Hardest Countries to Get a Visa to Visit

Hardest Countries to Get a Visa

Travel, a gateway to understanding the world’s diverse tapestry, has the power to inspire, educate, and broaden horizons. In a world comprising 195 countries, the allure of exploring every corner of the globe is a dream shared by many. However, the intricacies of visa requirements often create barriers, limiting the ease with which individuals can traverse international boundaries. This article unveils the enigma surrounding the hardest countries to obtain visas for, shedding light on the challenges and intricacies that travellers face.

Unravelling the Visa Conundrum

Aspiring globetrotters are met with a spectrum of visa policies as they embark on their journey to explore the world. While some nations extend a warm welcome to visitors with lenient visa policies, others present a more daunting process, necessitating a meticulous approach to navigate the intricacies.

The Unseen Barriers

The dream of traversing international borders, with a passport in hand and excitement in heart, encounters unseen barriers in the form of stringent visa requirements. These barriers arise from a multitude of factors, including safety concerns, political considerations, and government policies that dictate the movement of individuals across borders.

Why the Challenge?

Numerous factors contribute to the challenges in obtaining visas for certain countries:

  • Safety and Political Reasons: Countries grappling with safety and political instability often restrict tourist visas to protect both travellers and their own citizens.
  • Complex Visa Applications: Visa applications that are complex and convoluted can deter potential travellers, leading them to reconsider their plans.
  • Totalitarian Regimes: Countries governed by totalitarian regimes may isolate themselves from the global community, limiting access for outsiders.

Hardest Countries to Get a Visa to Visit

While the allure of exploration remains strong, certain nations present formidable obstacles for obtaining tourist visas. Here, we delve into the intricate details of the top 10 hardest countries to secure a visa for:


Embarking on a journey to Russia requires traversing a labyrinth of questions on the application form. Particularly challenging for American citizens, who encounter an extensive set of queries, the visa application process demands meticulous attention to detail.


For American citizens, Cuba poses a unique challenge. Entry is not granted for tourist purposes; rather, it’s limited to individuals falling within 11 categories of authorised travel. The distinctive pink Tourist Card sets American visitors apart from their counterparts.


Iran’s visa process hinges on a verification code obtained through official channels. This code, issued by Iran’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, necessitates the involvement of an authorised Iranian travel agency to initiate the application process.


Turkmenistan, one of the world’s least-visited countries, upholds a rigid visa policy. While exceptions exist for specific regions and diplomatic passport holders, the majority must adhere to a stringent application process.


Chad’s visa process proves intricate, demanding an invitation letter for approval. This necessitates securing sponsorship from a Chadian entity or booking a room in N’Djamena, the capital. The latter option requires a non-refundable payment, amplifying the challenge.


Bhutan’s exclusivity lies in its requirement for tourists to engage in authorised tour packages. With individual visas limited to citizens of India, Bangladesh, and Maldives, visitors must align with a designated tourist agency and fulfil visa and sustainability fee obligations.

Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia’s evolving visa landscape, marked by eVisa accessibility for tourists, introduces a new era. While convenience prevails, visitors must adhere to cultural and religious norms, and certain areas remain restricted.

Western Sahara

Political complexities render Western Sahara a challenging destination. Limited visa-free access prompts rigorous application processes, often entailing sponsorship or meticulous documentation.


Somalia’s ranking as one of the most dangerous places to visit underscores its challenging status. Minimal consular support for visitor visas stems from safety concerns. Those venturing into this territory require vigilant security details for safe exploration.

North Korea

North Korea embodies unparalleled visa stringency. Authorised tours organised by state-approved agencies are the sole route for obtaining a visa. Stringent regulations, such as limited interactions and escorted exploration, define the unique North Korean experience.

In conclusion, the allure of global exploration is tempered by the complexities of visa policies. While some countries embrace travellers with open arms, others erect formidable barriers. These barriers stem from an array of factors, underscoring the need for meticulous planning and research.

In the pursuit of cross-border adventures, understanding the nuances of visa application processes is paramount. Each country’s unique challenges underscore the diverse landscapes and cultural mosaics that compose our world. As travellers, we navigate these complexities, driven by the unquenchable thirst for discovery and the aspiration to explore the unexplored.