Visa Requirements for American Citizens
Visa requirements for US citizens are the rules and regulations that determine whether US citizens need a visa to travel abroad.
Currently, only 25 countries require US citizens to present a valid embassy visa upon arrival.
Regular visas require travelers to apply in person at the embassy or consulate of the country they choose to visit. 38 countries offer eVisa and Visa on Arrival options that US citizens can use for international travel.
Both of these options are much simpler than applying for a visa at an embassy, typically requiring fewer supporting documents and eliminating the need to visit the embassy.
Additionally, the eVisa application can easily be completed online while approved travel authorization documents will be sent to each applicant via email. There are also 107 countries that welcome US passport holders without a visa, making it easier to visit these destinations.
More information about each visa type, specific requirements and a list of countries offering each visa/entry type can be found below.
An electronic visa or eVisa is a travel authorization document that can be applied entirely online following a quick and intuitive application process.
Many countries have introduced eVisa into their visa systems to speed up visa processing.
List of countries that offer eVisas for American citizens
- Ivory Coast
- New Zealand
- Papua New Guinea
- Saudi Arabia
- South Korea
- South Sudan
- Sri Lanka
38 countries offer an eVisa option that US citizens can use when visiting their territory.
Before traveling to these destinations from the United States, American citizens must first apply for an eVisa online.
The registration process includes three simple steps: Fill out the application form, pay the issuance fee and wait for approval.
Most eVisas are processed within 72 hours and are then emailed to each applicant in PDF format. An approved electronic visa allows the holder to travel abroad for leisure, business or transit purposes, usually for 30 or 90 days.
However, some countries allow US citizens to stay in their territory for up to six months or even five years. Leisure, business, and public transportation include visiting family, going on vacation, attending meetings and conferences, doing business, or simply as a stopover to another final destination.
Visa on Arrival
A visa on arrival is a type of visa obtained after completing the application process upon arrival.
VoA does not require travelers to visit the embassy nor does it require one before departing for the chosen destination.
However, they are often accompanied by long lines.
List of countries offering Visas on Arrival for American citizens
- Burkina Faso
- The Maldives
- Saudi Arabia
- Sierra Leone
- Sri Lanka
- The United Arab Emirates
38 countries allow US citizens to apply for a visa on arrival. The process begins after arriving at the chosen destination when the traveler needs to go to the nearest border checkpoint and request a visa application form. After that, the form must be carefully filled in with the necessary data and carefully checked for possible errors. Once completed, the form along with supporting documents (if any) must be submitted to the border control point.
Some countries may require additional measures, such as covering the costs of issuing a VoA or attaching additional supporting documents to the application. Supporting documents may include hotel reservations, round-trip tickets, etc. Visas approved at port of entry typically allow U.S. citizens to stay abroad for 30, 60, or 90 days for any reason related to leisure, business, or transit.
Some countries that offer VoA also offer an eVisa option for travelers who want to be prepared for their trip.
This way you can also avoid long queues when you arrive.
An embassy visa is a type of regular visa that is considered traditional.
This requires going through an application process with the embassy or consulate of the country you plan to visit.
This process often requires collecting many supporting documents, while processing time can even take up to several weeks.
List of countries that require American citizens to present a valid Embassy visa upon arrival
- The Democratic Republic of the Congo
- The Republic of the Congo
25 countries currently require US citizens to present a valid embassy-issued visa upon arrival.
It’s best to apply for your visa to the embassy at least a few weeks before your planned trip and research processing times for your destination. The embassy visa application process as well as supporting documents may vary between countries and between specific embassy visa types.
However, the application process includes collecting the necessary documents and filling out the application form.
Travelers with complete documents should then go to their nearest embassy or consulate to apply and follow any additional steps that may be required when applying.
Additional steps may include paying the visa fee or completing a visa interview.
Next, the visa application will be processed by the embassy, which can take up to several weeks, depending on the chosen destination and other factors.
Visas issued by the embassy are more difficult to get but in general there are many different types, even those related to work, study or meeting relatives abroad, some are issued for long-term stays .
107 countries allow US citizens to enter without any type of visa.
This provides the easiest way to travel abroad as there is no need to process travel authorization documents for the trip to take place.
List of visa-free countries for American citizens
- Antigua and Barbuda
- Bosnia and Herzegovina
- Cape Verde
- Central African Republic
- Costa Rica
- Dominican Republic
- El Salvador
- Equatorial Guinea
- North Macedonia
- Saints Kitts and Newis
- Saint Lucia
- Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
- São Tomé and Príncipe
- South Africa
- Trinidad and Tobago
- United Arab Emirates
- Vatican City
- Chech Republic
- Marshall Islands
- San Marino
- United Kingdom
- Hainian (visa not required when traveling as part of a tour group)
- Hong Kong
- Kish Island
- Sabah and Sarawak
- Phú Quốc
- Bonaire, St. Eustatius and Saba
- British Virgin Islands
- Cayman Islands
- French West Indies
- Saint Maarten
- Turks and Caicos Islands
- Brest and Grodno
- Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus
- Faroe Islands
- Isle of Man
- South Ossetia
- American Samoa
- Cook Islands
- French Polynesia
- Northern Mariana Islands
- Pitcaim Islands
- French Guiana
- Falkland Islands
Traveling from the United States to any of the visa-free countries listed above is easy.
In such cases, all that is usually required is simply a valid US passport or traveler’s identification.
Some countries may require additional supporting documents to continue your trip, but these are usually documents that are easy to obtain, such as a hotel reservation or proof that you have enough funds for your stay.
residence. The permitted stay will most likely be short, ideal for a vacation, visiting family or friends, a business trip or a stopover during transit.