugar and ice. If you are looking to experience the many sights and sounds of the world’s most diverse country; you must apply for a visa in advance.

Keep in mind that there are a multitude of options for applying for a Brazilian Visa. The United States is one of four countries whose citizens can apply. These visas are valid up to 10 years and good for up to 90 days at a time.

We keep our application streamlined and try to make it as easy as possible for people applying: tourist visa applications only have 7 steps in our process.

Vietnam

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One of the most popular travel destinations in Asia. Extremely popular for adventurers and culture lovers. Boundless nature, culture and foodie heaven paradise.

Home of the legendary pho soup, a breakfast dish that has won the hearts of Americans and become a steadfast dinner delicacy on this side of the Pacific.

It should be noted that Vietnam requires visitors to obtain a visa prior to arrival. To obtain the visa, you must apply at one of the multiple embassies that Vietnam maintains in the United States. They offer regular visas that get stamped inside your passport or a loose leaf visa that is detached from your passport. Check out your options and apply today.

Algeria

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Not only one of the most underrated and undiscovered travel destinations; Algeria is also the tenth largest country in the world. It is an African country with surprising roots in both Arab, French, and multiple ancient dynasties across the millennia.

US citizens are required to obtain a Visa and it should be noted that they may be denied entry if their passport contains Israeli stamps or visas.

Ghana

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Ghana is an African power that spans a rich geographical area on the Ivory Coast of Africa. The country has a multi-ethnic heritage and long complex history. Many empires have contested the area due to its strategic location and abundant natural resources.

In order to visit – US citizens need a Visa to visit Ghana and will also need to obtain an International Certificate of Vaccination.

Iran

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For travelers hoping to visit the Islamic Republic of Iran, they must undergo a complex application process. They must first obtain a Visa from the Embassy in Pakistan in Washington, DC prior to traveling to Iran. This is because Iran does not have a consulate in the United States.

Upon arrival US visitors are fingerprinted and photographed on entry – independent travelers are required to be escorted by a government authorized guide during the entire duration of their trip.

As US citizens must adhere to a complex application procedure and can only apply at a specific Embassy, it is a huge benefit to have an agency take of the process. You can apply for the expedited Iran Visa service here.

Bolivia

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Bolivia is a diverse nation known for a stunning range of natural outdoor beauty. It is also recognized for it’s multi-ethnic culture influenced by a variety of indigenous and European roots.

US nationals can purchase a visa directly at one of the consulates, which is jurisdictional, or through a visa service like us. This $160 visa is valid for 10 years and visitors can use it for up to 90 days at a time. It should also be noted that travelers need to have a hotel reservation or a letter of invitation of where they’re staying and yellow fever vaccination. It is a lengthy process so apply now or as soon as possible

Saudi Arabia

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US citizens are required to acquire an advance Visa prior to visiting Saudi Arabia. All international visitors are fingerprinted upon arrival and travelers with Israeli visas or entry stamps will most likely be refused entry to the country.

Unfortunately, Saudi Arabia does not issue tourist Visas. This is a shame due to the richness of a fascinating history that Saudi Arabia holds as the birthplace of Islam and a multitude of ancient marvels.

This is also a complex visa that be processed within a week if everything is submitted to the consulates’ liking. Do not wait until the last minute to apply for this visa.

Paraguay

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Paraguay is home to an amazing amount of natural beauty, biodiversity and colonial history. This land-locked nation touches Bolivia to the north, the jungles of Brazil to the east, and Argentina to the south.

To visit this exciting South American country – US passport holders can obtain a visa on arrival if they arrive via air travel. However, if they enter by land, they are required to obtain a Visa from an embassy or consulate.

Libya

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Libya has occupied an integral part in European and north African history and remains one of the most interesting countries to visit in the region.

US citizens must be granted a Visa to enter Libya. Tourists are required to have the equivalent of $1,000 USD upon arrival and cannot have any Israeli stamps or Visas on their passports.

Uganda

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One of Africa’s most well-known destinations, Uganda is nestled in the heart of the African Great Lakes region. US visitors will appreciate the prevalence of the English language in the country and also enjoy the abundance of natural beauty in this central African nation.

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Visitors need an International Certificate of Vaccination to visit the country. Uganda operates an eVisa / Visa on arrival policy but has in recent years created stricter policies for international visitors. The eVisa is for single entry only, whereas if you apply at the consulate you can obtain a multiple entry visa.

Ugandan authorities often require additional documentation such as a printed eVisa application, copy of a return place ticket and even proof of the visitors’ itinerary in the country.

Remember, there are over 80 countries that you will need to obtain a visa to visit. Check out the Visa Service Department for details on Visa requirements by country.

