YOU MAY NEED MORE THAN A PASSPORT TO TAKE AN INTERNATIONAL TRIP

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. We also discussed passports and visas; which, to my surprise, sparked an ongoing conversation. A few of the attendees hadn’t heard of tourist visas and wanted to learn more about the costs, application process, and more importantly, what countries required Americans to obtain one. So today, we're going to talk all about them!  Let's start off by defining what a visa is. 

 

WHAT’S A VISA?

 Most people know a passport is required when traveling outside the country. What some may not know: other forms of documentations are occasionally needed to gain entry into other countries. They can include medical screenings, electronic travel authorization (ETA), and visas. A visa is simply 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

There are several types of visas available to travelers. They include:

  • Business Visa

  • Student Visa

  • Tourist Visa (For this article, we’ll focus on tourist visas.)

 

HOW LONG ARE Visas VALID?

This varies from country to county, and it depends on purpose of travel and length of stay. Some visas are valid for single use (ex. Cuban visas can only be used once. Travelers must purchase new visa each time they visit), while other visas can be used multiple times (ex. Brazilian visas can be used for 10 years). 

 

HOW MUCH DO THEY COST?

This also varies widely from country to country. Most of the time, travelers will be required to fill out a visa application and pay a small fee. Price can range anywhere from $25-150. 

 

OTHER THINGS TO KNOW 

  • Medical screenings and vaccinations may be required.

  • Typically, your passport must have six months of validity when applying for a visa.

  • In some circumstances, travelers must have one or two blank passport pages to process visa.

  • ALWAYS do your research before entering a new country. Travel policies change every year, so make sure to keep up with updates.

 

WHERE DO YOU APPLY FOR A VISA?

Depending on the country, travelers may need 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. To save gas, find out if you can mail in your visa application(s) in lieu of submitting it 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. Again, make sure to research where you can apply and pick-up visas BEFORE taking your trip. 


countries that require visas for u.s. citizens 

 

COUNTRIES THAT REQUIRE VISAS FOR U.S. CITIZENS


To make things simpler, I’ve compiled a small list of countries that require tourist visas for U.S. citizens. Please understand that visa requirements may vary depending on the country, purpose of travel, and length of stay. Also note that some of the information may alter due to ongoing changes to travel policies. While I will try my best to keep this article updated, please visit Travel.State.Gov for current information. Please view list below. 


Afghanistan

Vaccination: Polio vaccination up to 1 year before travel.

Additional Note: Visa Required. Click below for details. 

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


Algeria

Vaccination: Not required

Additional Note: Visa Required. Click below for details. 

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


Angola

Vaccination: Yellow fever

Additional Note: Visa Required. Click below for details. 

https://travel.state.gov/content/passports/en/country/angola.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


Azerbaijan

Vaccination: Not required

Additional Note: Visa required. Click below for details. 

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


Bahrain

Vaccinations: :Not required

Additional Note: 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

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

Additional Note: 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


Benin

Vaccinations: Yellow fever

Additional Note: Visa Required. Click below for details. 

https://travel.state.gov/content/passports/en/country/benin.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


Burkina Faso

Vaccinations: Yellow fever

Additional Note: Visa Required. Click below for details. 

https://travel.state.gov/content/passports/en/country/burkina-faso.html


Burundi

Vaccinations: Yellow fever

Additional Note: Visa must be obtained in advance of travel. 

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


Cambodia

Vaccinations: Not required

Additional Note: Visa Required. Click below for details. 

https://travel.state.gov/content/passports/en/country/cambodia.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

Additional Note: Visa Required. Click below for details. 

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


Djibouti

Vaccinations: Yellow fever

Additional Note: Visa Required. Click below for details. 

https://travel.state.gov/content/passports/en/country/djibouti.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


Eritrea

Vaccinations: Yellow fever

Additional Note: Visa Required. Click below for details. 

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


Ethiopia

Vaccinations: Yellow fever, polio

Additional Note: 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


Gabon

Vaccinations: Yellow fever

Additional Note: Visa Required. Click below for details. 

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


Gambia

Vaccinations: Yellow fever

Additional Note: Visa Required. Click below for details. 

https://travel.state.gov/content/passports/en/country/the-gambia.html


Ghana

Vaccinations: Yellow fever

Additional Note: Visa Required. Click below for details. 

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


Guinea

Vaccinations: Yellow Fever

Additional Note: Visa Required. Click below for details. 

https://travel.state.gov/content/passports/en/country/guinea.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


Iran

Vaccinations: Not required

Additional Note: Visa Required. Click below for details. 

https://travel.state.gov/content/passports/en/country/iran.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


Kyrgyzstan

Vaccinations: Not required

Additional Note: Visa Required. Click below for details. 

https://travel.state.gov/content/passports/en/country/TheKyrgyzRepublic.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


Nepal

Vaccinations: Not required

Additional Note: Visa Required. Click below for details. 

https://travel.state.gov/content/passports/en/country/nepal.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

Additional Note: Visa Required. Click below for details. 

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


Papua New Guinea

Vaccinations: Not required

Additional Note: Visa Required. Click below for details. 

https://travel.state.gov/content/passports/en/country/papua-new-guinea.html


Pakistan

Vaccinations: Polio vaccination

Additional Note: Visa Required. Click below for details. 

https://travel.state.gov/content/passports/en/country/pakistan.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


Rwanda

Vaccinations: Yellow Fever

Additional Note: Visa Required. Click below for details. 

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


Saudi Arabia

Vaccinations: Varies

Additional Note: Visa Required. Click below for details. 

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


Sierra Leone

Vaccinations: Yellow Fever

Additional Note: Visa Required. Click below for details. 

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


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

Additional Note: Visa Required. Click below for details. 

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.

Additional Note: Visa Required. Click below for details. 

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


Syria

Vaccinations: Not required

Additional Note: Visa Required. Click below for details. 

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


Tajikistan

Vaccinations: Not required

Additional Note: Visa Required. Click below for details. 

https://travel.state.gov/content/passports/en/country/tajikistan.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


Togo

Vaccinations: Yellow Fever

Additional Note: Visa Required. Click below for details. 

https://travel.state.gov/content/passports/en/country/togo.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)

Additional Note: Visa Required. Click below for details. 

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


Uzbekistan

Vaccinations: Not required.

Additional Note: Visa Required. Click below for details. 

https://travel.state.gov/content/passports/en/country/uzbekistan.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


Vietnam

Vaccinations: Not required

Additional Note: Visa Required. Click below for details. 

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

https://www.bookmundi.com/t/best-time-to-visit-vietnam


Yemen

Vaccinations: Not required

Additional Note: Visa Required. Click below for details. 

https://travel.state.gov/content/passports/en/country/yemen.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 review what documentation is needed to enter the country. I would hate for you to be denied access or even fined (yes, you read correctly. Some countries will fine you) because you failed to conduct a simple Google search.