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Monday 23.07.2018 | Name days: Magda, Magone, Mērija

Top 10 toughest countries to get into

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Most countries have a set of organized visa requirements to facilitate the entry of citizens of other countries for tourism, business, study, work, or retirement purposes.  In countries where organized visa requirements are not the rule, getting a visa can confuse and frustrate even the well-seasoned traveler.

Below is a list of the top 10 countries with the most difficult visa processes, it was made by

10. Iran

There are two main ways you can get a visa to go to Iran as a tourist.  The first route is travelling to Kish Island, Iran. Passport holders of any country can travel to Kish Island without having to obtain a visa in advance. When you arrive in Kish Island, you will have to present your passport and take a series of fingerprints. The whole process takes about 30 minutes, and the immigration officials are friendly.

The second way to get to Iran is to apply for a visa for mainland Iran, which will enable you to visit Tehran and other areas of mainland Iran. Citizens of many countries can get a tourist visa on arrival at the airport in Tehran, valid for a stay of seven days. U.S. citizens; however, must arrange for a visa in advance by applying through an accredited Iranian tour group. This group will take care of all of the necessary paperwork you will need for the visa.  Be sure to plan ahead (10-12 weeks in advance).

9. Iraq

For those wanting to travel to Iraq, the easiest and most viable option is to fly into Erbil, Iraq, an old town in the relatively stable Kurdistan Region of Iraq.  Citizens of several countries, including the United States, European Union, Canada, Japan, or Australia, can obtain a free stamp upon arrival (good for a stay of 10 days).

8. Somalia

While independent travel to most of Somalia is dangerous and not advised, the autonomous northwestern part of Somalia, known as Somaliland, is open for the independent traveler.

The easiest way to get to Somaliland is to fly into Addis Ababa, Ethiopia first and then head over to the Somaliland Liaison Office, located next to the Embassy of Mozambique.  You can get your visa in 5 to 10 minutes.

7. North Korea

In order to get to North Korea as a tourist you will have to book a tour package through a travel agency accredited by the Government of North Korea.  Although the process is difficult, it is not impossible.  By gathering the proper documentation, you should be able to visit this country without any serious issues. If you plan to enter North Korea via China, you will need to get a multiple entry visa for China first.  Note that, in most instances, you will need to travel to Beijing and then go to Pyongyang from there.

6. Nauru

Nauru is the world’s smallest independent republic.  It is a tiny country located in the South Pacific Ocean.  You will find that the process of gathering the proper documentation to enter Nauru is quite bureaucratic and cumbersome. The process for getting the visa to Nauru entails the following steps: book a flight to Nauru on Our Airline (formerly known as Air Nauru), reserve a hotel room in Nauru, e-mail the Nauru Consulate in Brisbane, Australia in order to obtain a visa form, fill out the visa form and return it to the Nauru Consulate so that they can send you your permission letter in order to enter Nauru, carry this permission letter with you on your trip and present it upon landing in Nauru, hand over your passport to Immigration upon entry to Nauru.  They will process your visa, which should be ready either same-day or next-day.

5. Sao Tome and Principe

Sao Tome and Principe is a beautiful island country located off the west coast of Central Africa.  Information on how to get a visa to go there is really tough to find if you do a search on the web, so the best way is to have a reputable Sao Tome and Principe travel agent process all the paperwork for you so that you don’t have to go through the hassle of gathering a lot of documents to send off to the local embassy or consulate.

4. Bhutan

To get a tourist visa for Bhutan, you will need to go through a licensed tour operator, who will guide you through the process step-by-step.  The process takes a great deal of time, but, once approved, you will have no trouble getting in.

3. Central African Republic

The Central African Republic embassies and consulates have little to no presence on the web.  In fact, the Embassy of the Central African Republic in Washington D.C. does not even have a website.  The trick is to find the Embassy contact information (which you can find pretty easily doing a web search) and call them up to find out the latest paperwork and fees required.

2. Guinea-Bissau

Guinea-Bissau does not have a consulate or embassy in either the United States or the United Kingdom.  In 2007, in fact, the Embassy of Guinea-Bissau in Washington D.C. completely suspended operations.

In order to get a visa to enter Guinea-Bissau, you will need to go to either Lisbon, Portugal and get it the same day (expensive option) or go to Ziguinchor, Senegal and get it at the Guinea-Bissau Consulate (recommended option).

1. Libya

Libya is the toughest place to enter as a foreigner.  Did you know that for several years prior to June 2010, Libya banned tourist visas for U.S. citizens?  Libya had implemented similar bans in the past for citizens of various countries in Europe.

The situation is volatile in this part of the world, but, if you are determined to add Libya to your bucket list, you need to know that, like North Korea, Libya requires tourists to apply for a visa through a licensed tour operator.  If you do a search online, you will find several reputable Libya tour agencies.  After booking a tour, you will be asked to send a scanned copy of your passport, your dates of travel, return ticket, personal contact information, and other information that is typical for getting visas for other countries.


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