Keep in mind that this a complex process that takes time and patience. We provide the fastest passport and visa service around. Useful if you’re on a deadline and don’t want to miss a trip.

Our online application system makes it easy – we do most of the work for you. It saves an insane amount of time and effort, instead of visiting a foreign consulate in-person. Visiting an embassy or consulate is similar to a day spent at your local DMV. Perhaps worse. If that doesn’t warn you… nothing will! On top of that, requirements and fees are subject to change without notice.

If you’re not the online application type, you can visit one of our offices in person. We have offices across the USA and many are closer to drive to compared to a consulate.

Our Florida customers visit our Tampa or Orlando offices instead of making a drive down to Miami. On the west coast, people dig having our San Francisco and Los Angeles offices close by – instead of visiting a consulate all the way in DC. Our offices take appointments, calls and even walk-ins. Or you can apply online.

Which countries do not need a visa to travel to Europe?

This website does not belong to, nor is it affiliated with, the EU. The official website of the European Union is europa.eu.

Visa-exempt travelers to Europe

Over more than 50 countries do not need a visa to travel to Europe, specifically the Schengen Area.

For visa-free countries, the European Union will launch the European Travel and Information Authorisation System (ETIAS) in November 2023.

ETIAS is not a visa, it is an electronic travel authorisation that can be easily obtained through an online application.

Through the system, visa-exempt foreigners will need to get an ETIAS to visit Schengen countries for stays of up to 90 days.

Although ETIAS will become a new entry requirement for Schengen countries, it will only take travellers a few minutes to complete the registration. Most applications should be approved shortly after they have been submitted.

Nationals from the following countries are eligible to apply for ETIAS and visit Europe without a visa:

Country of origin of the traveller to Europe

Which countries can I visit in Europe without a visa?

If you are from one of the countries listed above, which have a visa-free agreement with the EU, you may visit the Schengen Area without a visa for short term stays.

However, please note that not all European member countries are part of the Schengen zone. The Republic of Ireland, for instance, is not a Schengen member country.

What countries are in the Schengen Area?

The Schengen Area is made up of European nations that have abolished controls at their shared external borders.

There are 22 EU member countries, 4 member countries of the Free Trade Association, and 3 micro-states in the Schengen Area.

Nationals from countries that do not need a visa to travel to Europe will have to apply for an ETIAS travel authorisation, starting in November 2023.

ETIAS will also be a requirement to travel to Member States that have not yet fully adopted the Schengen Agreement. These include:

Third-country nationals who are not visa-exempt need a Schengen visa to enter the Schengen zone.

To visit countries outside Schengen, it is necessary to contact an embassy. For instance, to enter the United Kingdom, foreigners must meet the respective entry requirements.

How to travel to Europe without a visa

To travel to Europe without a visa, you need a passport with a minimum validity of at least 3 months beyond the period of your expected stay in the region.

However, be sure to check that you are from a visa-free country before booking your trip.

Additionally, all foreign visitors are advised to get travel or health insurance in case of an emergency.

Schengen Area countries do not require foreign visitors from visa-exempt countries to have a visa. However, EU countries that are not Schengen members have their own entry requirements.

Which European countries are not in Schengen?

The European countries that are not part of the Schengen zone are:

  • Albania
  • Armenia
  • Azerbaijan
  • Belarus
  • Bosnia & Herzegovina
  • Bulgaria
  • Croatia
  • Cyprus
  • Georgia
  • Ireland
  • Kosovo
  • North Macedonia
  • Moldova
  • Montenegro
  • Romania
  • Russia
  • Serbia
  • Turkey
  • Ukraine
  • United Kingdom

These European countries have their own specific visa requirements which may differ from Schengen regulations. However, ETIAS will be a requirement for incoming Schengen members such as Croatia, Cyprus, Bulgaria and Romania by November 2023.

Which visa-free countries will need the ETIAS travel authorisation?

The countries that will need an ETIAS travel authorisation are the countries exempt from a visa to travel to the Schengen Area.

A citizen from one of the eligible countries will simply need an Internet connection and a computer, mobile, or tablet to complete the ETIAS online form.

Eligible travellers should meet the ETIAS requirements before completing the form. To successfully get ETIAS, applicants need a valid passport, an email address, and a debit or credit card to pay the ETIAS fee.

To complete an ETIAS application, travellers must provide their personal information, travel details and passport information.

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Each applicant must answer a series of security questions related to their health status, criminal background and if they have visited conflict zones in recent years.

It is expected that most ETIAS applications will be processed in a matter of minutes.

However, in some cases, some ETIAS applications might be processed manually to verify the accuracy of the traveller’s data.

