Originally Published: August 22, 2015
I wanted to share some information about visa and health requirements as this is really very important when considering where you want to visit as well as the routings you wish to take. This is especially important in today’s travels.
Country Specific Visa Requirements
Always remember that some countries require that you show a confirmed ticket to leave their country. Leaving is not always by air so bear that in mind as well. Your non-revenue ticket may not be enough. For the most part your non-revenue ticket is fine though at least once you have your visa.
Corn Vendor in Taipei, Taiwan
One thing too is to remember that sometimes it takes weeks to get a visa and you have to send your passport away in order to get it done. Plus it can be very pricey.
Some countries have reciprocal fees that you must pay before you leave your country of origin or on arrival.
Visa For People’s Republic of China
Mainland China requires a visa for entry and that must be procured before departure but now you can get one for 10 years. Despite the 72-hours no visa required rule, as a non-revenue traveler, the airline may require that you have a confirmed ticket to leave the country in 72-hours of your arrival, so your non-revenue ticket may not work. Hence you will need a visa.
Visa For Hong Kong
Hong Kong which is a SAR of China has no visa requirement for U.S. citizens for stays under 90 days.
Visa For Shenzhen
To visit Shenzhen though, you can get your visa at the border with Hong Kong. Similar to Macau where you do a visa on arrival as well. So just check your rules before you are ready to travel. For international travel, it’s not just all about getting that ticket and jetting off.
Visa On Arrival
Some countries like Tanzania is visa on arrival and you must have cash in the currency of your passport country to pay for it. They’ve recently added an online option to get your visa before you go.
Others like Nepal will require that you have a passport photo taken if you don’t already have one when you arrive and get your visa on arrival.
I say this to tell you to be prepared when you are thinking of your routings.
One place that people get tripped up is Australia. And yes a visa is required for U.S. citizens for which you can apply online. It’s called an Electronic Travel Authority or ETA.
Countries You Can Visit Without A Visa
I’ve written an article about At Least 138 Countries you can visit without a visa using your U.S. passport to help you figure out the visa requirements for places to visit. This is U.S.-centric. If you are from other countries, just check the website for the consulate of the country you wish to visit for the rules or if you have access to Timatic or Timatic Web, you can check there as well. Just check with the airline with whom you are traveling. Here are some examples:
What is Global Entry?
Also, consider joining the Global Entry program as it will save you time when making connections as U.S. ports of entry. I’d literally miss tight connections without being a member of this service. Plus it also gets you into the TSA PreCheck program. Countries such as Australia, Canada, Mexico, The Netherlands have similar systems.
Fruits and Vegetables at the Colombo, Sri Lanka Market
So remember do your research before you travel as it concerns health and visa requirements. What have you found in your travels? Please leave a comment below and let me know what you’ve found.