Should I Get a Visa on Arrival?
Many countries around the world allow U.S. travelers to visit for a
limited stay visa-free by just presenting a valid passport. Some
countries insist you obtain a visa from their embassy before traveling
to their country. These nine destinations meet you in the middle by
offering visas on arrival, which means you can show up at their port of
entry and they'll issue a travel visa to you on the spot. As you will
begin to see, just because a country offers VOA, doesn't mean they will
make it easy for you to visit. Each of these VOA destinations has its
own set of rules.
You can apply online for a 14-day eVisa that is valid for 30
days. The Bahraini government prefers you choose this option; eVisas
are usually available. You can also just show up at the border for a
VOA, but Bahrain
has refused to allow some U.S. citizens to enter, so it is a risk. Visa
in hand or VOA, prepare to be grilled upon entry. A 14-day tourist VOA
is around $77USD. You must have a passport with six months validity and
an onward or return ticket. U.S. citizens do not have to declare their
HIV status when applying for a visa, but will be deported if discovered
to be HIV positive.
A travel visa is required for U.S. citizens to enter Bangladesh.
Visas on arrival are available to U.S. citizens but the State
Department strongly recommends securing a visa prior to travel. A
Bangladeshi VOA costs $50USD. Your passport must be valid 6 more months
after exit and have at least 1 blank visa page for stamps. An onward or
return ticket is also required.
government of Belarus requires U.S. citizens to have a passport that is
valid for 3 months beyond their planned departure and a visa attached
to it. Visas can be obtained in advance of travel at a Belarusian
Embassy in Washington D.C. or Consulate in New York City. Visas on
arrival are also available at the Minsk International Airport. Visa
support documents must be submitted to the Division for the
Administration of Foreigners (DAF) at the airport no later than 2
business days prior to arrival. Applicants need to submit a 35X45 mm
size photo and present proof of international health insurance. A
Belarusian VOA costs $420 for short term stays (90 days,
single/double/multiple entries) or $300 for transit. If you are
arriving on a flight from the Russian Federation, you are not eligible
for a Belarusian VOA.
need a valid visa to enter Bolivia. Visas can be obtained prior to
travel or upon arrival at ports of entry/land borders. Visitor visas
allow for a stay of 30 days. In case of a lost passport, visitors who
obtained a VOA need to pay for a new visa by paying $160USD. Visitors
who obtained visas prior to travel need not pay for the visa fee in
case of passport loss. Passports need to be valid for at least 6 months
and have one blank visa page.
passport holders need a visa in order to enter Burkina Faso. A visa can
be applied for via mail or in person at the Embassy of Burkina Faso in
Washington, D.C. A visa obtained prior to travel is valid for five
years (multiple-entry) and costs $140. Visas on arrival are also
available at ports of entry for $190 (single entry, 3 months validity)
or $245 (multiple-entry, 3 months validity). A valid WHO Internation
Certificate of Vaccination is also required of all visitors over 9
A valid passport and Cabo
Verdean visa are required for entry into the country. Visas are
available at the Cabo Verdean Embassy or Consulate General. These can
be single-entry valid for 90 days or multiple-entry valid for 5 years.
Visas on arrival are also available at any one of the country's
international airports: Nelson Mandela/Praia, Cesaria Evora /Mindelo,
Amilcar Cabral/Sal, and Aristides Pereira/Boa Vista. A Cabo Verdean VOA
costs 2500 CVE or its equivalent in U.S. dollars. Paying in cash is
highy recommended as intermittent power outages are known to occur in
A passport with at least
six months remaining validity and a visa are required for U.S. citizens
to enter Cambodia. Visas can be obtained online or in person at the
Cambodian Embassy. Visas are also available upon arrival at airports in
Phnom Penh, Siem Reap, and at all major border crossings. The cost for
a Cambodian VOA is $35. Visas are valid for one month starting from the
date of entry; extensions are allowed.
U.S. travelers to Comoros
need a valid passport, an onward or return ticket, and a visa to visit.
Visas can be obtained at the Comoran Mission to the U.N. in New York in
advance of travel. Visas on arrival cost U.S. citizens around $65USD.
Getting a VOA is a viable, low-risk option.
