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Crossing borders: African countries Americans can visit without applying for a visa

By March 9, 2017February 9th,

Crossing borders: African countries Americans can visit without applying for a visa

March 9, 2017

There are many South Africans who have emigrated from South Africa, and one of the countries a lot of expats have emigrated to is the good old US of A. Once you’ve applied for your US citizenship and have been approved you become a “natural” citizen of the United States of America, meaning you no longer use your South African passport but rather your American passport.

Based on a 2016 ranking by VisaIndex, the United States has the fourth most useful passport in the world. With almost 200 countries in the world, a United States passport holder can enter about 160 of these countries without the dreaded and time-consuming process of applying for a visa. 21 of these countries are on the continent of Africa, and here is a list of those countries.

List of countries you can travel to Visa free with an American passport:

  • Botswana: An American can stay in Botswana for up to three months without a visa. All you need is a valid passport that is not set to expire within six months after your arrival.
  • Comoros Island: Visas are required once you land in Comoros but all you need to do is present a return ticket and pay a fee dependent on your length of stay. A visa for 45 days will cost $60, a year will cost $250 and a visa for ten years will cost you $500.
  • Côte d’Ivoire: A passport that will not expire within six months is required to enter the country and a visa may be required on arrival. Côte d’Ivoire is, however, in the process of changing its policy, so it may be best to reach out to the embassy before travelling to check the latest details.
  • Djibouti: You may receive a visa on arrival at a cost of $90 for a maximum stay of one month. However, for Djibouti, it may be best to get a visa before arrival.
  • Egypt: Americans can stay in Egypt for a maximum of thirty days. On arrival, an American passport holder can pay $25 for a visa and $35 for a multiple-entry visa. However, you must have a valid reason for travelling to the country as Egyptian immigration officials have been known to reject travellers without a reason for entry.
  • Equatorial Guinea: You will not need a visa to stay in Equatorial Guinea for up to 90 days. However, you might be required to complete a visa application form on arrival, so it is best to have visa-like information, such as a passport photo, proof of your finances, and sometimes immunization records – although vaccination records are rarely required of US travellers.
  • Lesotho: Lesotho typically requires yellow fever immunization records from travellers; however, US citizens are exempt from this process. As an American, you will need a passport which is valid for at least three more months.
  • Malawi: Americans will be required to pay a $75 fee on arrival for a three-month visa. You will also have to declare all your currencies and you can only leave the country with more than this declared amount if you have a bank agreement.
  • Mauritius: The only thing an American citizen needs for entry to this visa-free African country, is a passport that will not expire within six months of your stay.
  • Morocco: American passport holders can enter Morocco for a maximum of ninety days if their passport has one blank page. If you outstay your visit you will be summoned before a Moroccan judge and will most likely be required to pay a fine. If this happens, make sure you contact the US embassy.
  • Namibia: A six-month valid passport is necessary to visit Namibia, and your stay must not be over three months.
  • Rwanda:With a valid American passport that will not expire within six months, you can buy a 30-day visa once you arrive in Rwanda for $30. However, if you would like to stay longer, you must apply for a permit fifteen days prior to your visit via the Immigration Office.
  • Senegal:Americans simply need a passport with a blank visa page to visit Senegal for three months.
  • Seychelles: With a valid passport, evidence of a return ticket to the US, proof of accommodation, and appropriate funds for your stay, you can visit the beautiful Seychelles for one month. If you are planning to stay with friends or family instead of a hotel, an invitation letter from them is necessary to enter the country.
  • South Africa: Americans can stay in South Africa for a maximum of three months as long as you have a passport with two blank pages.
  • Swaziland: Entry in Swaziland is approved for Americans for thirty days with a valid passport and at least two blank visa pages. The passport must be valid for six months after entry.  Generally, Americans travel to Swaziland via South Africa, and these visitors need two additional blank visa pages.
  • Tanzania: A visa is required once you arrive in Tanzania but will be approved if you have a passport that will not expire within six months and one empty visa page.
  • Togo: With an American passport, visits to Togo must be less than seven days long. It will cost $30 for a visa on arrival and your stay may be extended while you’re there. However, immigration will hold your passport for a couple of days.
  • Tunisia: All you need for a stay of less than ninety days in Tunisia is an American passport with one empty visa page.
  • Zambia: For a visit, which is less than ninety days, Americans will need their passport (which cannot expire within 6 months of your stay) and at least two blank visa pages in the passport.
  • Zimbabwe: On arrival, American tourists must show a passport with at least two empty visa pages and pay about $30 for a single-entry visa or $60 for a multi-entry.

If you are planning on travelling to any of these countries, make sure you research your visa restrictions. Many of these countries have strict penalties if you overstay your visit, or conduct business or volunteer functions on a tourist visa. Also, make sure to check the import and export rules in each country to know what you can bring into the country and what you can take home as souvenirs.

If you have any questions around your financial emigration, do not hesitate to leave us your contact details and one of our financial consultants will contact you back with a free and no obligation quote if necessary.
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