Foreign Entry Requirements

Foreign Entry Requirements

According to U.S. Department of State, there are 194 independent countries in the world. Each country determines entry requirements for foreigners who wish to visit. If you are a U.S. citizens who travels abroad, you need to know what is required to enter the countries you plan to visit.

The most common requirements are a valid passport and travel visa although there are some countries that require neither. Sometimes, special conditions are placed on your passport such as having a validity that is greater than six months upon both arrival and departure.

There are countries that require a certain number of visa pages in your passport to be blank before they will issue a visa to you. Entry visas can usually be obtained through the consular services of either the embassy or consulate of the country you plan to visit. In some places you can acquire at the port of entry. Usually, this can be time consuming.

Some countries allow you to substitute your passport with another document. A list of acceptable substitutions might include travelers cards (NEXUS, SENTRI, or FAST), state issued enhanced driver’s license, enhanced tribal cards, U.S. military identification with military travel orders, U.S. Merchant Mariner document when traveling on official business, Native American tribal photo ID card, and Form I-872 American Indian Card.

Beyond a visa, permits for special purpose visits such as journalists or those involved in humanitarian aid are required by some countries.

Other requirements you might find are the presentation of an onward/return ticket, proof of sufficient funds and/or registration with an official government entity.

Health related requirements might include the presentation of a certificate of yellow fever vaccination if you have recently visit areas infected with the disease. AIDs test results are required for those who plan to work or reside in countries such as the United Arab Emirates, Egypt, Syria, and Jordan (stays or more than 12 months).

You might be called upon to provide a local address where you will be staying in the country.

While the list above covers most foreign entry requirements, it is not an exhaustive list. It is important that you verify those required by the country or countries you plan to visit so that you will not be caught by surprise. It would be a terrible thing to prepare yourself and travel a long distance only to be denied entry.

Visit U.S. Passport Service Guide for a list of foreign entry requirements for 194 countries and prepare yourself for travel abroad with our international travel tips.

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