Countries With Travel Restrictions

Crossing borders is not always easy for certain passport-holders.  Editorial credit: 1000 Words /
Crossing borders is not always easy for certain passport-holders. Editorial credit: 1000 Words /

When two neighboring countries are at war, the citizens of either country will not travel to the opposing country, or they could not be allowed entry. There are several reasons why a country would choose to deny the entry of citizens of another country. Countries like the United States, New Zealand, Fiji, Canada, and Australia would deny entry of non-citizens with a criminal record. A government of any country could declare a diplomatic persona non grata to certain officials of other countries, effectively banning their entry into the country of the people affected by the declaration. In non-diplomatic cases, the government could declare certain people persona non grata and temporarily or permanently ban them from entering the country.


Citizens of Abkhazia may not be allowed entry into most countries, because the country is a self-declared nation recognized only by five countries around the world (Syria, Nauru, Nicaragua, Venezuela, and Russia). South Ossetia, Artsakh, and Transnistria also recognize Abkhazia as a country while they themselves are also not recognized as sovereign states by most countries. Abkhazia is located in South Caucasus on the east coast of the Black Sea. Most countries, including the United Nations and its members, recognize Abkhazia as part of Georgia. 


Armenian nationals are banned from Azerbaijan because there are no diplomatic ties between the two countries. The two countries have had differences dating back several years. Because of the Nagorno-Karabakh war, the Azerbaijan government has banned any entry of Armenian citizens into the country. The ban has been extended to nationals from other countries with persons of Armenian ancestry. There was an exception in 2015 when Armenia participated in the European games of 2015 which were held in Azerbaijan. Azerbaijan, on the other hand, strictly bans all nationalities from visiting the separatist area of Nagorno-Karabakh, without express consent from Azerbaijan’s government. Other areas which are strictly prohibited by the government of Azerbaijan include the Azerbaijani exclaves of Yixari, Barxudali, Karki, and Sofulu. All foreign nationals entering this region will be banned permanently from entering Azerbaijan, and their identities will be listed as personae non-gratae. As of 2019, there were at least 803 people who had been listed.


Artsakh is also known as the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic, and it is a region in South Caucasus, and most countries recognize it as part of Azerbaijan. The citizens of the region are mostly Armenians, and they speak the Armenian language. Both Armenia and Azerbaijan claimed the region during the independence in 1918. Similarly, during the collapse of the Soviet Union, the two countries claimed the region and have been the main reason for the difference between the two countries of Azerbaijan and Armenia. The citizens of Artsakh may not be allowed entry to the majority of countries around the world because the country is not recognized. As a result of the status of Artsakh, the passports it issues are not recognized by the majority of the countries. 


Relations between Pakistan and India have been hostile because of political and historical events which started when British India was partitioned in 1947 into India and Pakistan. So far, the two countries fought three wars and one undeclared war with several military conflicts and standoffs. Because of the strained relations between the two nations, the movement of its citizens across the border is highly restricted. Under exceptional cases, the citizens of Pakistan are eligible to enter India to visit friends or family members or to attend religious functions. Other nationalities including those who at one time held the Pakistani nationality are screened. Similarly, other nationalities with spouses or parents who at one point in time or currently hold Pakistani nationality are deeply scrutinized. Typically, a visa is difficult to get and takes a lot of time to process. The rate of rejection is also high. Pakistani citizens have specifically designated points of entry as well as designated international airports.

Other Regions With Restrictions

The United States of America also has an executive order banning citizens of other countries from entering the country. President Donald Trump signed an executive order in 2017, which has also been known as the travel ban. Under this order, limitations and bans are placed on nationals of certain countries wishing to travel to the US. The countries on the list include Yemen, Venezuela, Somalia, North Korea, Libya, and Iran. On April 10, 2018, Chad was taken off the list. Iranians with student visas or people in an exchange program may be allowed entry. Anyone persons with these credentials, have to be subjected to further scrutiny. Libyans on tourist or business visas have been suspended and likewise to the nationalities of Syria and North Korea. The US government has placed a ban on government officials and their immediate family members from different countries like Venezuela.


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