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Which Country Has Strictest Entry Requirements?  
User currently offlineStyles From United States of America, joined Jul 2003, 89 posts, RR: 0
Posted (10 years 4 months 4 weeks 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 5624 times:

Hello,
From a European/N. American point of view, which countries have the strictest entry/visa requirements? I am curious after reading the post for the VWP countries not having biometric passports whose citizens visit the US. When one applies for a visa to Australia, for instance, what does the US citizen have to submit to receive a visa/entry permit?

27 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineSolnabo From Sweden, joined Jan 2008, 852 posts, RR: 2
Reply 1, posted (10 years 4 months 4 weeks 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 5592 times:

Strictest? What do you think about entering North Korea??
Uuhhuhh....I wouldn´t, guess it would take a week just in customs  Big grin
Cheers

Michael//SE



Airbus SAS - Love them both
User currently offlineWorldoftui From Sweden, joined Aug 2007, 0 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (10 years 4 months 4 weeks 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 5592 times:

Isn't it somewhere like Saudi? I think you can only go there if you are invited!

Mark


User currently offlineScottysAir From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 3, posted (10 years 4 months 4 weeks 1 day ago) and read 5540 times:

I got no problems with these countries went through to Mexico, Italy, & Bahamas. It is everything went well for me. I did not get any problems at all into the Mexico.

User currently offlineAmwest25 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 4, posted (10 years 4 months 4 weeks 22 hours ago) and read 5433 times:

"When one applies for a visa to Australia, for instance, what does the US citizen have to submit to receive a visa/entry permit? "

In most cases US citizens do not need a visa for entry into Australia, all you need is an ETA (Electronic Travel Authority) you fill no forms out, you have no evident visa in your passport and the Australian government has no fee but your airline or travel agent may charge a fee to process it. I went in 2000 and I used evisa to obtain my ETA and the charge was USD 20.

The ETA was set up for citizens of the US and other countries that did not require Australian Citizens to have entry visa's to enter the US etc.

PRIOR TO ARRIVAL: Electronic Travel Authority (ETA) for
tourist or business travel, instead of a visa. ETA
applicants do not complete a form and there is no
physical evidence of an ETA in the passport. Existence of
an ETA is verified electronically by ETA participating
airlines prior to boarding and by immigration officials
on arrival in Australia.
Most travel agents issue ETA free of charge whilst
airlines usually charge a handling fee when the passenger
shows up at the check-in counter without visa.




User currently offlineLTBEWR From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 13078 posts, RR: 12
Reply 5, posted (10 years 4 months 4 weeks 22 hours ago) and read 5409 times:

Probably strictest would be North Korea. There are several countries believe need permission from the US government to visit or travel to, including North Korea, Iraq, Syria, Lybia, Cuba, Burma (Mayamayr?).
I remember had to get a full visa when I went to Australia in 1989, fortuntaly they had a consulate in NYC, about 2 blocks from where I worked. On the visa application several questions as to criminal background, especially drug related crimes. Also for a period of several years in early-mid 1980's US Citizens had to get a visa to go to France! I know as I had to get one for my 1st visit there, it was done after several terror attacks in France.
I think some countries require US and any most other nationals where don't require a visa must have an outbound ticket, and 'sufficient' cash or access to money (credit cards, ATM cards, T'checks) for planned stay.


User currently offlineAirxLiban From Lebanon, joined Oct 2003, 4511 posts, RR: 53
Reply 6, posted (10 years 4 months 4 weeks 22 hours ago) and read 5407 times:

you need a pretty damn good reason to go to saudi if you're not saudi...

possible good reasons include hajj umrah and business.

other than that you probably would need to go to a travel agent to find someone to sponsor you or something...not sure...haven't tried to go to saudi.



PARIS, FRANCE...THE BEIRUT OF EUROPE.
User currently offlineStevenUhl777 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 7, posted (10 years 4 months 4 weeks 22 hours ago) and read 5404 times:

Libya may get a little easier, now that relations have been restored and Americans are allowed to go there now.

I would think that for any Arab, flying into Ben Gurion in Tel Aviv (or is Jerusalem?) would be next to impossible.



User currently offlineArtsyman From United States of America, joined Feb 2001, 4745 posts, RR: 34
Reply 8, posted (10 years 4 months 4 weeks 21 hours ago) and read 5360 times:

My mother tried to visit Iran about 2 years ago with some friends, and after weeks of red tape it came down to this.

