There are many countries a US citizen can visit without a visa. However, below is a list of countries wherein a tourist visa is required:
When is a Tourist Visa Required?
Each country has a different law or rule with regards to tourists obtaining a visa, this also varies depending on the tourist’s citizenship. If you are a US citizen who wishes to apply for a visa , you must ensure that you are applying for the correct visa and that you have the right purpose such as:
- General leisure travel including sightseeing, hiking and visiting resorts
- Attending artistic performances or sports competition
- Medical Treatment
- If you are going to visit family or friends but will stay in a hotel
- Take a class for fun. If you plan to take classes on photography or to learn a foreign language, then you will only need a tourist visa.
There are certain activities that do not qualify you to be issued a tourist visa. Here are some of the following activities that require another type of visa:
- If you are going to visit family or friends but you will stay in their home. Most countries issue a tourist visa for this kind of purpose, however, in Russia this warrants a “homestay” or “family visa”
- Attending a trade show or a conference. For business-related travels, a business visa may be required of you and this includes trade shows or conferences. In India, a conference requires a special type of visa that is specifically meant for conferences.
- To do volunteer work. As mentioned earlier, each country has a different law with regards to purposes, there are countries who will allow a person to obtain a tourist visa when visiting for a volunteer work, however, in Tanzania, there are several categories to volunteer visa depending on the duration of their work.
- To do missionary work or go on a religious pilgrimage. A special type of visa is required for these kind of travel purposes, this is somewhat similar to doing a voluntary work. There are two kinds of visas for this king of visit in Saudi Arabia and these are “Hajj” and “Umrah”.
- Take class for the sole purpose of education.
- Hunting. Some countries allow hunting within their borders, only a tourist visa is required but if there are weapons involved, a gun permit must be secured.
Restrictions of a Tourist Visa
Different purposes warrant a different kind of visa, therefore there are things that you cannot do when you only have a tourist visa.
- Do business negotiations. For travels involving business such as meetings, negotiations, site visits, etc. You are required to secure a business visa.
- Work. You are not allowed to work in a foreign country with just a tourist visa.
- A student visa is required for university study or exchange student programs.
- Residency. If you are planning to stay long abroad, you will need a residence visa.
If you are unsure of what visa to apply for, you can seek advice from a visa expediting service.
Requirements for a Tourist Visa
- Passport – must be valid for more than six months past the duration of your trip and must have at least two blank visa pages
- Passport photo – must be new, taken within the last six months, printed on a photo paper on a white background
- Visa Application – must be completely filled-up and signed in ink
- Flight details – must have your full name, date or departure and arrival in the US, date of arrival and departure from destination country
- Hotel reservation or letter of invitation – hotel reservation for the whole duration of stay in the destination country. If you have a letter of invitation, this must be presented instead.