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I have travelled to about 50 countries so more than many people but nowhere near all countries. I am unlikely to realize it but it is nice to daydream, at least, of visiting all of them. A recent question on visas for Saudi Arabia surprised me, I had not known and would not have guessed that they are hard to get. So, I wondered which others are hard to get.

I am a dual UK / Irish citizen.

To count as a visit, I should pass through immigration and stay at least 48 hours. So, merely changing planes won't count and very short transit visits won't either but a more generous transit visit would. So, China is in this category.

I will consider regions with distinct immigration rules as separate countries so mainland China and Hong Kong are separate countries for this purpose. Also, Taiwan is a country for the purposes of this question.

I can attempt to divide the countries in categories.

  1. I can just go there. Most (all?) of Europe for me and quite a few other places.

  2. I need a visa (or visa like permission such as an ESTA) but it is easy to get. So, the USA and quite a few more countries are in this group.

  3. I need a visa and it is not as simple or as immediate as an ESTA for the USA but there is little chance that I would fail to get it.

  4. I need a visa and it could be difficult and there is a significant chance of failing to get it.

  5. Very difficult without some special circumstances.

I am most interested in countries that fall into groups 4 and 5.

Additional information.

My travel history is good. I have never been refused a visa or admittance. I have never overstayed. I have a good job and own a house in the UK.

closed as too broad by Traveller, fkraiem, choster, bytebuster, dunni Aug 3 at 12:40

Please edit the question to limit it to a specific problem with enough detail to identify an adequate answer. Avoid asking multiple distinct questions at once. See the How to Ask page for help clarifying this question. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

  • I think your question is likely to attract close votes unless you narrow it down eg to focus on a problem or question specific to you as regards visiting a particular country. For example, which countries have you already identified as falling into categories 4 or 5? – Traveller Aug 3 at 10:20
  • I don't know for sure which is why I am asking. I mentioned Saudi Arabia as a difficult desitinaton. I guess that North Korea is another. Long ago Bhutan was hard to visit but that may be out of date. Iran might be tricky but I have already managed that (long ago) thanks to my Irish passport. – badjohn Aug 3 at 10:23
  • I see that there is one close vote already on the grounds of opinion based. I don't understand that. Surely whether or not a British or Irish citizen can easily get a visa is fairly clear. – badjohn Aug 3 at 10:25
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    No, it’s not clear if it is easy or difficult to get a visa, because that also depends heavily on you personal circumstances. We can tell you, if you need a visa at all, but no more. – dunni Aug 3 at 10:28
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    So, please tell me where I need a visa but skip any ones where it is rare for UK or Irish citizens with a good travel history to be refused. I was hoping that would mean that the list was not very long. I know already that I can visit many countries with no visa or an easy to get one. – badjohn Aug 3 at 10:35
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One of the most difficult countries might be Saudi Arabia

As detailed in this question they don't issue tourist visas, so (assuming you're not Muslim), you'd only be able to get a business visa, which is expensive and bureaucratic even if you do have a legitimate business interest in visiting.

Another is North Korea: it's generally not possible to get a visa without going on an organised tour, supervised by government officials. If you have the money this isn't necessarily too difficult to organise, but it certainly counts as special circumstances.

  • Those were my guesses but additional confirmation is good. – badjohn Aug 3 at 11:06

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