My mother had to go and get my dad's permission to travel. The Iranian consulate were not interested in the fact that they have been separated for 20 years, he needed to give his permission for her to travel there....

needless to say, she didn't go

J


User currently offlineUSAFHummer From United States of America, joined May 2000, 10685 posts, RR: 53
Reply 9, posted (10 years 4 months 4 weeks 21 hours ago) and read 5327 times:

Bhutan you have to travel with a group and they have a cap on the number of visitors per year, and it aint a very high number...

Greg



Chief A.net college football stadium self-pic guru
User currently offlineJumpseat70 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 10, posted (10 years 4 months 4 weeks 11 hours ago) and read 5209 times:

I get very nervous when someone posts a question like. You have an embassy use it.

User currently offlineLeviticus From New Zealand, joined Oct 2007, 0 posts, RR: 0
Reply 11, posted (10 years 4 months 4 weeks 11 hours ago) and read 5184 times:

Actually for western travelers Saudi Arabia is the worst, North Korea is not so difficult at all if you are part of a group, not even for US citizens, I know several people who have been there.

User currently offlineKEno From Malaysia, joined Feb 2004, 1842 posts, RR: 27
Reply 12, posted (10 years 4 months 4 weeks 10 hours ago) and read 5137 times:

Saudi issue hajj & umrah visa for muslim pilgrims (umrah is "minor" hajj, one can perform it any time of the year) but I'm pretty sure you cannot wonder around outside Mecca / Medinah / Jeddah / Riyadh with that visa. If you want to do business or as a tourist, a Muslim has got to undergo the same procedure as any other nationals, which is not easy.

For many years, Portuguese nationals are not allowed to enter Indonesia (East Timor issue). They are allowed to enter now, but requires special approval from the immigration. Pretty odd considering East Timor no longer belongs to Indonesia and many european nationals can enter Indonesia visa-free.

The strictest requirement is probably an Israeli trying to enter most Muslim nations, which require an *extremely* special approval by the government.


User currently offlineAlessandro From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 13, posted (10 years 4 months 4 weeks 10 hours ago) and read 5078 times:

Well, Saudi issue transit visas for car travellers going Jeddah-Aqaba, but you
have to be patient. Otherwise, Bhutan seem to be difficult, PRDK (North Korea)
isn´t so difficult (US passport could be an disadvantage though), just take an organized tour.
Iraq obviously because of the state they´re in, Equatorial Guinea seem to be the trickiest in Africa?


User currently offlineBofredrik From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 14, posted (10 years 4 months 3 weeks 6 days 17 hours ago) and read 4992 times:

If we talk about "normal" countries in Europe so does it sometimes take a lot of time to get in to UK. They ask a lot of questions.

User currently offlineKEno From Malaysia, joined Feb 2004, 1842 posts, RR: 27
Reply 15, posted (10 years 4 months 3 weeks 6 days 17 hours ago) and read 4988 times:

New tourist visa introduced by Saudi Arabia recently :-

http://www.menafn.com/qn_news_story_s.asp?StoryId=46388


User currently offlineLeviticus From New Zealand, joined Oct 2007, 0 posts, RR: 0
Reply 16, posted (10 years 4 months 3 weeks 6 days 14 hours ago) and read 4968 times:

KEno, Well yeah but you have to be a Muslim  Insane

User currently offlineKEno From Malaysia, joined Feb 2004, 1842 posts, RR: 27
Reply 17, posted (10 years 4 months 3 weeks 6 days 13 hours ago) and read 4963 times:

That's true Leviticus, but at least that is a sign that Saudi needs foreign tourists, instead of driving them away. Can't expect miracles to happen overnight, they'd start with Muslim visitors first, then the rest might follow suit.

User currently offlineLeviticus From New Zealand, joined Oct 2007, 0 posts, RR: 0
Reply 18, posted (10 years 4 months 3 weeks 6 days 13 hours ago) and read 4956 times:

KEno, let's just all hope that you are right, because Saudi Arabia is one place that certainly would like to visit some day. And about the "only Muslims"-thing, do you know is there is any distinction made between Muslims ? Like for instance, when they say Muslims are welcome, does that include everybody, both people from the middle east, from Indonesia and from Bosnia-Herzegovina ?

User currently offlineScottysAir From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 19, posted (10 years 4 months 3 weeks 6 days 12 hours ago) and read 4951 times:

I am stil ask you some of question about Israel and is that getting strictest security in TLV? My mom that she was flew to TLV from last 7 years ago and it is everything went well on LY flight. It is very uncomfortables with her in Israel and she went visit with her old neighbors and etc.

