Top 8 Countries Americans Aren’t Allowed To Visit

Are you a US citizen who loves to travel? Have you ever wanted to visit beautiful countries like Russia, Eritrea, and North Korea? No, of course, you haven’t. That would be crazy. But even if you did try to apply for a tourist visa there, you’d most likely be denied.

Here are eight countries with insanely strict rules regarding visitors from America.

1. Saudi Arabia

Thanks to the newly elected Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, Mohamed bin Salman, the county has been rising the ranks, but before 2019, things were different. Getting a visa to Saudi Arabia was nearly impossible for the general public, and the embassy only gave them out to people who wanted to visit Mecca. Aside from that, all US tourists were banned from entering Saudi Arabia. But as stated earlier, the wind of change is blowing in a different direction today.

2. Iran

Today it is possible to get a travel visa to Iran if you’re a US citizen, but it’s a heck of a chore. Ever since America started doing military operations in the Middle East, the United States guests have not been welcome in Iran. If you had a US passport, there was a zero percent chance for you to cross the border. After the US troops left the country, the ban was lifted, but getting a visa is still incredibly hard, and if you do get it, you can’t run amok inside the country and need to get a qualified guide.

3. Turkmenistan

Located in Central Asia and surrounded by ex-USSR countries and Iran, Turkmenistan has had its fair share of bad experiences with tourists. The US visitor ban is probably a remnant of the old Soviet regime. Most of the “stan” countries don’t want your filthy American dollars anyway. But if you absolutely need to get inside, you will need a letter of invitation straight from the Turkmenistani government, which, let’s be real, is not going to happen. It’s a bit easier to get a transit visa, but with that thing, you can only stay inside Turkmenistan for three days.

4. Eritrea

Don’t worry, you’re not the only one who’s never heard of Eritrea. It’s one of the worst countries on the planet, often referred to as the North Korea of Africa. I’m sure there are beautiful places to see and visit there, but is it really worth going through bureaucratic hell and a possible death sentence for doing something culturally inappropriate? Yeah, thought so too. And to add insult to injury, Eritrea is one of the very few countries that did not condemn Russia’s war on Ukraine. That’s probably because dictators like to flock together.

5. Cuba

It’s not a stretch to say that the US and Cuba have not been very friendly to each other since the cold war. After the trade embargo in 1958, Cuba almost cut all ties with Americans, essentially killing the tourism business. But there’s a loophole if you want to get in. Apply for one of the twelve travel visa options that require a CTC (Cuba Tourist Card); have lots of cash on you if you’re planning on going for a shopping spree, and be careful what you buy.

6. North Korea

There are no ifs or buts about North Korea: US citizens are not welcome here. Only in very exceptional cases can the State Department grant a travel visa to an American. And even then, you’d still be assigned a mandatory guide, so you don’t run around and cause chaos. Not that you’d ever want to go there, right?

7. Iraq

It’s safe to assume that putting Iraq on this list is justified. They hate Americans; Americans hate them — it’s a very straightforward relationship, given the history between these countries. Of course, there is still a chance you’ll get a visa, but you’ll have to work for it. Lots of paperwork and a high probability of getting denied make traveling to Iraq a lost cause.

8. Russia

Even before the Russian invasion of Ukraine, a regular US citizen would have to complete many requirements and go through a detailed background check to get that visa. But since pretty much day 1 of the war, visiting Russia has been impossible for Americans, as they’ve banned all US citizens from entering their country. It’s highly unlikely that the vetting process will be simplified after Ukraine wins the war, but maybe the US will get a slice of that big, mostly barren pie that we call “Russian Federation” today. Fun fact: before Russia decided to commit political and economic suicide, they would require you to list all your traveling locations for the last ten years, your education, names of your cats, jobs you had, and more ridiculous stats. Good riddance!