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COUNTRIES THAT REQUIRE VISAS FOR U.S. CITIZENS

In May, I sat on the Because Women Love to Brunch travel panel.  I , along with two fabulous travel influencers, spoke about road trips, staycations, and flight deals. During our conversation, we also spoke about passports and visas…which, to my surprise, sparked an ongoing conversation. Several of the attendees hadn’t heard of a visa and wanted to learn more about how to obtain one, the costs, processing fees, and most importantly, what countries required Americans to obtain a visa.

So today, we’re going to talk all about tourist visas! Let’s start off by defining what one is. 


WHAT’S A VISA?

 Most people know a passport is required when traveling outside the country. What some may not know is other forms of documentations are occasionally needed to gain entry into other countries. They can include medical screenings, electronic travel authorization (ETA), and/or visas. A visa is an endorsement placed on a passport indicating that the holder be allowed to enter, leave or stay for a specified period of time in a country. Visas may appear as a sticker, paper document or a stamp on your passport, depending on the country.

TYPES OF VISAS

For this article, we’ll focus on tourist visas. However, there are other types of visas available to the public:

 

  • Tourist Visa
  • Business Visa
  • Student Visa

HOW LONG ARE THEY VALID?

This also varies from country to county and depends on purpose of travel and length of stay. Some visas are valid for single use (example: Cuba) while others will allow you to make multiple visits (example: Brazilian Visa). 

 


HOW MUCH DO THEY COST?

Varies widely from country to country. Most of the time, travelers will be required to fill out a visa application and pay a visa fee and/or processing fee. You can visit the U.S. State Department website for more information.


OTHER THINGS TO KNOW 

  • Medical screenings and vaccinations may be required.
  • Passport must have six months of validity when applying for visa.
  • In some instances, traveler must have one or two blank passport pages to process visa.
  • Always do your research. Travel policies change every year, so make sure to keep up with updates. 

WHERE DO YOU APPLY FOR A VISA?

 This varies. Depending on the country, travelers may have to apply for a visa in advance of their trip. They can apply at their embassy, nearest consulate or through an online visa service company. Some allow travelers to mail in documents while others require documents to be submitted in person. To add, some countries will allow visitors to obtain visas upon arrival at the port of entry before going through immigration and customs. Be sure to confirm with airlines which countries allow this.


COUNTRIES THAT REQUIRE VISAS FOR U.S. CITIZENS

Most of Western Europe, Canada, the Caribbean and Mexico typically don’t require American citizens to obtain a visa to visit. To make things simpler, I’ve compiled a list of countries that require tourist visas for U.S. citizens. Please understand that visa requirements may vary for each country depending on the purpose of travel and length of stay. Also note that some of the information may change due to ongoing travel policies. While I will try my best to keep this article updates, please visit Travel.State.Gov for current information. 

Please view list below for list of countries that require tourist visas for U.S. citizens. 

AFGHANISTAN

Vaccination: Polio vaccination up to 1 year before travel.

https://travel.state.gov/content/passports/en/country/afghanistan.html




AUSTRALIA

Vaccination: Not required

Additional Note: U.S. passport holders traveling to Australia for tourism or business purposes for less than 90 days can obtain an Electronic Travel Authority (ETA).

https://travel.state.gov/content/passports/en/country/australia.html



BAHRAIN

Not required

Vacationers can apply for a two-week visa online or upon arrival in the country.

  https://travel.state.gov/content/passports/en/country/bahrain.html


BANGLADESH

Hepatitis A, typhoid fever vaccinations required; Hepatitis B, Japanese encephalitis, Rabies vaccinations recommended.

U.S. citizens can obtain a visa on arrival; however, its recommended getting one before traveling. To add, U.S.-Bangladeshi dual nationals and immediate family members are eligible for a “No Visa Required for Travel to Bangladesh” seal.

https://travel.state.gov/content/passports/en/country/bangladesh.html



BOLIVIA

Vaccinations: Yellow Fever

Additional Note: You can enter the country with a visitor visa if you’re staying for 30 days or less.

https://travel.state.gov/content/passports/en/country/bolivia.html


BRAZIL

Vaccinations: Not required

Additional Note: Brazilian visas are valid for 10 years and must be obtained in advance of travel.

https://travel.state.gov/content/passports/en/country/brazil.html



BURUNDI

Vaccinations: Yellow fever

Additional Note: Visa must be obtained BEFORE traveling.

https://travel.state.gov/content/passports/en/country/burundi.html



CAMEROON

Vaccinations: Yellow fever; polio

Additional Note: Obtain visa before traveling. Can visit Cameroon Embassy website for current visa information.

https://travel.state.gov/content/passports/en/country/cameroon.html


CAPE VERDE

Vaccinations: Yellow fever

Additional Note: Tourist can obtain a single-entry visa (valid for up to 90 days) or a multiple-entry visa (valid for five years).

