Good news for globe-trotting Americans: most countries around the world are free or very cheap to get in to. But, as this map from HowMuch.net shows, some countries do charge through the nose for a visa. And it’s not the ones you would expect.
First, let’s get a persistent myth out of the way, the one that says Americans don’t travel overseas. That so-called fact is proven by an oft-cited statistic: only 10% of U.S. citizens – or thereabouts – have passports. Wrong! According to the State Department, the actual figure is closer to 46%. And that corresponds to more than 131 million American passport holders.
And that passport is all you need to gain entry in most countries. The official at the border will stamp one of the pages at the back of your booklet and off you go, to explore other climes and cultures. But quite a few nations are not satisfied with passports alone. They require a visa – and to obtain that visa, you must pay. Sometimes you can purchase it on arrival, often you must get it at the embassy or consulate of your destination country. So, who wants how much?
Entry into Europe is completely free for U.S. citizens, from Monaco to Moldova, from Liechtenstein to Lithuania, from the UK to Ukraine. And just about anywhere nearby or in between. With a few exceptions.
A visa for Belarus costs $65. For that price, you get to visit the landlocked Russian satellite state often branded “the last dictatorship in Europe”. It is highly advised to say only nice things about its president Alexander Lukashenko, in power since 1994. Talking about countries with long-lasting leaders, the Russia of Putin (in power since 2000, alternately as president and prime minister) currently charges an entry fee of
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