COVID vaccine aside, visas are still the key to entering most countries. As someone that travels on an Indian passport (Rank 48 on Global Mobility), obtaining a visa is ingrained in my travel planning. I obviously follow the changes in visa requirements for most countries with great interest, and it did not take long to start identifying a sub-group of countries that made border entry extremely easy, by offering visa-free or visa-on-arrival for all nationalities.
Visa-on-Arrival for all Nationalities
Over the years we have seen visa processing being simplified, to a large extent by countries that adopted the ‘e-visa’ or ‘visa on arrival’ regulations. Although it made it easier for certain passports, passport holders from several countries are still excluded from many e-visa and visa-on-arrival programs, and are required to obtain a visa in advance of their travel.
However, there remains a ‘sub-group of friendly countries’ that extend a ‘visa free’ or visa-on-arrival policy to all passport holders. It should come as no surprise that 3 of 5 countries which are extremely welcoming to all passport holders, are island nations;
- Republic of Seychelles
Seychelles is truly a visa-free country, and does not require visas from any persons seeking to enter the Republic of Seychelles. According to their Department of Foreign Affairs;
A visitor’s permit is issued on arrival in Seychelles to travelers visiting for the purposes of holiday, business, visiting friends or family and who also meet the following criteria:
is not a prohibited immigrant;
is not a holder of a valid permit which entitles the holder to reside in Seychelles;
holds a valid return ticket or ticket for onward travel for the duration of the visit;
has confirmed accommodation; and,
has sufficient funds for the duration of the stay (minimum of US$150 or equivalent per day).
As of August 1st 2020, Seychelles has opened its borders to commercial schedule flights, with specific COVID-19 guidelines for visitors, as stated in this advisory, and emphasis that all requirements are met prior to arrival.
- Republic of Maldives
Maldives does not require a pre-arrival visa from any passport holders. According to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, a thirty day free visa is issued on arrival for all Nationalities, provided;
Should posses a valid passport with Machine Readable Zone (MRZ) -(standard ICAO Annex 9, chapter 3.10.1) and should have at least 6 months validity
Have a valid ticket to continue the journey out of Maldives
Have enough funds to cover the expenses for duration of the stay in Maldives. (US$100 + $50 dollars per day) or a confirmation of reservation in a Tourist Resort or a Hotel
Caution: Full thirty day visa is not a right of the passenger to claim, but lies at the discretion of the Immigration to issue not more than thirty days and any period less than thirty days.
Maldives lifted all COVID-19 travel-related restrictions on July 1st, 2020, and also launched the “Rediscover Maldives…the sunny side of life” campaign to welcome tourists once again.
This Polynesian country located in the Pacific ocean, between Hawaii and Australia, offers a visa free or visa on arrival procedure for all nationalities. According to their consular services section;
Visas are not required by any other nationals for stays in Tuvalu of up to 30 days. Entry permits for a maximum one-month stay are issued on arrival providing you have a valid passport (at least for 6 months from the date of arrival), sufficient funds, proof of accommodation and a return/onward ticket. For all Tuvalu visa related matters it is important that you contact the closest Tuvalu Mission/Embassy/High Commission and Honorary Consulates before you travel to Tuvalu.
- Togolese Republic
The west African country of Togo, offers visa free or visa on arrival entry for all nationalities. Depending on the passport presented, the permitted length of stay can range from 7-90 days. Here is a snapshot of Togo’s visa policy map;
- Timor Leste
This one is a solid maybe, and I hesitated adding it to this list – The Immigration Service department of East Timor recommends that all travellers apply for a Visa Authorization Application prior to their visit to Timor-Leste. However, they also proclaim;
Visa Class I for tourism and business purpose, may be granted on arrival at the Border Post by presenting the “Visa Authorization Application”. The tourism and business visa fee is US$ 30.
Technically, they do not restrict the visa on arrival for any nationality as long as the Visa Authorization Application is presented.
If you think I missed a country which offers visa free or visa on arrival to all nationalities, drop a message below!