“The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only one page.” This famous quote by Saint Augustine does inspire you just to pack your bags and go wherever you wish in the world. But sadly, travelling to a destination needs a lot of planning and tackling many formalities. Among these, getting a visa is the most daunting task to complete. Destinations around the world have their own set of laws for granting visas to visitors. The visitor’s nationality also influences what visa will be granted for a particular destination. Some visitors enjoy visa-exempt or visa-on-arrival benefits, while some travellers must obtain a pre-approved visa before arriving at the destination they wish to visit. Some countries are classified as the “hardest countries to visit” because obtaining a visa for them can be extremely challenging due to various obstacles and geopolitical issues. Here are six countries where getting a visa can be quite a challenge.
North Korea visa is the hardest visa for any foreigner to get. This is primarily because of the country’s isolation, secrecy, and distant relationship with most other countries. Their visa rules and laws are stringent and vary as per the visitor’s nationality. Americans are not permitted entry, and South Koreans are not permitted to apply for a visa. A state-approved tour agency itinerary, which typically consists of guided tours that allow access to particular locations, is the only way a visitor’s visa is assured. In addition to obtaining a visa, obtaining travel insurance for a visit to North Korea can be challenging.
Another country that does not give visas easily is Russia. The application process itself feels scrutinizing to the applicant as it demands one to disclose information through questions targeted at listing all the countries visited in the last ten years if a passport was ever stolen previously, places of employment other than the current job, fire-arms skills or training, any part of a life spent in military services to name a few. The application process also takes a lengthy time to process and approve.
The Chinese Embassy implemented strict visa policies to manage its borders and control the influx of foreign visitors. This is partly due to security concerns and the need to protect national interests. The Chinese government ensures that foreign visitors have no impact on national stability, public safety, or peace. As a result, the visa application process is extensive, requiring applicants to provide detailed information about their travel plans, financial stability, and reason for visit. Obtaining a China visa can be quite challenging for some people, as it requires extensive documentation and an invitation letter that must meet specific requirements set by the Chinese authorities. This can cause delays in the application process. The documentation and your country’s relationship with China are taken into strict consideration before a China visa is granted.
Many tourists become discouraged and frustrated during Nigeria’s highly challenging and prolonged visa application process. Nigeria has experienced problems with organised crime, terrorism, and unstable politics. Therefore, the Nigerian government enforces stringent security protocols to safeguard its borders. These security measures include strict screening procedures, extensive documentation requirements, and background checks. The bureaucratic nature of the application process is another factor that makes obtaining a Nigerian visa difficult. The difficulties applicants encounter are further complicated by the lack of resources and consular employees available to handle visa applications.
A mesmerizing mountainous nation teeming with absolute serenity in its ambiance, Bhutan is on the bucket list of many globetrotters, but the country’s visa requirements dampen their enthusiasm for experiencing this incredible destination as it is one of the most difficult visas to get in the world. Bhutan only permits licensed tour operators connected to its Ministry of Tourism to grant visas to tourists. This is because they want high-value, low-impact tourism within their country. This means you must plan your trip through Bhutan’s tour operators. Apart from this, the destination also levies daily sustainable development fees for foreigners. The country does so to curb mass tourism in the country. It is a difficult experience and undoubtedly one of the most challenging destinations to obtain a visa for due to the extensive paperwork, the high cost of the visa, and the tour package. Indian citizens are exempt from the requirement for a visa, meaning they can visit Bhutan visa-free.
Obtaining a Saudi Arabian visa is challenging, particularly for women travelling alone. You need a compelling reason to travel to this place because of its complex and detailed visa requirements and regulations. The country does not offer tourist visas. The applicant may obtain a visa mainly for work, business, pilgrimage, visiting family, or attending events. It takes a letter of invitation, evidence of finances, and confirmed tickets to successfully grant a visa. However, since the introduction of eVisa, the bureaucracy and time-consuming paperwork process have been reduced somewhat.
The granting of visas to citizens of different countries is greatly impacted by the political goodwill between the nations. In the event of good relations, entry to the country may be simple and visa-free. In addition, the country’s policy regarding the issuance of visas is influenced by the migration of individuals from the region, the safety of its residents, and how much economic gains the destination can get by granting easy access to foreigners through simplified visa procedures to their country. Aside from these few countries, an overwhelming number of destinations invite you to visit and explore their regions. Check them out in comparison to the nations where obtaining a visa is most difficult, and apply only if you are positive that you want to travel there and are ready to accept a visa rejection if it occurs.
Nilkanth Patil is a passionate writer with an impressive background in travel and has experience in the fields of visa consulting and customer service. He combines his expertise in these fields with his love of writing viewing it as both a hobby and a way to share his perspectives on topics that fascinate him.