VISA Denied: Hardest Countries to Obtain Entry Permits

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Obtaining a VISA is not always as straightforward a process as it may seem. Sometimes, you must jump through hoops to get entry permits, which can be a bit frustrating. Even people from countries with high-ranking passports can find themselves denied entry into some countries. For example, passport holders from Sweden, Germany, and Greece often waltz from one country to another. However, if they want to get into Russia, they find themselves dealing with yards of paperwork. So, which countries have made it almost impossible for visitors to get in?


North Korea

If you have paid attention to global news in the past few years, you probably know that North Korea has been a hot topic. News reporters cannot get enough of the restrictions in this country, and their curiosity has gotten the better of them. Of course, you could also be in the same boat, wondering what goes on inside those boundaries. But can you find a way in?

For the most part, travelers face a grueling process to enter North Korea. In fact, the only way to legally do so is by going through China. On your way, you will barely interact with the locals and must stick to the travel rules. We probably do not need to mention this, but just for the sake- do not badmouth their leader. Even thinking about it is prohibited. Also, if you are a UK or US passport holder, getting a permit will be an uphill task. To get a better idea of how much paperwork you need to fill in, you can always check out Travel Visa Pro’s official website, which details all travel documents.

Should you use another route into the country? Independent travel may work in some destinations. But in North Korea, it could land you in a lot of trouble. If you cannot get the right paperwork, choose another travel destination.


Do you remember the part where we mentioned that you could get to North Korea through China? Well, getting to China is not as easy as you may think. Most travelers

can get a visa-free entry that lasts 72 hours. It essentially means that you are in and out of the country within 3 days. With so many sights to see, this can be a bit limiting. Therefore, most travelers opt for the 30-day period, which comes with a lot of paperwork. Not only must you initiate the paperwork from your home country, but you must also submit your application in person. Plus, it can take as many as 3 months to get that ‘yes’ finally! Did we mention that your itinerary must be accurate to a T?


Are you contemplating a trip to Russia? You are in for quite a ride. As a US passport holder, you will need to account for all international trips you have made in the last 10 years. The start and end dates need to be accurate because any mistakes made in the application can lead to rejection. Additionally, you must show up in person to make the application, and part of this includes having your biometrics scanned. Your photograph will also be necessary. The authorities also insist that you provide a detailed itinerary of all the places you will visit and where you will stay. That means you must book your accommodation beforehand which takes away from the flexibility in your planning.

EU passport holders have an easier time, given that their application forms are not quite as long. But either way, you have a lengthy processing time ahead. Brace yourself!


Do you think that getting to the above countries is hard? Wait until we cover Iran! This country has a very lengthy visa application process. First, you need to submit a preliminary application to the Iran Ministry of Foreign Affairs. If you are successful, you get an authorization code, allowing you to move on to the next stage. You must then show up in person at the Iranian Embassy to provide biometric data. Also, you must include the details of your guide in Iran, who must meet the requirements set out by the ministry.

Saudi Arabia

The strict regulations in this country require that you plan months before. For example, women must have a sponsor traveling with them in the country from their arrival. Additionally, this sponsor holds the passport during the woman’s stay in the country. If you are traveling as a couple, you must be married; else, you will not gain an entry permit.

Other hard to get into destinations include Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan, Bhutan, and Pakistan. Always read travel requirements before applying for a visa because it reduces your chances of making a mistake. Working with a reputable travel agency can also help you work out the kinks in each process.