You must have a U.S. passport that is valid for six months
beyond your visit, a visa, an onward or return ticket, and a health
certificate verifying that you have had a yellow fever immunization, to
visit the Ivory Coast
Visas on arrival are now available at the airport, but you must request
yours online before you arrive. You can do that at
http://www.snedai.com/fr/. The cost to get a VOA at the airport is
A U.S. passpiort valid for at least 6 months, evidence of yellow
fever vaccination and a visa are required to enter Djibouti. Although
it is recommended to obtain a visa in advance of travel whenever
possible, visas on arrival are also available at Ambouli International
Airport. You need to pay $60 for a 3-day visa, $90 for 30 days, $110
for a year. Visas obtained prior to arrival are valid for one year with
U.S. travelers arriving by air in Egypt
are required to present a valid passport, visa
, and proof of onward or return travel when entering Egypt. You can purchase a visa on arrival at the airport for $25USD. The tourist visa
is for 30 days and is renewable. A multiple-entry visa, also available
at Egyptian ports of entry is $35USD. U.S. tourists arriving at a land
border should get a visa before traveling to Egypt. Travelers arriving
from Israel at the Taba border crossing will receive a no-fee 14-day
visa that can only be used for the Sinai Peninsula. To purchase a $25
30-day tourist visa, you would need a travel agency support letter.
That service is also available at the border for a fee. The Rafah
border crossing with Gaza is often closed and visa requests require
prior special permission.
visa and passport valid for at least six months are required to enter
Ethiopia. Obtaining a visa in advance of traveling but visas on arrival
are available at the Bole International Airport for $70. Visas are
valid for 2 years and allows single or multiple entries.
Gambia requires U.S. citizens to have a valid passport and visa in
order to enter the country. In addition, proof of yellow fever
vaccination is required if traveling from a country where infection is
common. Visas can be obtained in advance of traveling or within 2
working days of arriving. The Gambian VOA must be secured from the
Department of Immigration in downtown Banjul.
You are required to have a passport with at least six months validity and a visa to enter Jordan
Visas on arrival are available to U.S. citizens at most international
ports of entry for around $56USD. The single-entry tourist visa is
issued for 30 days. You can purchase a 90-day two-entry visa for
$85USD, or 180-day, multiple entry visa for $170USD. You cannot get a
VOA at the Allenby Bridge border crossing. Travelers known to have HIV
may be denied entry.
passport holders need a valid visa in order to enter Kenya. Although
visas on arrival are available at Kenyan airports, Kenyan
Immigration plans to discontinue this service. A Kenyan VOA is allows
single entry. It is strongly recommended that travelers obtain a visa
in advance of their trip via the new e-visa system.
American citizens traveling to Laos need to present a visa and a
passport with at least six months remaining validity in order to gain
entry. A visa obtain from a Lao Embassy or Consulate in advance of
travel allows visits of up to 60 days. Visas on arrival are available
at the following ports of entry: Wattay Airport, Vientiane; Pakse,
Savannakhet, and Luang Prabang Airports; Friendship Bridge, Vientiane
and Savannakhet; Nam Heuang Friendship Bridge, Sayabouly Province; and
border crossings at Boten-Mohan, Dansavan-Lao Bao, Houaysay-Chiang
Khong, Thakhek-Nakhon Phanom, Nong Haet-Nam Kan, Nam Phao-Kao Cheo,
Veun Kham-Dong Calor and Vangtao-Chong Mek. You can also get a visa on
arrival at the Tha Naleng train station in Vientiane, which connects to
the train station in Nongkhai, Thailand. If you obtain a visa from a
Lao embassy or consulate prior to your travel to Laos, you may also
enter at the following international entry points: Napao-Chalo,
Taichang-Sophoun, Pakxan-Bungkan, and Xiengkok.
To apply for a
Lao VOA, you need to submit 2 passport photos and pay $35. VOAs allow
you to stay in Laos for 30 days. This period can be extended for 60
days more for a fee of $2 per day paid to the Department of Immigration
with 3 months remaining validity and with no Israeli stamps or visas
are required to enter Lebanon. Visas are also necessary and these can
be obtained at the Lebanese Embassy or upon arrival at the Beirut
International Airport. Visas cost $35 (single entry) or $70 (multiple
entries). A Lebanese VOA allows a stay for 30 days, a period that can
be extended for another 30 days via the Security General's local office.
government of Madagascar requires U.S. citizens to have a passport and
visa to enter the country. Passports need to have at least six months
remaining validity and three blank visa pages. Visas can be obtained in
advance of travel to save time. If you're planning to stay less than 90
days, you can obtain a visa on arrival at the airport. A VOA costs
33.26. In order to be issed a VOA, you need to present a return or
onward/return ticket and proof of sufficient funds are required to
enter Maldives. A visa on arrival is available for free at the Male
International Airport. This VOA entitles the visitor to a stay of up to
30 days, a period which can be extended for 60 more days through the
Department of Immigration and Emigration. The Embassy of Maldives does
not issue visas under any circumstances.
Malian government requires that U.S. citizens be in possession of a
valid passport with one blank visa page, a visa and proof of yellow
fever vaccination. Although visas on arrival are available at the
airport, the State Department strongly recommends securing a visa in
advance. Obtaining a VOA might entail excessive fees and restrictions.
All visas (except for diplomatic and official visas) cost $131 and must
be paid in cashier's check or money order. Cash or personal checks will
not be accepted.
A valid passport,
onward/return tickets and proof of sufficient funds are required for
entry. A visa can be obtained from the Embassy of Mauritius in
Washington D.C. or at ports of entry for $10. Travelers who have been
to developing countries may be subjected to blood tests by the Ministry
of Health. Moreover, evidence of yellow fever vaccination is required
if traveling from an infected country.
U.S. tourists must present a passport with six months validity from the date of entry and at least three blank visa pages, a visa
and valid certification of yellow fever vaccination to enter
Mozambique. Sometimes U.S. citizens are allowed to obtain single-entry
visas on arrival, other times they are denied entry if they
don't possess advanced visas. Travelers who cannot present proof of
vaccination against yellow fever will be required to get the
vaccination at the port of entry at their own expense
Bearers of U.S. passports visiting Namibia do not need to
obtain a visa in advance of travel. Visas on arrival are available at
ports of entry for visitors staying for less than 90 days for tourism
purposes. Those who are traveling to Namibia with intentions of
studying or working need a visa in advance. If coming from South
Africa, it is recommended that your passports have at least six blank
visa pages. Evidence of yellow fever vaccination is also required.
passport with at least six months remaining validity and one blank visa
page, and a visa are required to enter Nepal. Visas can be obtained in
advance at the Nepalese Embassy or Consulate or upon arrival at the
Tribhuvan International Airport in Kathmandu. VOAs can also be obtained
at the following points of entry: Kakarvitta, Jhapa District (Eastern
Nepal), Birgunj, Parsa District (Central Nepal), Kodari, Sindhupalchowk
District (Northern Border– for group tourists only), Belahia,
Bhairahawa (Rupandehi District, Western Nepal), Jamunaha, Nepalgunj
(Banke District, Mid-Western Nepal), Mohana, Dhangadhi (Kailali
District, Far Western Nepal) and Gadda Chauki, Mahendranagar
(Kanchanpur District, Far Western Nepal).
You may request
a Nepalese VOA for $25 (15 days), $40 (30 days) or $100 (90 days).
Visas allow multiple entries but tourists may not stay more than 150
days in any given calendar year.
For entry to Oman
U.S. travelers need a passport that is valid for a minimum of six
months from the date of entry and a visa; proof of onward or return
ticket and adequate funds for travel are not required, but strongly
encouraged. You may obtain a 10-day VOA at any port of entry, air,
land, or sea, for 10 Omani Riyals, or a 30-day VOA for 20 Omani Riyals. You
may obtain extensions for similar period for the same cost. Yellow
fever immunizations are only required if you are traveling from an
infected area. You can obtain a visa prior to visiting Oman from an
Omani embassy for multiple entries, valid up to two years. Omani
immigration determines the length of stay at the port of entry based on
Papua New Guinea
A passport valid for six months with at least one blank visa page is
required for entry to Papua New Guinea. Onward/return tickets as well
as proof of adequate funds are required. A visa on arrival is available
for tourism and business travelers. A tourist VOA is available for a
stay of up to 60 days with a one-month extension) and a business VOA
allows stays of up to 30 days. Travelers visiting for purposes other
than business or tourism must obtain a visa in advance.
republic of Paraguay requires that U.S. citizens be in possession of a
valid passport with at least one blank visa page. If you are flying in
to Silvio Pettirossi International Airport in Asuncion, a visa on
arrival is available for $160. This VOA allows multiple entries and is
valid for 10 years. If arriving through other point of entries, you
must secure a visa from the Paraguayan Embassy or Consulate in advance
of travel. Traveling minors must attach a notarized consent with their
U.S. citizens traveling
to Qatar need a passport with at least 6 months validity and a visa to
enter the country. If arriving at the Doha International Airport, you
can purchase a VOA that allows a stay of up to 30 days. If you're
entering Qatar from other points of entry, you need to secure a visa
ahead of time at the Qatari Embassy or Consulate or via their
Effective November 1,
2014, Rwanda requires that U.S citizens be in possession of a visa and
a passport with at least six months remaining validity and one blank
visa page. You can obtain a visa on arrival at Kigali International
Airport or at Rwanda’s land borders. A VOA costs $30 which can be paid
using U.S. notes printed after 2006 or a Visa credit card. The VOA
allows you to stay in Rwanda for up to 30 days, a period which can be
extended at the Directorate General of Immigration and Emigration in
Kigali. Extensions must be applied for within 15 days of arrrival.
