Traveling abroad comes with a whole number of pre-trip steps: there are vaccines to consider, passports to check, and visas to organize, just to get started! Fortunately, the US holds one of the world’s strongest passports with over 150 countries open to visit without a visa. We’ve run through the visa requirements for countries across the world, including those you can visit visa free!
US passport holders can travel to 174 countries visa free, making it one of the world’s strongest passports in terms of visa free travel. That means no need to organize your visa in advance: simply search and compare your cheap flights, hop on the plane, and go! A number of these countries will require a visa on arrival; in this case, you may need to pay a small fee when you arrive at your destination.
Visa Free Countries
174 countries are open to US passport holders to visit, visa free or with a visa on arrival. These include:
No Visa Needed:
> European countries within the Schengen area allow U.S. passport holders to visit without a visa, for up to 3 months at a time
> A number of South American countries, including Costa Rica, Colombia and Argentina
> South East Asian countries including Thailand, Indonesia and Malaysia
> Scandinavia (Norway, Denmark, Sweden)
> South Africa
Visa On Arrival:
> South American countries including Bolivia and Paraguay
> A number of countries in Africa, including Egypt and Madagascar
> Asian nations including Cambodia and Laos
An eVisa, or ‘electronic visa’, is a visa you can apply for online (which makes things a little more convenient!). If a country requires you to have an eVisa, you’ll need to organize this before you travel – but not too far in advance, as they do expire! Your eVisa will often be approved very quickly (in some cases, even immediately); you’ll need to print out the eVisa letter and take it with you when you travel to your destination.
Countries requiring an eVisa include:
In those countries where a visa is required for entry, our advice is to plan ahead. You can obtain a visa from the consulate or embassy of the country you’re planning to visit, or online through a visa agency; you’ll need a passport with at least 6 months remaining before the expiration date, and the relevant fee.
Countries requiring a visa in advance include:
Tips and Advice:
> Visa free travel refers to a tourist visa, and comes with a time limit. This is usually 90 days (plenty of time to explore!) but it’s worth checking before you go.
> When traveling abroad, you’ll still need to take your passport with you
> Ensure your passport has at least 6 months left before its expiry date
> Be aware of different ways of writing the date, so you don’t get confused with the one written on your visa! In Europe, for example, dates are written date/month/year.
> Not sure if you need a visa for your chosen destination? Double check with their embassy in the US before you travel.
> If you’re planning on taking a multi-country trip, check which visas you’ll need before you go. Plan your budget to include any necessary fees, and – if possible – obtain all required visas before departure.