New requirements for Americans traveling to Europe postponed until 2025

Visitors who now travel visa-free will need to get approval prior to departure.

Americans eyed upcoming travel to European destinations slightly differently due to news of a requirement that was set to start in 2024 for U.S. passport holders. But now, EU officials have postponed the European Travel Information and Authorisation System ( ETIAS ) launch until spring of 2025., a website dedicated to the world's largest visa-free zone where 27 European countries abolished their internal borders known as the Schengen Area, first reported that an EU official confirmed ETIAS won't go live until May 2025, "due to continued delays with the introduction of the related Entry-Exit System (EES), which needs to be operational before ETIAS can be implemented."

An official for the European Union did not immediately respond to ABC News' request for comment.

What to know about ETIAS for US travelers

If you previously traveled to Europe without a visa, you will now need to apply for authorization through the ETIAS , before visiting.

PHOTO: Tourists with umbrellas to protect themselves from the sun at Colosseo area (Colosseum), during the ongoing heat wave with temperatures reaching 40 degrees, on July 19, 2023, in Rome.

Today, American travelers have visa-free access to 184 global destinations, according to the Henley Passport Index . And while the U.S. passport is currently ranked eighth-most powerful passport to own, that could be set to shift when the European Union adds its new documentation requirements for U.S. visitors.

The application form, which will be available on the official ETIAS website as well as a mobile application, has a fee of 7 euros or $7.79 U.S. dollars. All communication is done by email.

Once you are approved for travel, the authorization entitles visitors to stay in European countries that require ETIAS for up to 90 days within any 180-day period and travelers must be in possession of a valid ETIAS during their entire stay.

MORE: New warning issued for rebooking air travel after delays, cancellations

According to ETIAS, most applications should be processed within minutes, but in case an application takes longer, decisions will be sent within four days or up to 14 days if the applicant is asked to provide additional documentation.

The European Union encourages travelers to apply for an ETIAS authorization "well in advance of your planned journey."

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Confirmation of application submission will be sent on email with a unique number that is needed for future reference.

PHOTO: In this undated file photo, a tourist visa is stamped on a passport.

Upon receiving ETIAS travel authorization, travelers are to ensure that their name, passport number and other information is correct because any mistake will prevent them from crossing the border.

If an application is refused, the email will include the reasons for the decision along with information about how to appeal.

ETIAS travel authorization is valid for three years, according to the EU, or until the travel document you used in your application expires, whichever comes first.

MORE: European heat wave breaking records with little relief in sight

The ETIAS authorization is linked to a person's travel document -- such as a U.S. passport -- and both documents will be needed to board a flight, bus or ship to enter any of the European countries that require ETIAS.

Similar to international border requirements with a passport, the ETIAS authorization doesn't guarantee automatic right of entry. "Border guards will verify that you meet the entry conditions" and anyone who does not meet the conditions "will be refused entry," according to the EU.

Click here to learn more about the process from the European Union.

An earlier version of this story was originally published on July 21, 2023.

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us passport travel to norway

Traveling To Norway From The US: Norway Travel Restriction

Last Updated : 06 May 2024

Last Updated : 06 May 2024 at

Norway is my number one destination. Everything about the country is magical, including its remarkable fjords, lakes, and obviously the Northern Lights. It's so easy for US citizens to travel to this magical country.

Let's take a look at how US citizens can travel to Norway, starting with:

Do U.S. Citizens Need A Visa To Travel To Norway?

No, U.S. citizens don't need a visa to visit Norway for up to 90 days , (much like the United Kingdom ). This means that you can travel to Norway with just your passport because of the visa exemptions. However, at the end of 2023, U.S citizens who want to travel to Norway must apply for a European Travel Information and Authorization System (ETIAS).

What Is A ETIAS Norway For U.S. Citizens?

Do i need a etias for norway.

Tourists and business travelers from the U.S. will soon need to apply for ETIAS to visit Norway. ETIAS is valid for Norway and the 25 other countries in the Schengen Area. From 2023, American passport holders will be able to get ETIAS for Norway online. The application is quick and straightforward.

With ETIAS, U.S. visitors can stay in Norway or anywhere else in the Schengen Area for 90 days per 180-day period. ETIAS is valid for multiple trips to Norway during its 3-year validity period.

Yes, every U.S. citizen must apply for an ETIAS for Norway from November 2023. If you want to know more about ETIAS and how it works, go to the Atlys webpage , everything you need to know about ETIAS is in that post. Including how to apply.

Do U.S. Green Card Holders Need A Visa To Visit Norway?

If you're from a country with visa-free travel to Norway, you don't need to apply for a Norway Visa, but if you're not from a country that enjoys visa-free travel, you need to apply for a Norway Visa.