U.S. travelers need a passport valid for their length of stay,
proof of onward or return travel, proof of adequate funds, and proof of
accommodation to enter Seychelles
A no-fee 30-day visa on arrival is issued once the documentation is
presented. It may be renewed up to three months at a time for a total
of 12 months. After the initial no-fee 30-day visa, subsequent visas
carry fees. Yellow fever vaccinations are only required if you've
visited an infected area within six days prior to entry.
passport valid for at least another 6 months and with one blank visa
page is required of U.S. citizens traveling to Somalia. Both the
Somaliland and Puntland regions of Somalia issue their own visas at
their respective ports of entry. If you are traveling to other parts of
Somalia including Mogadishu, you need to present a visa. Visas may be
obtained at the Somali Embassies in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, and Nairobi,
Kenya. A visa on arrival is also available at Mogadishu for $50. The
VOA allows single entry valid for 7 days.
citizens visiting Suriname need a visa and a passport valid for 6
months and with one blank visa page to enter. Visas may be obtained at
the Embassy of Suriname or upon arrival at the airport. The VOA or
"tourist card" costs $35 and is good for 90 days, single entry. For
visits with purposes other than tourism, a visa must be obtained in
advance of travel.
The government of
Tanzania requires U.S. citizens to have a valid passport and visa to
enter the country. The U.S. Embassy in Tanzania recommends that visas
be secured in advance of travel but visas on arrival are also available
at ports of entry. Passport need to be valid for at least six months
beyond the date of entry and must have one blank page for the visa and
citizens need a visa and a passport for at least six months and with
one blank visa page to enter East Timor. A visa on arrival is available
at the airport for $30. The VOA allows you to stay for 30 days. If you
are arriving by land, you need to secure a visa in advance. VOAs are no
longer available at Timor-Leste's land border with Indonesia.
Togolese Republic requires that U.S. citizens be in possession of a
valid visa and passport upon entry. Visas on arrival may be
obtained at airports and land borders for about $30. These only allow
you to stay for seven days. Travelers who wish to extend the period
allowed by the VOA may apply for an extension at no cost but will have
to surrender their passports for several days. Additionally, there may
be delays in the extension and low-traffic land border crossings may
not issue VOAs. Visas obtained in advance of travel at a Togolese
Embassy or Consulate are issued with longer validity.
United Arab Emirates (UAE)
citizens need a passport valid for six months beyond their date of
arrival and with at least one blank visa page. Visas can be obtained
upon arrival at no cost. The VOA allows a visitor to stay for up to 30
days. An extension may be granted at the discretion of immigration
officials. If you are planning to stay longer than 30 days, you
need to secure a visa in advance of travel.
citizens traveling to Vietnam need to be in possession of a passport
with six months remaining validity and a visa or pre-approval for a
visa on arrival to enter the country. It is recommended that a visa be
secured in advance of travel as there have been reports of issues with
VOAs. Some businesses and travel agencies are authorized to arrange
pre-approval for visas on arrival but there are warnings in place
against possible fraud. Also, travelers have reported being
unexpectedly charged with exhorbitant fees upon arrival.
order to enter Zambia, U.S. citizens need to have a passport valid for
at least six months and at least two blannk visa pages. A visa is also
required. A single-entry visa on arrival may be obtained at a port of
entry for $50. This VOA is valid for 90 days. A day-trip VOA is also
available for $20 for those who wish to visit for a day from a
neighboring country. Visas secured in advance at the Zambian Embassy
allows multiple entries valid for 3 years and costs $80.
Overall, it may be better to plan ahead and obtain your travel
visa to these countries before you leave. Destinations like Comoros,
Jordan, Oman and the Seychelles are the best destinations for just
showing up and feeling secure that you will get a visa on arrival,
because you are pretty much guaranteed entry with a little
documentation. The Ivory Coast will issue a VOA if you request it
online first, Egypt issues visas on arrival as long as long as you
arenâ€™t coming from Israel. Bahrain, Israel, and Mozambique are
unpredictable at their ports of entry, so you should probably get those
visas from their embassies or through a reliable expedited visa courier service
before you go.
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