Americans Can’t Easily Go to These Places

The fact that there are countries US citizens can not travel to may come as a surprise to some people. The US passport is a good travel document, although not as useful as some European passports when it comes to visa free travel. There are some countries that insist on visas for US citizens to travel there.

On the list of countries that US citizens can not travel to, there are only a couple that most Americans would want to travel to for tourism purposes.

Let’s look at some of the countries that US citizens can not travel to:


Ever since the days of the cold war, Russia has required that US citizens obtain a visa to travel there. It’s necessary to apply well in advance at your nearest Russian embassy or consulate. This may be one that’s worth making the effort for. There are some magnificent places to see in Russia, such as the city of St Petersburg.


countries us citizens can not travel to
Iran is not welcoming to US citizens

Iran is another of the countries that US citizens can not travel to. Even if you get a visa to travel to Iran, the Iranians insist that a government guide always escorts Americans. Seems like they don’t trust Americans much.


China requires Americans to obtain a visa to travel there. It is much easier to get a visa for China than for some other countries on the list. Despite needing a visa to travel there, the Chinese tend to welcome Americans for tourism and business. Despite China being one of the countries US citizens can not travel to easily, it’s possible to go to the Chinese city of Hong Kong without a visa.


countries us citizens can not travel to
US citizens can not travel to Ghana without a visa

This African country requires US citizens to obtain a visa to travel there. This is a reciprocal arrangement as the US requires Ghanaian citizens to get a visa to travel to the US.

North Korea

There are not many Americans rushing to go to North Korea. Anyone who does want to travel there will not only need a visa from North Korea, but they’ll also need permission from the US government to travel to the Asian hermit kingdom.


Libya requires all Americans to get a visa before traveling there. It’s not very likely that US citizens will want to visit this African nation for tourism purposes. Anyone who needs to travel to Libya on business will easily get the visa they need.


Americans need a visa to travel to this oil-rich African nation. Americans traveling to Nigeria are mainly to visit friends and family and for business. Whatever the reason, though, you’ll need a visa from the local Nigerian embassy.


Due to the unstable political relations between Venezuela and the US, all US citizens traveling to Venezuela need a visa. Visa-free travel for US citizens was ended in 2015. Venezuela joined the list of countries US citizens can not travel to. If you want to travel to Venezuela, you must apply for a visa at the Venezuelan embassy in Washington DC.


US citizens traveling to Yemen for any purpose must get a visa. In the unlikely event that you wish to travel to this war-torn country, you need to obtain a visa from the Yemeni embassy.


Algeria requires all US citizens to get a visa before traveling to the African country.

Saudi Arabia makes it difficult for Americans to travel there

Despite friendly diplomatic relations between the US and Saudi Arabia, all US citizens need a visa to travel there. Visas for Saudi Arabia are straightforward to obtain for US citizens, but you must plan your trip well in advance and ensure you have your visa on time.

Cuba is one of the countries US citizens can not travel to without permission from their own government

Americans can travel to Cuba, just not for tourism. Cuba makes it easy for most US citizens to get a visa. But the US government has had economic restrictions on Cuba for decades. This means you need a license to travel to Cuba. There are 12 different types of licenses available, none of them for tourism. You can go to visit family and friends or on a business trip. There are also restrictions on where Americans can spend money in Cuba.

Increase Your Own Freedom to Travel, Even to Countries US Citizens Can Not Travel To

Anyone can travel wherever they want. For the countries above, it’s not as straightforward with a US passport. That’s one reason we encourage our clients to build a portfolio of citizenships. Many of the countries above, while they don’t welcome Americans, will welcome Europeans, Asians, and people from Latin America. If you had a second passport from Costa Rica, for example, you’d have visa free access to Russia and visa on arrival for Iran. A Serbian passport would give you visa free access to Russia and China. Diversification is the key to more personal freedom.


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