Countries Where Visa Required for Entry
Currently, there are 86 countries that require American citizens get a
visa stamped in a valid passport in order to enter them. Most of these
are located in either Africa or the Middle East although there are a
few South American countries on the list. Some of the most popular
destinations where visas are required include Brazil, China, Egypt,
India, Russia, Thailand and Vietnam.
Nearly a third of the countries on the list issue visas upon
arrival. Even so, travelers are encouraged to obtain visas prior to
departure for the following reasons:
- Many of the countries limit the ports of entry where visas are issued, sometimes to only one location.
- Some locations can take as long as an hour or more to issue the visa and, oftentime, under great scrutiny.
- You might be asked to present documents that you do not have.
- Some visas issued upon arrival have a shorter validity period than those issued before arrival.
- It is not uncommon for countries who issue visas upon arrival to shut down the program.
There are some countries such as the Philippines where the
process of getting a visa upon arrival is usually done without any
complications. The best way, however, to make sure you are issued a
visa is to apply before you leave the United States.
Countries on the list with an asterick issue visas upon
arrival. Vietnam requires a written approval before they will issue the
visa at a port of entry.
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Burma (Myanmar) (eVisa)
Central African Republic
Côte d'Ivoire (eVisa)
Congo (Dem Rep)
Papua New Guinea*
Sri Lanka (ETA)
United Arab Emirates*