International travel can be complicated if tourists are not prepared. Dealing with foreign languages, customs, and currency can be difficult — though that only becomes a problem if you are able to get into the country.
Many nations require tourists to have visas to get in. Visas are essentially a stamp of approval from a foreign nation that the holder is legally allowed to enter that country. To issue a visa, countries generally require a passport, photo, and application from visa applicants. Some also charge a fee.
Americans have some of the strongest passports in the world, meaning they can travel to a large number of countries without needing a visa — but this is not the case for every country.
24/7 Wall St. reviewed each country’s visa requirements, as provided by CIBTvisas, to determine the countries Americans need a visa to visit as tourists. These countries were ranked on the number of tourists that visit them each year.
Wealthier countries tend to be more strict about their visas as they want to ensure that visa holders do not overstay their welcome — yet it is not always that simple. Some countries charge a high fee, require photo ID, or demand to know exact dates of travel before they issue a visa. This process can often be complicated by political friction between two countries.
To determine the countries Americans need visas to visit, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed CIBTvisas’ data on which countries require tourists to obtain a visa before they visit for any amount of time. Countries that only require visas for trips that last a certain amount of time were excluded. GDP per capita and population figures come from the International Monetary Fund and are for the most recent available years. International tourism information comes from World Bank for 2017.