User currently offlineKEno From Malaysia, joined Feb 2004, 1842 posts, RR: 27
Reply 20, posted (10 years 4 months 3 weeks 6 days 11 hours ago) and read 4941 times:

Leviticus,
Only Mecca & Medina are off-limits to non-Muslims because they are on sacred grounds, the rest of the country is fine. I'm not sure if they could totally guarantee non-muslims from entering the 2 sacred cities, but I wouldn't recommend anyone to risk it because I dread to imagine what the penalty's like. By muslims they mean religion-wise, so anybody from Texas to Zimbabwe to Samoa are all welcome as long as they are muslims.

[Edited 2004-04-04 18:00:18]

User currently offlineRussophile From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 21, posted (10 years 4 months 3 weeks 6 days 11 hours ago) and read 4933 times:

Bhutan you have to travel with a group and they have a cap on the number of visitors per year, and it aint a very high number...

Not necessarily. If you know anyone who is Bhutanese, particularly one who is studying outside of Bhutan, they are allowed to bring people back into Bhutan without those requirements -- I think they are allowed to do this 2 times a year.


User currently offlineBA From United States of America, joined May 2000, 11153 posts, RR: 59
Reply 22, posted (10 years 4 months 3 weeks 6 days 8 hours ago) and read 4909 times:

You can visit Saudi Arabia easily if you are coming for business (whether you are Christian or Muslim, or Buddhist, or Hindu doesn't matter) or if you are coming to do an Umra in Mecca or coming to do the Hajj.

Another way you can visit is if you know someone in Saudi Arabia. He can do the visa work for you and get you a visa. Or, you can hire a travel agency within Saudi Arabia to get you a visa. This is how people travel to Saudi Arabia for tourism purposes.

As KEno posted, they have just introduced tourist visas to Muslims only, but the plans are to extend it to any religion soon.

Saudi Arabia is far from perfect, but at least they are making progress. They're opening up slowly.

Regards



"Generosity is giving more than you can, and pride is taking less than you need." - Khalil Gibran
User currently offlineB747-437B From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 23, posted (10 years 4 months 3 weeks 6 days 8 hours ago) and read 4911 times:

Probably strictest would be North Korea

Far from it. The North Koreans become very helpful the moment you say the word "tourist" near them. I've dealt with their Embassy in Delhi as well as their consulate in Macao asking information about their tourist visas and in both cases they went out of their way to explain and smooth out the process for me (no I didn't travel in the end, but it would have been pretty painless had I chosen to do so).

Libya may get a little easier

Libya is a major pain because they require that you passport be translated into Arabic before they will issue a visa. So yes, they might qualify on the list.

for western travelers Saudi Arabia is the worst

Not at all. The Saudi visa process (provided you are eligible for a work visa, transit visa, umrah/hajj visa, etc...) is extremely painless. Turn in the paperwork and go back and collect the visa on the relevant day.

Bhutan you have to travel with a group and they have a cap on the number of visitors per year

Not quite true. Bhutan has absolutely no restriction on Indian citizens traveling to Bhutan as independant tourists, which means that 20% of the world can go there without any hassles. Hardly the strictest entry requirements.

My biggest hassle for entry requirements came from the South African Consulate in Mumbai. They gave me such a run around just to get some basic information that I totally abandoned the idea of going to South Africa and went to Thailand instead.


User currently onlineMD11Engineer From Germany, joined Oct 2003, 13998 posts, RR: 62
Reply 24, posted (10 years 4 months 3 weeks 6 days 8 hours ago) and read 4892 times:

AFAIK, the Maledives have limited access to several island inhabited by locals. Tourists are restricted to tourist islands and the capital, for the other islands they need a personal invitation freom some local person. The sultan wants to keep foreign influences away from his subjects.
As far as I understand this is the same reason for the restrictions in Bhutan.

Jan


25 B747-437B : the Maledives have limited access to several island inhabited by locals. Tourists are restricted to tourist islands and the capital, for the other isl
26 Flyboy36y : I would think that for any Arab, flying into Ben Gurion in Tel Aviv (or is Jerusalem?) would be next to impossible. Hogwash. Arabs are welcome in Isra
27 Post contains images MD11Engineer : B747-437B, I stand corrected and bow my head in shame! Jan
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