Travel visa assistance website GlobalVisas.com has revealed the 10 toughest countries to get a visa for – and why. Would you make the effort to visit any of these places?
If your passport has a visa stamp from Israel, then you can kiss goodbye any notion of visiting Sudan. A letter of introduction is also needed before you arrive.
9. The United States
For the average tourist, it’s not usually too hard to get a Visa for the US. New Zealand passport holders can get in under the Visa Waiver Program by filling out an Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) form before travelling. But if you’ve ever been caught dabbling in illegal drugs, the country may be off limits.
8. Sao Tome and Principe
This island nation off the coast of Africa is notoriously tricky to visit. There are few embassies to help, so if you’re adamant you want to pay it a visit, go through a travel agency. Oh and get that yellow fever vaccine too.
7. Saudi Arabia
There’s a plethora of rules surrounding a trip to Saudi Arabia. Unmarried couples can not travel there unless they’re part of a group and noted as ‘individuals’. Women shy of 30 have to be accompanied by a husband or brother.
We’re not sure why you’d want to go to Syria right now, but if you do, expect a long application process – and to be asked for a letter of recommendation from your own embassy.
Visitors visas in Iran need to be approved by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Tehran – and it can be an incredibly slow process, with little information provided about the application’s status.
The list of requirements for visiting this West African nation is plentiful. Firstly, you need an invitation and at least US$100 a day financial support, as well as the necessary immunisations.
Erik Cleves Kristensen/flickr
3. Democratic Republic of Congo
It’s not as dangerous as it has been, but visits to the Democratic Republic of Congo are still hindered by yards of red tape. You may also be asked to fork out for unofficial “fees”.
Russia has no shortage of people wanting to visit – but the country doesn’t make it easy for us. A tourist visa allows you to stay for up to 30 days – but even then you need an ‘invitation’ before you can enter.
1. North Korea
The Democratic People's Republic of Korea is extremely difficult to get a visa for – and travellers from Israel, Japan and America will have the most problems. Even if you do get in, don’t expect a lot of freedom - you may find yourself being escorted by one of the country’s “guides” during your stay.