All the information provided by a traveller is contrasted with international security databases and the Schengen Area.

Who needs to get the ETIAS visa waiver to travel to Europe?

Any citizen of an eligible country wishing to travel to Europe without a visa, specifically to the Schengen Area, will have to register in the ETIAS system before boarding their flight.

The ETIAS visa exemption is a security measure to improve immigration control upon arrival in European territories.

The EU is committed to making Europe more secure. They hope to achieve this by implementing the ETIAS system and pre-screening visa-exempt travellers before they arrive in European territory.

Foreigners who wish to visit any member country of the Schengen Area must either obtain a Schengen visa or, as of November 2023, get the ETIAS visa waiver.

Once the EU launches the system, it will be necessary to get the ETIAS authorisation at least 72 hours before departure.

All travellers, including minors, must register through the ETIAS system to visit a Schengen country.

Once approved, ETIAS is valid for 3 consecutive years, allowing stays of up to 90 days within an 180 day period.

ETIAS Requirements for American Citizens

The ETIAS Online Visa Waiver (European Travel Information and Authorization System) was created for U.S. citizens who wish to travel around Europe for up to 90-days. All U.S. citizens visiting Europe are required to hold a valid ETIAS to enter and travel around all the ETIAS countries.

ETIAS countries – Schengen Area

EU Member States

Non-EU Member States

Micro-States de facto part of Schengen Area

Countries that will be part of the Schengen Area

etias schengen countries

ETIAS Countries that Require a Europe Travel Authorization for American Citizens

An ETIAS authorization will be required for every American citizen for short-term stays of up to 90-days to travel to any of the ETIAS countries mentioned above. Learn more about the ETIAS application requirements for U.S. citizens visiting Europe.

The ETIAS visa waiver also includes countries that are part of the Schengen Area but not the EU, which means that U.S. citizens will be able to see these nations without the need for any additional European travel documents or requirements. ETIAS visa waiver will also include countries which do not yet fully apply the Schengen acquis but will join in a future.

ETIAS requirements for U.S. citizens

U.S. citizens over the age of 18 will be required to apply online for the ETIAS online visa to enter any of the Schengen Area Member states.

When the online platform goes live in November 2023, all US citizens traveling to Europe for short-term stays will be obliged to have an ETIAS visa waiver with them before their trip. It is key that a U.S. traveler has a valid passport. During the application process, American applicants will be required to provide a current email address. When the ETIAS is approved, it will be sent to the email provided in the application.

American citizens will need to provide personal information on their ETIAS online application such as:

  • Full name
  • Place and date of birth
  • Gender
  • Home address
  • Telephone number and email
  • Education or current employment information
  • Passport or travel document information
  • Member state of intended first entry, and
  • Answer ETIAS background and eligibility questions

To apply for an ETIAS visa Americans are required to:

  • A valid machine-readable passport
  • A valid email account – the ETIAS authorization will be sent via email
  • A valid debit or credit card to pay the application fees

For a successful application, all U.S. travelers should provide accurate information. It is essential that the applicant uses his or her full name, travel document details, and valid payment method.

Once approved, the ETIAS authorization will be valid for 3 years. American citizens holders of an approved ETIAS can travel around the Schengen Area, Croatia, Cyprus, Bulgaria and Romania for a maximum of 90 days for every 180-day period.

Information about the ETIAS Visa Waiver for Americans Citizens

The European Union launched the ETIAS authorization system as a response to the increasing number of tourists, as well as the ongoing migration flows and terrorist threats.

The ETIAS online travel authorization is a well-integrated authorization system that will strengthen Europe’s external border policies and ensure internal security while preserving freedom of movement within the Schengen Area. This is achieved thanks to an automated system that gathers information on visa-exempt travelers before their arrival in the EU, to determine irregularities, and security or public-health risks associated with them. ETIAS follows similar models already existing in the USA, Canada, and Australia, among others.

While enhancing safety for the region is a primary goal of the ETIAS travel authorization, there are other relevant aspects of this travel authorization that should be considered. U.S. citizens traveling to Europe will simply have to complete an online application a few days prior to their trip. This European permit will benefit travelers as it reduces procedures and application times. ETIAS is expected to make border checks quicker and more efficient for international visitors.The program will prevent irregular migration and will reinforce Europe’s visa liberalization policy.

Every visa-exempt third-country national, including Americans, arriving at the Schengen external borders will be required to hold an approved ETIAS authorization.

Source https://www.thepassportoffice.com/blog/top-16-countries-require-visas-us-citizens/

Source https://www.etiasvisa.com/etias-news/countries-do-not-need-visa-to-europe

Source https://www.etias.us/us-citizens/

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