Unique Passport Requirements for U.S. Travelers

Originally published in Successful Meetings magazine, November 2006


Many countries have specific entrance or departure rules for U.S. citizens. Check out what your next destination requires, and how to reach embassies for details.

Antigua & Barbuda
(202) 362-5122
Special Requirements: Minimum passport validity of 6 months; proof of sufficient funds and return/onward ticket required.

Aruba
Royal Netherlands Embassy (202) 244-5300; www.netherlands-embassy.org
Special Requirements: No

Australia
Visa Information Service (888) 990-8888; www.austemb.org
Special Requirements: An Electronic Travel Authority (ETA) is required. The visa is free ($20 service charge for applying online), stored electronically, and valid for a stay of up to 3 months; proof of sufficient funds and return/onward ticket required.

Bahamas
(202) 319-2660; www.bahamas.gov.bs
Special Requirements: Departure tax of $15 payable at the airport; proof of sufficient funds and return/onward ticket required.

Bermuda
British Embassy (202) 588-7800; www.immigration.gov.bm
Special Requirements: Departure tax of $10 payable at the airport; return/onward ticket required.

Brazil
(202) 238-2828; www.brasilemb.org
Special Requirements: $100 for tourist visa for U.S. citizens; cost of business visas may vary. Minimum passport validity of 6 months.

Britain
incl. England, Northern Ireland, Scotland, & Wales
(202) 588-7800; www.britainusa.com/embassy
Special Requirements: No

Canada
(202) 682-1740; www.canadianembassy.org
Special Requirements: No, but travelers convicted of a crime, including a DUI, may be denied entry. Attendees with a criminal record should contact the consulate or immigration office to apply for a Minister's Permit (crimes committed within the last 5 years) or an Approval of Rehabilitation (crimes committed 5+ years ago) to ensure they are granted entry.

China
(202) 338-6688; www.china-embassy.org
Special Requirements: Visa costs $50 for U.S. citizens ($40 if booking group tourist visas). Minimum passport validity of 6 months; at least 1 blank passport page required. Anyone suffering from a mental disorder, leprosy, AIDS, venereal diseases, contagious tuberculosis, or other infectious diseases will be denied entry.

Croatia
(202) 588-8933; www.croatiaemb.org
Special Requirements: Return/onward ticket required.

Ecuador
incl. Galapagos Islands
(202) 234-7166
Special Requirements: Minimum passport validity of 6 months.

Egypt
(202) 895-5400; www.egyptembassy.us
Special Requirements: Yes, visa required, but it can usually be obtained at your point of entry into Egypt.

Fiji
(202) 337-8320; www.fijiembassy.org
Special Requirements: Minimum passport validity of 3 months; proof of funds and return/onward ticket required.

Hong Kong
Embassy of the People's Republic of China (202) 328-2500; www.china-embassy.org
Special Requirements: Return/onward ticket required.

India
(202) 939-9806; www.indianembassy.org
Special Requirements: For U.S. citizens tourist visa costs $60; business visa $150. Minimum passport validity of 6 months; at least 2 blank passport pages required.

Ireland
(202) 462-3939; www.irelandemb.org
Special Requirements: No

Jamaica
(202) 452-0660; www.congenjamaica-ny.org
Special Requirements: Departure tax of $17 payable at the airport; proof of funds and return/onward ticket required.

Japan
(202) 238-6800; www.us.emb-japan.go.jp
Special Requirements: Return/onward ticket required.

Korea
(202) 939-5663; www.koreaembassyusa.org
Special Requirements: Return/onward ticket required.

Malta
(202) 462-3611
Special Requirements: Minimum passport validity of 3 months, 6 months preferred.

Mexico
(202) 736-1000; www.embassyofmexico.org
Special Requirements: No (tourist card and departure tax generally included in the cost of airfare).

Russia
(202) 939-8907; www.russianembassy.org
Special Requirements: $100 for a tourist or business visa for U.S. citizens; at least 2 blank passport pages required.

Schengen Countries *
Austria (202) 895-6711; www.austria.org
Belgium (202) 333-6900; www.diplobel.us
Denmark (incl. Greenland) (202) 234-4300; www.denmark.org
Finland (202) 298-5800; www.finland.org
France (202) 944-6200; www.info-france-usa.org
Germany (202) 298-4393; www.germany-info.org
Greece (202) 939-1333; www.greekembassy.org
Iceland (202) 265-6653; www.iceland.org/us
Italy (202) 328-5500; www.italyemb.org
Luxembourg (202) 265-4171
Netherlands (202) 244-5300; www.netherlands-embassy.org
Norway (202) 333-6000; www.norway.org
Portugal (202) 332-3007; www.portugalemb.org
Spain (202) 452-0100; www.spainemb.org
Sweden (202) 467-2600; www.swedenny.com

(* Schengen Countries: In June 1985, seven European Countries signed a treaty in Schengen, a town in Luxembourg, to facilitate easy travel among the nations. The total number of Schengen countries is not 15, most of which belong to the European Union.)

Special Requirements: No visa required for stays of up to 90 days. The 90-day period begins when a visitor enters any of the Schengen countries.

In Denmark, passport must be valid for 3 months beyond the last day of your stay in the Schengen countries.

In the Netherlands, visitors must show proof of sufficient funds (generally acceptable to simply show credit or debit cards) and medical insurance (consulate recommends calling insurance provider and receiving a letter stating that coverage extends to international destinations).

Singapore
(202) 537-3100; www.mfa.gov.sg/washington
Special Requirements: Minimum passport validity of 6 months; return/onward ticket and sufficient funds for the duration of stay required.

South Africa
(202) 232-4400; www.saembassy.org
Special Requirements: Minimum of 2 blank passport pages required; return/onward ticket and proof of sufficient funds required.

Switzerland
(202) 745-7900; www.swissemb.org
Special Requirements: Minimum passport validity of 3 months.

Taiwan
(202) 895-1800; www.taipei.org or www.boca.gov.tw
Special Requirements: Return/onward ticket required.

Turkey
(202) 612-6740; www.turkishembassy.org
Special Requirements: Visa can usually be obtained at border crossings into Turkey or through consulates in the U.S. Cost varies. Minimum passport validity of 3 months.

United Arab Emirates
(202) 243-2400; www.uaeembassy.org
Special Requirements: No


SIDEBAR
Border-Crossing Requirements to Change


According to the U.S. State Department, between 68 and 70 million Americans currently hold passports—roughly 27 percent of the population. That figure is set to spike as the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI) kicks in, beginning in January of next year, at which time Americans will need a passport to move freely around the continent.

January 8, 2007, is the implementation date for air border passport requirements. At that time, any American reentering the United States from Canada, Mexico, Central and South America, the Caribbean, and Bermuda will be required to hold a valid U.S. passport. Passports will not be required for travel to and from U.S. territories Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, and American Samoa. The original implementation date of January 1 was changed to accommodate holiday travel.

In September, Congress passed legislation delaying the implementation date for land and sea borders to as late as June 2009, instead of January 1, 2008. The date change would allow additional time to create an ID card for use by Americans crossing borders by land or sea. The date could be moved up if the U.S. government meets certain guidelines regarding lower-cost options.

Also, remember that attendees may live in the United States but travel on a foreign passport. Be sure to check with consulates, or have attendees do so, to determine the requirements specific to the country from which they obtained a passport. Visit the State Department's website for information if you are planning a meeting in the United States with international attendees and for additional information on the WHTI and other visa- and passport-related concerns.




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