Tough-To-Get Visas


Lucy Culpepper – A recent survey by immigration experts Global Visas reveals the most difficult countries to get a visitor visa.

None are places we would recommend for overseas retirement but it’s good to know about them all the same…

1.North Korea: visas must be arranged through an official tour operator. Citizens of Israel, the USA, and Japan may find it impossible to get a tourist visa.

2.Russia: obtaining the 30-day visa can be complex; you’ll also need an invitation before you can enter the country.

3.Democratic Republic of Congo: lots of red tape and ‘unofficial’ fees.

4.Angola: a long processing time, consular fees, an invitation and at least US$100 per day financial support is required.

5.Iran: a lengthy and bureaucratic process. U.S. and British citizens are fingerprinted on arrival.

6.Sudan: a letter of introduction is needed. Any sign in your passport of a visit to Israel will curtail your application.

7.Syria: current instability is the obvious reason but even under normal circumstances the application process is very time consuming.

8.Saudi Arabia: unmarried couples must travel as “individuals” as part of a group and women under 30 must be accompanied by a brother or husband.

9.Soa Tome and Principe: has so few embassies that it makes it very difficult to get a visa

10.USA: generally straightforward unless an applicant has a criminal record of any severity.


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