Visa requirements for American citizens are the current rules and regulations that define whether or not citizens of the United States will need a visa to travel abroad.

There are currently only 25 countries that require US citizens to present a valid Embassy visa upon their arrival. Regular visas require travelers to make in-person applications at an Embassy or Consulate of the selected country to be visited.

38 countries offer an eVisa and a Visa on Arrival option for American citizens to use for their international travels. These two options are much more effortless than applying for an Embassy visa, usually requiring fewer supporting documents and no Embassy visits.

Moreover, eVisa applications can be easily made online while the approved travel authorization documents are delivered to each applicant via email.

There are also 107 countries that welcome US passport holders visa-free, making visiting these destinations effortless.

Further information on each visa type, specific requirements, as well as lists of countries offering each visa/entry type is available below.

Electronic visa

An electronic visa or an eVisa is a travel authorization document that can be applied for entirely online following a quick and intuitive application process. Many countries have introduced eVisas to their visa systems to speed up the visa handling processes.

List of countries that offer eVisas for American citizens

38 countries offer an eVisa option for US citizens to use when visiting their territory. Before traveling to these destinations from the United States, American citizens should make an online application for an eVisa first.

The application process consists of three simple steps: filling out the application form, covering the issuing fee, and waiting for approval. Most eVisas are processed within 72 hours and then delivered to each applicant via email in PDF form.

An approved electronic visa allows its holder to travel abroad for leisure, business, or transit purposes, usually for 30 or 90 days. However, some countries allow citizens of the United States to stay on their territory for up to six months or even 5 years.

Leisure, business, and transit include making family visits, going on vacation, attending meetings and conferences, doing business, or simply taking a layover while reaching another final destination.

Visa on Arrival

A Visa on Arrival is a type of visa that is obtained after completing an application process upon arrival. VoAs do not require travelers to make Embassy visits, nor to apply before departing to the selected destination. However, they usually come with long waiting lines.

List of countries offering Visas on Arrival for American citizens

  • Azerbaijan
  • Bahrain
  • Bangladesh
  • Bolivia
  • Burkina Faso
  • Cambodia
  • Comoros
  • Egypt
  • Ethiopia
  • Gabon
  • Guinea-Bissau
  • Iraq
  • Jordan
  • Kuwait
  • Laos
  • Lebanon
  • Madagascar
  • Malawi
  • The Maldives
  • Mauritania
  • Mozambique
  • Nepal
  • Pakistan
  • Rwanda
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Sierra Leone
  • Somalia
  • Sri Lanka
  • Tanzania
  • Timor-Leste
  • Togo
  • Tonga
  • Turkmenistan
  • Tuvalu
  • Uganda
  • The United Arab Emirates
  • Zambia
  • Zimbabwe

38 countries make it possible for citizens of the United States to apply for their visas upon arrival. The process starts after arriving at the selected destination when travelers should go to the nearest border control checkpoint and ask for a visa application form.

The form must then be thoroughly completed with the required data and double-checked for any errors. Once that’s done, the form along with the supporting documents (if any are required) should be submitted at the border control checkpoint.

Some countries may require additional steps to be taken, such as covering the VoA issuing fee or attaching additional supporting documents to one’s application. The supporting documents may include hotel bookings, return tickets, and more.

An approved Visa on Arrival usually allows citizens from the United States to stay abroad for 30, 60, or 90 days for all leisure, business, or transit-related reasons.

Please note! Some countries that offer VoAs, have also an eVisa option for those travelers who prefer to travel prepared. That way, you can also avoid the long waiting lines upon arrival.

Embassy visa

An Embassy visa is a regular visa that is considered to be the traditional one. It requires going through an application process at an Embassy or Consulate of the country one plans on visiting. The process usually requires collecting numerous supporting documents while the processing time may take even up to a few weeks.

List of countries that require American citizens to present a valid Embassy visa upon arrival

  • Afghanistan
  • Algeria
  • Belarus
  • Bhutan
  • Burundi
  • Cameroon
  • Chad
  • China
  • The Democratic Republic of the Congo
  • The Republic of the Congo
  • Eritrea
  • Gambia
  • Ghana
  • Iran
  • Liberia
  • Libya
  • Mali
  • Nauru
  • Niger
  • Nigeria
  • Russia
  • Sudan
  • Turkmenistan
  • Venezuela
  • Yemen

25 countries currently require US citizens to present a valid Embassy-issued visa upon their arrival. It’s best to submit one’s Embassy visa application at least a few weeks before the planned trip and research how long the processing time may be for the destination to be visited.

The Embassy visa application process, as well as the supporting documents, may differ between the countries and between the specific Embassy visa types. However, the process of applying consists of collecting the required documents and completing an application form.

Travelers who have complete paperwork should then go to the nearest Embassy or Consulate to submit their application and follow with any additional steps that may be required when applying.

The additional steps may include covering the visa issuing fee or going through a visa interview. Next, Embassy visa applications should get processed, which may take even up to a few weeks, depending on the selected destination and other factors.

Embassy-issued visas are more difficult to be obtained but they usually come in various types, even those relating to working, studying, or joining a significant other abroad, some being issued for long-term stays.

Visa-free countries

107 countries allow American citizens to enter without any type of visa on hand. This makes for the most effortless way to travel internationally since no travel authorization document needs to be handled for such a trip to take place.

Check the list of visa-free countries for American citizens.

Traveling from the United States to any of the above-listed visa-free countries is as simple as possible. All that’s usually needed in such a case is simply a valid US passport or ID of the traveler.

Some countries may require additional supporting documents for the trip to be taken, but these are usually easy-to-get documents, such as your hotel bookings or proof of having sufficient funds for the stay.

The length of the allowed stay will most likely be short-term, perfect for a vacation stay, a family or friends visit, a business trip, or a layover when transiting.

Bogdan T

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