The world is divided by boundaries, and to cross these boundaries, we need a visa. Therefore, it is crucial to determine if you need a visa to travel to your destination country before planning your actual travel.
Thankfully, the United States Of America has one of the world's most powerful passports, allowing US citizens to travel to foreign lands without worrying about visa requirements. American citizens can travel to many countries visa-free and can apply for a visa online for the rest.
Need A Visa? No Worries!
For countries requiring a visa, I have an easy solution for you. You can do everything from submitting your visa documents to making visa appointments on Atlys. For a hassle-free experience, apply for your visa on Atlys.
Which Countries Can US Citizens Travel To Without A Visa?
You must be wondering how many countries can US passport holders visit without a visa or which countries they are. Well, that's why I'm writing this post!
So, let's look at which foreign countries a US citizen can enter with or without a visa and some other restrictions.
Visa-Free Countries For US Citizens
According to the Hensley passport index, the USA currently ranks 6th in travel freedom as of 2022, making it one of the most powerful passports in the world. In addition, US passport holders can currently enjoy visa-free travel or visa on arrival for many countries for different periods between 30-90 days. Additionally, US citizens can travel visa-free for 6 months to specific countries.
However, it would be best to remember that certain countries only allow visa-free entry for travel and tourism purposes. In cases where you wish to take up work, study, or start a business, you must acquire a relevant visa from the country's consulate or embassy.
Even though you only need a valid United States passport to gain entry to a visa-free country, know that you might be required to present certain documents at the port of entry. Most countries allow you to stay for short-term visa-free; however, you must get a visa extension if you wish to stay longer.
Therefore, you should thoroughly research the destination country before your visit. You can also check out more about other countries and their requirements on Atlys.
Let's Look At The US Passport Visa-Free Countries
OCEANIA: Cook Islands, Fiji, French Polynesia, Guam, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, New Caledonia, Niue, Northern Mariana Islands, Palau Islands, and Vanuatu.
MIDDLE EAST: Armenia, Israel, Oman, Palestinian Territory, and Qatar.
EUROPE: Albania, Andorra, Austria, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Faroe Islands, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Gibraltar, Greece, Greenland, Guernsey, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Kosovo. Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Moldova, Monaco, Montenegro, Netherlands, North Macedonia, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, San Marino, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Ukraine, United Kingdom, and Vatican City.
CARIBBEAN: Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Aruba, Bahamas, Barbados, The British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Curacao, Dominica, Dominican Republic, French West Indies, Grenada, Haiti, Jamaica, Montserrat, Puerto Rico, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Maarten, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Trinidad and Tobago, Turks and Caicos Islands, and the US Virgin Islands.
ASIA: Brunei, Hong Kong (SAR China), Indonesia, Japan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Macao (SAR China), Malaysia, Mongolia, Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan (Chinese Taipei), Thailand, and Uzbekistan.
AFRICA: Botswana, The Central African Republic, Equatorial Guinea, eSwatini, Lesotho, Mauritius, Mayotte, Morocco, Namibia, Reunion, Sao Tome, and Principe, Senegal, South Africa, and Tunisia.
AMERICAS: American Samoa, Argentina, Belize, Bermuda, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, El Salvador, Falkland Islands, French Guiana, Guatemala, Guyana, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Peru, and Uruguay.
Visa On Arrival Or VOA Countries For US Citizens
You can obtain a Visa On Arrival or VOA at any entry point of your destination country, such as an international airport. Here you must queue at the immigration desk until an immigration officer offers you the necessary documents to fill out.
Upon handing in the documents, you must pay for your VOA in cash since some places don't offer cashless payments such as debit or credit cards. Also, remember that the VOA provided by the majority of countries is usually a single entry visa.
However, many of these VOA countries also offer electronic visas or evisa. Obtaining an evisa is convenient and would speed up the immigration process at the border.
What Countries Offer Visas On Arrival For US Citizens?
The Visa on Arrival countries include:
Bangladesh, Bolivia, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Comoros, Iraq, Jordan, Mauritania, Mozambique, Nepal, Papua New Guinea, Lebanon, Maldives, Tonga, Tuvalu, Solomon Islands, Seychelles, United Arab Emirates, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Timor-Leste, Togo
Electronic Visa Or EVisa Countries For US Citizens
An electronic visa or Evisa can be applied for online and obtained either as an electronic visa waiver or online evisa. An approved evisa is linked to your passport electronically, sent via email, or available on the online evisa portal to download. Certain countries require that you print a paper copy of the evisa and present it at the entry border.
You can obtain an evisa for a single entry or multiple entries depending on the country you are applying to or the type of visa you require. For the short term, you can apply for an evisa for purposes such as tourism, business, and transit. However, if you need another type of visa to allow you to stay longer, you must apply for a relevant long-term visa.
What Countries Offer E-Visas For US Citizens?
You can get an E-Visa to one of the following countries:
Angola, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Benin, Cambodia, Djibouti, Egypt, Ethiopia, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, India, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Kuwait, Laos, Madagascar, Malawi, Myanmar, Pakistan, Rwanda, Saudi Arabia, South Sudan, Tanzania, Turkey, Uganda, Uzbekistan, Vietnam, Zambia, Zimbabwe
Electronic Travel Authorization or eTA
An eTA or Electronic Travel Authorization is an authorization required before the travel. It allows the bearer access to the issuing country without a visa. Travelers from a visa-exempt country can travel using this document instead of a visa.