https://travel.state.gov/content/passports/en/country/cameroon.html


CHAD

Vaccinations: Yellow fever

Additional Note: Visa must be obtained in advance of trip. First time tourist must also obtain a registration stamp. To learn more, visit:

https://travel.state.gov/content/passports/en/country/chad.html


CHINA

Vaccinations: Not required

Additional Note: U.S. citizens traveling for tourism are usually issued a multiple-entry visa. Like Brazil, it’s valid for 10 years.

https://travel.state.gov/content/passports/en/country/china.html


CONGO REPUBLIC (BRAZZAVILLE)

Vaccinations: Yellow Fever

Additional Note: Obtain visa before traveling and WHO card is also needed before departure.

https://travel.state.gov/content/passports/en/country/congo-brazzaville.html


COTE D’LVOIRE

Vaccinations: Yellow fever

Additional Note: E-visas are available; however, they must be requested online prior to arrival.

https://travel.state.gov/content/passports/en/country/cote-divoire.html


CUBA

Vaccinations: Not required

Additional Note: Travel to Cuba for tourist activities remains prohibited. However, you can visit the country if you fall into one of 12 categories of authorized travel. They include: 

  1. People to People
  2. Family Visits 
  3. Official Business 
  4. Journalistic Activities 
  5. Professional Research 
  6. Educational Activities 
  7. Religious Activities 
  8. Public Performances 
  9. Support of the Cuban People 
  10. Humanitarian Projects 
  11. Activities of Private Foundations 
  12. Exportation and Importation 

https://travel.state.gov/content/passports/en/country/cote-divoire.html


DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO (KINSHASA)

Vaccinations: Yellow fever

https://travel.state.gov/content/passports/en/country/congo-kinshasa.html



EGYPT

Vaccinations: Not required

Additional Note: U.S. citizens can receive a renewable single-entry 30-day tourist visa on arrival at Egyptian airports (25USD) or a multiple entry visa (35USD).

https://travel.state.gov/content/passports/en/country/egypt.html



ETHIOPIA

Vaccinations: Yellow fever, polio

Additional Note: Excerpt from Travel.State.gov: “Ethiopian tourist visas are available to U.S. citizens upon arrival only at Bole International Airport in Addis Ababa. Single entry tourist visas are available upon arrival and cost $50 for one month and $70 for 3 months validity.”

https://travel.state.gov/content/passports/en/country/ethiopia.html






INDIA

Vaccinations: Yellow Fever Vaccination required if traveler is arriving from infected area

Additional Note: U.S. citizens who solely visit for tourism purposes, and staying less than 60 days, may apply for electronic travel authorization prior to their arrival in lieu of applying for a tourist visa at an Indian embassy or consulate. Be sure to request the correct type of visa or you could be denied entry.

https://travel.state.gov/content/passports/en/country/india.html


INDONESIA

Vaccination: Recommended, but not required

Additional Note: Tourism visa is NOT required if length of stay/travel is under 30 days.

https://travel.state.gov/content/passports/en/country/indonesia.html




JORDAN

Vaccinations: Not required

Additional Note: Jordan issues single-entry visas upon arrival at Queen Alia International Airport. Multiple entry visas are also available. Those must be obtained in advance of travel.

https://travel.state.gov/content/passports/en/country/jordan.html


KENYA

Vaccinations: Yellow Fever

Additional Note: Single entry and multiple-entry visas are available.

https://travel.state.gov/content/passports/en/country/kenya.html



LAOS

Vaccinations: Not required

Additional Note: Can obtain tourist visa on arrival if you are staying for 30 days.

https://travel.state.gov/content/passports/en/country/laos.html


LEBANON

Vaccinations: Not required

Additional Note: Can obtain a visa on arrival. Please note: U.S. Travelers who hold passports containing visas or entry/exit stamps for Israel can be denied entry into Lebanon.

https://travel.state.gov/content/passports/en/country/lebanon.html


LIBERIA

Vaccinations: Yellow Fever

Additional Note: Must have visa prior to arrival.

https://travel.state.gov/content/passports/en/country/liberia.html


LIBYA

Vaccinations: Not required

Additional Note: U.S. citizens cannot enter Libya if they have an Israeli visa or entry/exit stamps from Israel.

https://travel.state.gov/content/passports/en/country/libya.html


MADAGASCAR

Vaccinations: Yellow Fever—only if traveler has visited a country with a yellow fever endemic within six months of arrival

Additional Note: Can obtain visa before traveling or at port of entry.

