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Foreign Entry Requirements

Foreign entry requirements vary from country to country. Following is a list and descriptions of the most common entry requirements for U.S. citizens traveling abroad for tourism or business. The foreign entry requirements listed may not apply for those traveling for study, work or emmigration. A list of countries is provided further down the page.


A valid passport is the most common travel document required for entry into a foreign country. More than 80% of all countries in the world require this document. Even if it is not required for entrance into a foreign country, it is required to re-enter the United States in most cases.

Citizens of the United States who travel to a country where a valid U.S. passport is not required will need documentary evidence of U.S. citizenship and valid proof of identity. Proof of U.S. citizenship includes an expired U.S. passport, a certified (original) birth certificate, Certificate of Naturalization, Certificate of Citizenship, or Report of Birth Abroad of a Citizen of the United States. Identity can be proven by a valid driver's license or government identification card. However, for travel overseas and to facilitate reentry into the U.S., a valid U.S. passport is the best documentation available and unquestionably proves your U.S. citizenship.

Some countries require that your U.S. passport be valid at least 6 months or longer beyond the dates of your trip. Other countries require only 3 months of validity. If your passport expires before the required validity, you need to renew it before you travel.

Some Middle Eastern or African countries will not issue visas or allow entry if your passport indicates travel to Israel. Be aware of any special situations for the places you plan to visit.

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An entry visa is basically a stamp that is placed on the appropriate page of your passport. It is the responsibility of the traveler to obtain visas, where required, from the embassy or nearest consulate of the country you are planning to visit or through a travel document expediter. As soon as you receive your visa, check it to make sure no mistakes were made. Processing and visa fees vary, and most fees may not be refundable. For specific details, consult the Embassy or Consulate of the country you plan to visit.

Before you send your passport through the mail to apply for a visa, sign it in ink, and write in pencil your current address and daytime telephone number in the space provided. This will help the U.S. Postal Service return it to you should it become separated from the envelope during processing.

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Click the link below to access foreign entry requirements for the country you plan to visit.


Under the International Health Regulations adopted by the World Health Organization, a country may require International Certificates of Vaccination against yellow fever, especially if you are traveling from an area of the world that is infected with yellow fever. Prophylactic medication for malaria and certain other preventive measures are advisable for travel to some countries. No immunizations are required to return to the United States. Detailed health information may be obtained from your local healthcare provider or by contacting the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, telephone 1-877- 394-8747.

AIDS/HIV Testing

An increasing number of countries have established regulations regarding AIDS testing, particularly for long-term visitors. Although many are listed here, check with the Embassy or Consulate of the country that you plan to visit to verify if this is a requirement for entry.

Additional Fees

All international flights are subject to U.S. Immigration and U.S. Customs fees paid in advance as part of your ticket. In addition, many countries have departure fees that are sometimes collected at the time of ticket purchase or upon exiting the foreign country.

IMPORTANT: The foreign entry requirements listed here were obtained from foreign embassies or consulates. This information is subject to change. Verify the data with the consular officials of the countries you plan to visit well in advance. For further information, see our embassy list.

About the Author: For over 20 years, the U.S. Passport Service Guide team has helped hundreds of thousands of travelers with their travel document questions and shared advice about how to make traveling abroad simpler, safer, and more enjoyable.

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