Usually, eTA is valid for a more extended period than an evisa and can be applied online, similar to an evisa. However, eTA is not a visa; instead, it is a visa waiver program.
Countries that issue eTA to US citizens is:
Australia, Cote d'Ivoire, South Korea, Sri Lanka, New Zealand
Visa Required Or Travel Restricted Countries For USA
For countries that require a visa, you would have to apply for one from an Embassy or Consular. You must obtain these visas well before your departure date since they take longer to process.
For visa-required countries, you would be required to submit an application form with supporting documents depending on visa type and make an appointment at the embassy for an interview. The visa obtained can be a single entry or multiple entry visa for various purposes and can be offered for varying periods.
What Countries Require A Visa?
US citizens can apply for these visas at their destination country's consulate or embassy within their jurisdiction. Below are the countries that require a visa to board the flight and enter the country:
MIDDLE EAST: Iran, Syria, Yemen
EUROPE: Azerbaijan, Belarus, Russia, Turkey
ASIA: Afghanistan, Bhutan, China, North Korea, Turkmenistan, Vietnam
AMERICAS: Suriname, Venezuela
AFRICA: Algeria, Cameroon, Chad, Congo (Dem. Rep.), Congo (Rep.), Eritrea, Ghana, Liberia, Libya, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Sudan
There are certain countries where the US federal government has implemented a travel ban or restricted citizens from visiting. These could be for various reasons such as an ongoing dispute, unlawful arrest of a US citizen, or any danger for the US citizen in the foreign country.
Though it is possible to get a visa, there are special requirements for obtaining these visas, or a citizen must meet specific criteria. The countries that US citizens are advised against visiting are:
Cuba, North Korea, and Syria
ETIAS Visa Waiver For Americans
The USA has enjoyed a visa-free visit to European countries for many years. However, the European Union has introduced a new system called ETIAS, allowing US citizens to visit the countries after registering on this new platform.
ETIAS, or European Travel Information and Authorisation System, is an electronic authorization system introduced by the European Union for visa-exempt visitors traveling to the European Union or the Schengen Area. This system will help the European Union track travelers who can enter the Schengen area visa-free such as US citizens.
Check out our detailed blog about ETIAS on Atlys to learn more about ETIAS and how to fill out your ETIAS application.
Validity Of US Passport And Other Requirements To Travel Overseas
The passport validity requirement for each country that you visit varies differently. Therefore, it is essential to check and ensure that your passport is valid for the period required by your destination country.
There are other requirements, such as providing an International Certificate of Vaccination against certain diseases. The vaccination requirement would be stipulated in your destination country's checklist or embassy website.
Remember that not being able to provide these vaccination certificates or have enough validity period in your passport could mean that you would not be allowed to enter the country.
Required Validity Of US Passport On Arrival
The following countries must have a passport valid for at least 3 months or more after they arrive:
Albania, Belarus, Georgia, Honduras, Iceland, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Lichtenstein, Moldova, Monaco, Nauru, Panama, Saint Barthelemy, San Marino, Switzerland, United Arab Emirates, and European Union countries except for Denmark, Ireland, and the UK.
The following countries must have a passport valid for at least 6 months or more after they arrive:
Afghanistan, Algeria, Anguilla, Bahrain, Bhutan, Botswana, British Virgin Islands, Brunei, Cambodia, Cameroon, Cayman Islands, Central African Republic, Chad, Comoros, CoteD'Ivoire, Curacao, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, EquatorialGuinea, Fiji, Gabon, Guinea-Bissau, Guyana, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Kenya, Kiribati, Laos, Madagascar, Malaysia, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Myanmar, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Oman, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Qatar, Rwanda, Saint Lucia, Samoa, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Solomon Islands Somalia Somaliland SriLanka Sudan Suriname Taiwan, Tanzania, Thailand, Timor-Leste, Namibia Tokelau, Tonga, Tuvalu, Uganda, United Arab Emirates, Vanuatu, Venezuela, Vietnam, Yemen, Zimbabwe
The following countries must have a passport valid for at least 1 month or more after you arrive:
Eritrea, Hong Kong, Macau, New Zealand, and South Africa. Bermuda requires a 45-day validity once you enter the country.
International Certificate of Vaccination Requirements On Arrival For US Citizens
The following countries require an International Certificate of Vaccination:
Angola, Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, The Central African Republic, Chad, The Democratic Republic of the Congo, Republic of the Congo, Cote D'Ivoire, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Ghana, Guinea, Liberia, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Rwanda, Sao Tome and Principe, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Uganda, Zambia
Fingerprint Requirements On Arrival For US Citizens
The following countries require fingerprints upon arrival in the country:
Argentina, Brunei, Cambodia, Japan, Malaysia, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, and South Korea
Disclaimer: Visa requirements are subject to change; hence you should stay updated with your destination country's visa requirements.
I hope this blog will assist you when deciding which country you should visit without having to worry about a visa. Also, be sure to check out your destination country's requirements and articles on the US on Atlys.