Travel Tips

Travel Tip: What You Need to Know About Visa Requirements for Saudi Arabia, Russia and Iraq

It’s getting easier to enter most countries with your U.S. Passport.
But there are still a number of countries where getting a visa can still be a huge hurdle. That list includes Australia, Bolivia, Indonesia, India and Vietnam. And in some countries, that hurdle can even be more of a challenge. 
While Saudi Arabia is about to issue tourist visas for the first time, it will be a single entry visa and valid for only 30 days. 
Want to go to Russia? Americans must file a lengthy visa application, which asks all sorts of unexpected questions– you must name every school you attended and every country you’ve visited in the last 10 years. You can imagine how long it took me to fill out my application! Russia even wants to know what charity organizations you belong to. One other note: you will get a visa for only as many days as your stated itinerary and not a day longer.
Needless to say, apply at least 45 days in advance of your trip. 
And if you’re thinking of going to Iraq, here’s a weird and somewhat scary visa requirement–you have to submit a blood test upon entering the country. What do they know that you don’t know?
By Peter Greenberg for
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