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5 Hardest Countries for Americans to Visit

Although most countries can be visited by American citizens visa-free, there are some countries where admittance is not so easily granted.

The American passport is one of the world's most accepted passports, with the many countries offering US citizens a visa-free entry. In today’s global village, it often takes minutes to acquire a visa over the internet. However, some countries are difficult for Americans to visit. These countries have a variety of obstacles that range from extravagant visa fees, institutional corruption, security, language barriers, uncertainty, and bureaucracy among other reasons. Most countries that frustrate entry of US citizens share common traits such as difference in ideology, security, and religious beliefs. Tourists are usually encouraged to counter check with their embassies and heed government advice before visiting these countries.

5. Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia has world-class historical and religious attractions, but is very strict on aspects of culture, especially in regards to women. If you are a woman under the age of 30, you are required to be accompanied by your husband, father, brother or another male relative after proof of relation. For a person to visit this country, a visa and a letter from a local male sponsor are needed which can take several months of preparation. An American tourist will most likely be denied a tourist visa since revenue from tourism is minuscule compared to oil revenue. The US government also warns its citizens against possible attacks from terrorist groups operating in the country. If a traveler's passport indicates they have previously visited Israel, the individual could be shunned from entering the country until the Israeli visa or stamp doesn’t remain on their passport.

4. Angola

Traveling to Angola can be difficult due to stringent requirements. The government prefers that American visitors purchase a visa at extravagant rates, have an invitation letter written in Portuguese, have yellow fever vaccination certificates and make non-refundable hotel reservations. Visitors are also not assured of the actual hotel reservations. After several requirements are met, it is common for a passport to come back with no visa, explanation, or refund. There are few flights from the US to Angola, and a visitor will most likely be stranded if they do not speak Portuguese or any of the local languages.

3. Somalia

The US government has strict warnings in place for its citizens who wish to visit Somalia. Apart from aid workers, journalists, and expatriates, the government discourages tourism to the country on account of it being home to some of the most lethal terrorists, pirates, and anti-American campaigners on the planet. Somalia is among the least visited countries on earth due to the insecurity and infrastructure. To visit Somalia, travelers need a local sponsor as well as a letter of invitation.

2. Russia

Political and ideological differences between the US and Russia can be identified in the visa applications. Americans must make lengthy visa applications 90 days in advance to access Russia, one of the most powerful countries on the planet. During the application, US citizens must declare all the countries they have visited within the previous decade and list all the causes they support. Visitors also need an invitation letter and a local sponsor. US state Department encourages people to countercheck with Russian speakers to ensure that the visa reflects the correct details to help in admittance.

1. Chad

The US government has travel restrictions to Chad due to the high number of terrorist activities and sympathizers to groups such as Boko Haram, ISIL, Al-Qaeda, and other small bandit groups who have kidnapped American citizens in the past. For Americans to visit Chad, they must apply for visas well in advance, have a letter of invitation from a local host or sponsor, and a yellow fever vaccination certificate. Chad also has a small number of hotels, most of which may not be up to the standards of global tourism.

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