Countries Where Getting a Visa is a Real Challenge

If you have any experience in traveling then you are aware of the importance of checking visa entry requirements before embarking on a journey into a new country. The embarrassment and agony of rejection are not at all interesting. Nobody likes rejection so it is best if you prepare for the worst. If you thought getting a US TN 1 Visa was difficult, you have no idea who the most unwelcoming people are.

Most of the western countries boast the most lucrative passports in the world. This ranking is based on their visa-free score that allows their citizens to travel across the world with free entry on arrival. Top on the list includes Greece, Germany, Singapore, The United Kingdom, Sweden, Canada, and the US. Many other European countries such as Spain and Ireland among others have powerful passports too. In Contrast, China and Russia have the strictest rules. They even make it difficult for countries with the least conditions such as Germany and Sweden to obtain to apply for visa.

To help you stay out of trouble in your destined country, here are some of the countries with the most difficult visas.

North Korea

North Korea is a curious place to be.  It is notorious and unique with varying world perceptions that are in contrast to the entire world. For this reasons, it is a place you may want to travel to—whenever possible. Curious travelers from the farthest place of the world attempt to get entrance into North Korea but find it difficult. This country has some of the strictest rules on earth. For example, getting into the nation will require travelers to first, go through an organized tour crossing from China, which also ranks high with the strictest restrictions. China has a long reputation of restricting entry to foreigners with optimum scrutiny.

Independent travel into North Korea is, therefore, one of the hardest travel entries you may ever face. Most astonishing is that US and UK citizens may have the hardest time. Keep this in mind so you will not be frustrated to learn that you cannot get into North Korea just because you are American or British. The entry requirements keep changing so keep checking.


China is the most populous country so its measures to restrict entry to foreigners should be quite understandable. It neighbors North Korea and shares an ancient past with the people of Korea. If you are planning to go to China, you will have a lengthy visa process. This should not frustrate you if you have the idea beforehand. Note that you can get a travel visa for free but only for a period not exceeding 72-hours. Anything longer than this requires a proper visa, which in turn requires a lengthy process of drilling and interrogation. This can be a tedious process that will discourage you from halfway into it.

The rules limit application for a visa in your country of residence before a face-to-face interview to submit the application. Apart from the appointment at the embassy, you also need to come prepared with a long list of documents for authentication. They include hotel vouchers, flight itinerary, and other documents that match your travel plans. These documents are meant to prove your intentions. To stay for a period of more than 30 days, you will need to show a daily itinerary. By the time you are allowed to travel to China, you might spend up to 3 months of scrutiny.


Russia offers the most difficult requirements even for the most powerful passports available. The country does not give away visa-free travel easily. Even the top ten most powerful passports are no match for the Russian system. It has the longest verification process that will demand travel detail for as long as the past 10 years. The basic rules such as travel documents can prove difficult enough yet they are only the first steps of the process.

Beware that all visa application and the entire process requires the individual to appear in person. The nation’s biometric system will only allow the user as your fingerprints will identify you each time. Any slight mistakes on the online forms may cost you the entire process and the ultimate vista. Crosscheck every detail on the visa to ensure that the dates align with your travel plans. In short, you cannot make a mistake and expect to sail through with the application. It is also the most expensive process.

Saudi Arabia

Until recently, Saudi Arabia has closed its doors to foreigners and especially tourists except for the pilgrims on religious missions. Despite the glorious shopping experience in this rich country, getting a work visa is almost impossible. Even with your TN-1 visa, you may not easily get an entry here because the country has no exceptions for western countries. Visa-free travel has for a long time not been allowed.


If you are going to visit a new country, then you should know which countries getting a visa can be a real challenge. What are the countries with the most difficult visas? Why is it a challenge to get a visa in these countries? This article will help you to stay out of trouble in your destined country!