While international travel is likely the last thing on all of our minds thanks to the Covid-19 pandemic, the rolling out of multiple vaccines and promise of new health and safety procedure enforcement from the president-elects administration gives us the freedom to start fantasizing about what we want to do once this pandemic is truly over.
Before you take any international flight in a non-pandemic context, there are a few things that you’ll need to consider. One of the biggest is if you’ll need a visa to enter the country you want to go to. While current restrictions exist due to the pandemic, others have always existed when it comes to allowing international travelers in.
US citizens with passports typically don’t need a visa to enter most countries around the globe; it’s believed that American citizens have some of the world’s most powerful passports in terms of access. In fact, the Henley and Partners Passport Index ranked the US passport as seventh on its 2020 list of the world’s best passports, as it allows citizens visa-free access to 185 countries; this includes countries that require Electronic Travel Authorization or a visa upon arrival to the country.
Americans with a passport can travel to a majority of countries in Europe, the Caribbean, and Central/South America. Countries like Russia, India, China, Vietnam, Turkey, and many others require American citizens to have at least an e-visa to visit, regardless of if they have a passport or not.
Luckily, the Henley and Partners Passport Index provide an easy searching tool for Americans to see where they can travel throughout the world without needing a visa. Users can simply log in and select the country that their passport is from (in this case the US) and the Index will provide you with a list of countries that you are able to visit.
The US Department of State Travel also provides an easy-to-use tool on their site that allows users to simply search a country by name to see the visa requirements they would need to visit. Even countries that allow Americans to travel there without a visa have restrictions on the length of time one is allowed to stay.
You can use both of the websites above to receive information about specific countries and their restrictions on things like length of stay, visa requirements, and cost for those visa requirements. More times than not getting a visa to visit a foreign country can be a lengthy and expensive process, so individuals tend to do it months in advance of their trip.
The future of these requirements will also likely depend on how every country recovers from the Covid-19 pandemic. Currently there are a multitude of countries that prohibit American tourists from visiting due to the severity of the pandemic in this country. Click here for a list of countries that are currently allowing American travelers to visit, and in the meantime start planning for a Covid-free future.
Eric Mastrota is a Contributing Editor at The National Digest based in New York. A graduate of SUNY New Paltz, he reports on world news, culture, and lifestyle. You can reach him at email@example.com.