https://travel.state.gov/content/passports/en/country/madagascar.html


MALI

Vaccinations: Yellow Fever

Additional Note: Purchase visa in advance

https://travel.state.gov/content/passports/en/country/mali.html


MAURITANIA

Vaccinations: Yellow Fever

Additional Note: Visa can be obtained at the Nouakchott airport on arrival.

https://travel.state.gov/content/passports/en/country/mauritania.html


MOZAMBIQUE

Vaccinations: Yellow Fever—only if traveler has visited a country with a yellow fever endemic within six months of arrival

Additional Note: Required to have visa BEFORE arrival.

https://travel.state.gov/content/passports/en/country/mozambique.html


MYANMAR

Vaccinations: Yellow Fever—only if traveler has visited a country with a yellow fever endemic within six months of arrival

https://travel.state.gov/content/passports/en/country/burma.html



NIGER

Vaccinations: Yellow fever vaccination required

Additional Note: U.S. Travelers should obtain visa before arriving.

https://travel.state.gov/content/passports/en/country/niger.html


NIGERIA

Vaccinations: May be required to show proof of vaccinations

https://travel.state.gov/content/passports/en/country/nigeria.html


OMAN

Vaccinations: Yellow Fever—only if traveler has visited a country with a yellow fever endemic within six months of arrival

Additional Note: tourist visas are limited to 30 days.

https://travel.state.gov/content/passports/en/country/oman.html





RUSSIA

Vaccinations: Not required

Additional Note: Russia has a complicated visa procedure, and it’s recommended to apply through a visa service. Please note: you will need to have a tourist invitation before you fill out application.

https://travel.state.gov/content/passports/en/country/russia.html





SOUTH SUDAN

Vaccinations: Yellow Fever

Additional Note: Visa should be obtained before arrival.

https://travel.state.gov/content/passports/en/country/sierra-leone.htm


SRI LANKA

Vaccinations: Yellow Fever—only if traveler has visited a country with a yellow fever endemic within six months of arrival

Additional Note: U.S. citizens must provide an Electronic Travel Authorization (ETA) or a visa to enter the country. Travel authorization allows entry for up to 30 days.

https://travel.state.gov/content/passports/en/country/sri-lanka.html


SUDAN

Vaccinations: MMR, diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis, varicella (chickenpox), polio, Hep. A, typhoid, yellow fever, cholera

https://travel.state.gov/content/passports/en/country/sudan.html


SURINAME

Vaccinations: Visitors can obtain a tourist visa or purchase Tourist Card upon arrival to the airport. It’s valid for 90 days.

https://travel.state.gov/content/passports/en/country/suriname.html




TANZANIA

Vaccinations: Yellow Fever required if traveling from a yellow fever endemic country

Additional Note: Recommended to obtain visa before traveling to Tanzania; however, visas are available at ports of entry upon arrival.

https://travel.state.gov/content/passports/en/country/tanzania.html


THAILAND

Vaccinations: Yellow Fever required if traveling from a yellow fever endemic country

Additional Note: Visa is NOT required if your stay is less than 30 days.

https://travel.state.gov/content/passports/en/country/thailand.html



TURKEY

Vaccinations: Not required

Please Note: You will need a visa to travel to Turkey. However, U.S. citizens traveling on cruise ships can enter without a visa and the port of entry security authorities’ permission for a maximum of 72 hours. To learn more, click the link below:

https://travel.state.gov/content/passports/en/country/turkey.html


TURKMENISTAN

Vaccinations: Not required

Please Note: You must have a letter of invitation and visa to enter the country.

https://travel.state.gov/content/passports/en/country/turkmenistan.html


UGANDA

Vaccinations: Yellow Fever; Polio (for children under 5)

https://travel.state.gov/content/passports/en/country/uganda.html



VENEZUELA

Vaccinations: Yellow fever required if traveling from a yellow fever endemic country

Additional Note: Visas are NOT available upon arrival.

https://travel.state.gov/content/passports/en/country/venezuela.html




ZAMBIA

Vaccination: Yellow Fever required if traveling from a yellow fever endemic country

Additional Note: A single-entry visa (valid 90 days) may be obtained at a port of entry.

https://travel.state.gov/content/passports/en/country/zambia.html


ZIMBABWE

Vaccination: Yellow Fever, if traveling from/through countries where it is prevalent

Additional Note: Can obtain a visa at airport(s) or port of entry.

https://travel.state.gov/content/passports/en/country/zimbabwe.html

 


FINAL THOUGHTS 

I’ve said it once, and I’ll say it again and again and again. ALWAYS DO YOUR RESEARCH!!! Whenever planning an international trip, please research what documentation is needed to enter a foreign country. I would hate for you to be denied access (or even fined) because you failed to conduct a simple Google search.

Please let me know in the comment section below, if the following information was helpful. And if I’m missing any countries from my list, please tell me and I’ll update this sheet. 

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