Visa Requirements: They Can Be Daunting But The Countries Are Worth Visiting

by Kerwin McKenzie on 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.
London Earl's Court Area

London Earl’s Court Area


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
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, Argentina is an example.
Let’s talk People’s Republic of China for a bit. 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.
Hong Kong which is a SAR of China has no visa requirement for U.S. citizens.
To visit Shenzhen, you can get your visa at the border. 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, its not just all about getting that ticket and jetting off.
Some countries like Tanzania is visa on arrival and you must have cash in the currency of your passport country to pay for it.
Mount Kilimanjaro, Tanzania
Mount Kilimanjaro, Tanzania
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.
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, but I’m working on a U.K. and Canadian version. If you are from other countries, just check the web site for the consulate you wish to visit for the rules or if you have access to Timatic, you can check there as well. Some of the airlines used to have a Timatic link, but have since removed it. Cost cutting I guess. But KLM still has a page to help you figure it all out.
Amsterdam Tram
Also, consider joining 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 Pre program. Countries such as Australia, Canada, Mexico, The Netherlands have similar systems.
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.


Fruits and Vegetables at the Colombo, Sri Lanka Market


Fruits and Vegetables at the Colombo, Sri Lanka Market

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

avatar Sharon Goebel August 28, 2015 at 4:44 pm

If traveling to Argentina, a visa is not required, but a reciprocity fee  of $160 plus agency fees, must be paid in advance online. This fee is a valid for 10 years, but since there is no stamp in your passport, you must keep your records of the transaction for your future visits to Argentina.


avatar Kerwin McKenzie August 28, 2015 at 4:51 pm

Yup Sharon. Initially you had to actually pay that fee on arrival; they had a special line for U.S. citizens.

Thanks for the comments.



avatar Jana taylor August 28, 2015 at 5:19 pm

Any further info on Chinese Visas?  I’ve been told that to apply for a CREW VISA will cancel my Tourist Visa?!?  I need BOTH!  Applying for Tourist Vusa to travel for Vacation will cancel my Crew Visa?!?  Was told to get Tourist Visa first—then apply for CREW Visa! AFTER my vacation!  What about to 10 year Tourist Visa?  Will it be cancelled? What if I want to go on another Vacation?  Do I have to reapply/pay again?  Any insight would be appreciated!   Thank YOU!  I’m using CIBT to process Visa.        Love your posts and info for traveling!    Always,   Jana


avatar Kerwin McKenzie September 21, 2015 at 3:41 pm

Hi Jana,
I can’t say if that is the case Jana. I’d check with the local consulate in that respect (applying for a crew visa will cancel the tourist visa).

I try to go straight to the Embassy/Consulates on this kind of thing as this way you get the correct info. Try starting at this site –



avatar Warren Goldberg September 21, 2015 at 2:02 pm

I will be traveling or should I say I would like to be traveling to Moscow, Russia November 18, 2015. How and we’re would I start the process for a visa?


avatar Kerwin McKenzie September 21, 2015 at 3:37 pm

Hi Warren,

Thanks for your question.
The first thing to do is to figure out where is the closest consulate to you. Then follow the instructions on the visa application they provide. Start here –

Note that you do have to give a lot of information including the countries you’ve visited over the last 10 years.



Leave a Comment

{ 2 trackbacks }

Previous post:

Next post: