US citizens are increasingly looking for international travel. In 2017, around 42% of the population had an American passport, up from only 4% in 1990. US citizens are continuously looking for new places to travel and the US passport is quite powerful. In May 2018, US citizens could travel to 186 visa free countries. This means that there are very few visa requirements for US citizens.
If you are planning to travel in the near future, it is best to know which countries you can visit and enter without a visa. Getting a travel visa takes quite some time and you will need a lot of documents. So below we have compiled a list of the US passport visa free countries for US citizens. The list also includes some other territories with disputed statuses.
Visa Free Countries for Americans
Here is the list of 142 countries that US citizens can visit without a visa in 2021:
|Antigua and Barbuda||Grenada||Northern Mariana Islands|
|Belarus||Hong Kong||Pitcairn Islands|
|Bosnia and Herzegovina||Isle of Man||Sabah and Sarawak|
|Botswana||Israel||Saint Kitts and Nevis|
|British Virgin Islands||Italy||Saint Lucia|
|Brunei||Jamaica||Saint Vincent and the Grenadines|
|Canada||Kazakhstan||Sao Tome and Principe|
|Central African Republic||Kish Island||Serbia|
|El Salvador||Marshall Islands||Transnistria|
|Equatorial Guinea||Mayotte||Trinidad and Tobago|
|Falkland Islands||Mexico||Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus|
|Faroe Islands||Micronesia||Turks and Caicos Islands|
|French Guiana||Montenegro||US Virgin islands|
|French West Indies||Morocco||Vatican City|
*US citizens do not need a passport to visit Puerto Rico. For more information, visit: Do you need a Passport to go to Puerto Rico?
Countries Requiring e-Visas for Americans
Besides the visa free countries, there are a few others which do not necessarily ask for a visa, but some form of document. These documents could be:
- Electronic Travel Authorities;
- Permits from the US or the foreign government.
In addition, there are also some countries for which you will get a visa once you arrive there. Their policies require that as soon as you are in customs and border of these foreign countries, the authorities will stamp a visa on your passport. The validity of the visa will depend on how long you are planning to stay and the individual rules and regulations of the country you are visiting.
The countries and territories for which you will need some sort of documentation such as e-visas or ETAs are listed below:
|Antarctica||India||San Andres and Leticia|
|Ascension Island||Iraqi Kurdistan||Seychelles|
|Australia||Jan Mayen||Solomon Islands|
|Baikonur and Prizoresk||Kuwait||South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands|
|Brest and Grodno||Madagascar||Suriname|
|British Indian Ocean Territory||Malawi||Tajikistan|
|Brazil||Mauritania||Tibet Autonomous Region|
|Burkina Faso||Mount Athos||Timor-Leste|
|Comoros||Nepal||Tristan de Cunha|
|Egypt||Papua New Guinea||Uganda|
|Ethiopia||Qatar||United Arab Emirates|
40 Countries With Visa Requirements for US Citizens
Finally, there are some countries for which you must absolutely get a visa. The visa process will depend on the rules and regulations of the country you want to visit. Getting a visa for these countries is quite difficult as they are mostly places in conflict or which do not have a good relationship with the US.
The countries and territories requiring a visa for US citizen visitors are listed below.
- Democratic Republic of the Congo
- Republic of the Congo
- Margarita Island
- Saudi Arabia
- Sierra Leone
- South Sudan
Besides the countries and territories which ask for US citizens to have visas, there is one country which does not accept visitors. This country is North Korea which is currently not available to visit for US citizens or other countries.
Passport Validity Requirements
The requirement to travel to the countries listed above is to have a valid passport. But, different countries have different policies on the validity of the passport.
Countries that require your passport to be valid for at least 6 more months after you arrive are as follows:
|British Virgin Islands||Kiribati||Sri Lanka|
|Cayman Islands||Marshall Islands||Tanzania|
|Central African Republic||Micronesia||Thailand|
|Egypt||Palau||United Arab Emirates|
|El Salvador||Papua New Guinea||Vanuatu|
|Guinea Bissau||Saint Lucia||Zimbabwe|
Countries that require your passport to be valid for at least 4 more months after you arrive are Micronesia and Zambia. Countries that require your passport to be valid for at least 3 months are:
- European Union countries with the exception of Denmark, Ireland, and the UK
- Saint Bathelemy
- San Marino
- United Arab Emirates
Bermuda is the country which requires a 45 day validity once you enter, while Eritrea, Hong Kong, Macau, New Zealand, and South Africa require a 1 month passport validity once you arrive. Other countries do not have any limitations on the validity.
Vaccination and Fingerprint Requirements
Some countries require not only US citizens, but all visitors to have certain vaccinations. The types of vaccinations are determined according to the International Certificate of Vaccination. These countries are:
- Burkina Faso
- Central African Republic
- Democratic Republic of the Congo
- Republic of the Congo
- Cote D’Ivoire
- Equatorial Guinea
- Sao Tome and Principe
- Sierra Leone
Other countries will only require vaccination if you are coming from an infected area, so if you are travelling from the US, you do not need to worry.
Additionally, countries such as Argentina, Brunei, Cambodia, Japan, Malaysia, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, and South Korea require fingerprints once you arrive at their ports of entry.
Tips to Follow Before You Travel
Before you embark on travelling internationally, it is advisable to follow some tips which might help you. These tips will be useful during your travel or stay in the foreign country, but they will be extremely important on an emergency situation.
Once you decide where you are going, try to research the country. Find out as much information as possible about where you are going, what the situation is, and where the US Embassy is in case you are in an emergency.
If you want to also receive travel and security information from the US government, you can enroll in their Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP). They will send you detailed information about your destination and they can also contact you in an emergency.
You can also follow different traveler pages and groups on social media to stay in touch and ask questions to those who have previously visited the country.
Have the required documents
Before you travel, make sure you have the required documents to ensure that the border officials will let you in the foreign country and you will be allowed to return to the US. Documents you need to have include:
- Your passport and your children’s passports;
- A visa if you are travelling to a country which requires it;
- Any medical prescriptions from doctors so that you can get your medicine while travelling;
- Custody documents or travel consents from parents if you are travelling with minor children who are not your children;
- International driving permit if you will be driving in the foreign country.
Have some insurance
In addition to research about the country and the required documents, you must also consider the types of insurance you can get before travelling. Many agencies and companies offer different types of insurance such as:
- Health insurance for any type of medical problems that you or your travel companions (family or friends) might have in the foreign countries. This includes basic health insurance to cover a cold or a visit to the hospital or supplemental insurance for more complicated health emergencies.
- Travel insurance for your travel itinerary which you can get from the airline or agency you have booked your tickets.
- Emergency evacuation insurance if there is a crisis in the country you are visiting.
Travelling to Europe
From January 1, 2021, all US citizens will have to apply for an ETIAS prior to their trip to Europe. ETIAS stands for European Travel Information and Authorization System, and is quite similar to the American ESTA.
On the other hand, US residents that do not hold a citizenship of a country that has a visa facilitation agreement with the EU may be required to apply for a Schengen visa while in the US.
To travel to Europe, American citizens also need to obtain a Schengen Travel Insurance which is 30,000 Euro per person and covers their entire stay in the Schengen Area.
Travelling to the UK
Although US citizens are not required to obtain a visa to travel to the UK, green card holders may be required to apply for a UK visa while in USA. This depends on their country of citizenship.