Visa Requirements for US Citizens

Today, I was chatting with a colleague about my radical idea to take a year off and travel the world. Generally, the reaction is horror and confusion, followed by the question, how can you afford to do that? This time though, my friend looked at me with excitement in his eyes and asked me if I had started applying for visas. My response to which was…no?

Up to this point in my preparation, I had simply been putting together the list of places I would ideally like to visit during my gap year. However, I hadn’t even considered that certain countries had pre-arrival visa requirements, and that some of them could be difficult to obtain. In the back of my mind, I knew that this would be a part of the process at some point, but did you know that certain visas can take up to a year for approval? I didn’t. So I put on my research hat and got to work on a list of countries which have pre-arrival visa requirements.

As of 2014, Americans were able to travel to a total of 174 countries without a visa, or  with a visa granted upon arrival, so that is good news. However some of my top destinations, ones that I don’t want to miss, have pre-arrival visa requirements.

Plane - Visa Requirements for us citizens

Countries with Pre-Arrival Visa Requirements for US Citizens:

  1. Afganistan
  2. Algeria
  3. Angola
  4. Azerbaijan
  5. Belarus
  6. Benin
  7. Brazil
  8. Burundi
  9. Bhutan
  10. Cameroon
  11. Central African Republic
  12. Chad
  13. China
  14. Cuba
  15. Democratic Republic of Congo
  16. Republic of Congo
  17. Eritrea
  18. Gabon
  19. Ghana
  20. Guinea
  21. Iran
  22. Iraq
  23. North Korea
  24. Liberia
  25. Libya
  26. Mali
  27. Mozambique
  28. Nauru
  29. Niger
  30. Nigeria
  31. Pakistan
  32. Russia
  33. Saudi Arabia (No tourist visas granted)
  34. Sierra Leone
  35. Somalia
  36. South Sudan
  37. Sudan
  38. Syria
  39. Turkmenistan
  40. Uzbekistan
  41. Venezuela
  42. Vietnam
  43. Yemen
  44. Margarita Island
  45. Nagorno-Karabakh Republic
  46. Crimea
  47. Abkhazia

Visa Requirements for US citizens

Well folks, I know what I will be doing on nights and weekends for the next couple months. I am not too worried about being approved for most of the visas that I will need, however, Russia and China are intimidating. Hopefully this helps you understand the visa requirements for US citizens. If anyone has experience applying for and being granted tourist visas in those countries, please let me know!

Happy Travels!


0 comments on “Visa Requirements for US Citizens”

  1. I’m in the same boat, actually! Nothing as exciting as your list, but I have a trip to China scheduled for next spring, and have to apply for a visa for that pretty soon. Let me know how it goes on your end!

    1. I am sure China will be just as exciting!! Best of luck in your application and I will let you know how it goes 🙂 Happy travels!

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