What Are The Schengen Visa Requirements For US Greencard Holders And Permanent Residents?

To apply for a Schengen visa in the US, you need to submit the following travel documents:

Visa application form – completely fulfilled with the required information. You can get the application form online or at a U.S. Embassy.

A valid passport or Travel document with two blank pages.

US residence permit. Original of valid US alien registration card (residence permit aka. Green Card).

Photo – taken within the last three months.

A cover letter. You explain the reasons you wish to enter the Schengen Zone, the countries you are planning to visit, the amount of time you wish to spend in each, and other details about your trip.

Round-trip Flight Itinerary.

Proof of accommodation in Europe (hotel booking).

A document that proves you have enough money to financially support yourself during your stay in Europe.

Europe Travel Health Insurance.

What Are The Required Documents For Norway For US Citizens?

The required documents for traveling to Norway are very straightforward. All you need to enter Norway as a U.S. citizen is your US passport , valid for the length of your stay. I also recommend having your return flight ticket, proof of accommodation, and proof that you have sufficient funds to cover your stay in Norway (bank statements). Although it's not always necessary, rather be safe than sorry.

I'll also share which documents you'll need for an ETIAS for Norway when the time comes. You'll need a valid passport (valid for the length of your stay) and a valid ETIAS waiver for Norway .

What Are The Covid-19 Entry Requirements For Norway?

The pandemic is an ever-changing thing. Unfortunately, we don't have any control over it. That's why I'm going to update you on the covid-19 entry requirements for Norway as it is today.

As of February 2022, the Norwegian Government lifted all the travel restrictions upon entering Norway. This includes regulations like:

Wearing a face mask (includes public transportation and airports).

Social distancing.

The duty to go into isolation when you're sick.

Only adults with symptoms need to test.

Provide a negative Covid-19 test before arrival. However, some covid-19 rules for Svalbard are still active.

Travelers should be careful when traveling to Svalbard unvaccinated. Remember that the restrictions can change at any given moment, keep up to date on the Covid-19 regulations for Norway

Advice For The Population

At the beginning of the pandemic, we heard about everything we needed to do to protect ourselves from coronavirus. Although covid restrictions are eased, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) still recommends the following:

Practice good hand and cough hygiene.

Follow the COVID-19 vaccination program.

Get tested if you develop symptoms. Children are exempt from this. It is no longer necessary to get tested if you don't have symptoms, even if you're in close contact with a person with COVID-19.

Stay home if you develop new respiratory symptoms and feel sick. You should stay home until you feel well and until you're fever-free for 24 hours. Mild residual symptoms like a runny nose, hoarseness, or some coughing are acceptable

If you receive a positive COVID-19 test (rapid or PCR test), stay home for 4 days from the onset of symptoms or from the date of your positive test if you have no symptoms. Children are exempt from testing but are recommended to stay home if they are sick. They can return to kindergarten or school once fever-free for 24 hours.

Please contact your doctor if you are concerned about your health or your child.

If you're not vaccinated , they recommend that you avoid large groups or get vaccinated to receive a vaccination certificate to stay safe and healthy.

What Are The Covid-19 Entry Requirements For The United States?

Although Norway has no covid-19 entry requirements or entry restrictions, when you travel back to the United States, you need to show and do a few things before you can enter. Before boarding a flight to the United States, you must show a negative COVID-19 test result (not proof of vaccination) taken no more than 1 day before travel. There is also an option for people who have documented recovery from COVID-19 in the past 90 days.

Children under 2 years old do not need to test.

All air passengers (international travelers) to the United States must also provide contact information to airlines before boarding flights to the United States. This strengthens the travel process to rapidly identify and contact people in the U.S. exposed to an infectious disease, such as COVID-19. In addition, access to travelers’ contact information will allow U.S. federal, state, and local health departments and agencies to share appropriate health and public health information necessary to help keep the public safe.

What Covid-19 Restrictions Should I Follow After I Arrive In The US?

After you arrive in the US, there's a possibility that you were exposed to Covid-19. You might feel well and show no symptoms, but you can still infect other people.

Therefore, you need to do the following:

If you're not up to date with your Covid-19 vaccinations, stay home and self-isolate for 5 days.

All travelers, regardless of your vaccination status: Get tested for covid-19, self-monitor and test if you develop symptoms.

Remember that the covid-19 restrictions change, so keep up to date with the covid-19 restrictions for the United States .

I really recommend you visit this great country. My time in Norway is truly some of the greatest memories I have, and now you can go and make some memories of your own! So grab your passport (because that's all it takes) and experience the fresh air of the mountains, the great arctic villages of Norway or visit Bergen which always has some kind of event.

Frequently Asked Questions

Depending on your purpose and length of visit in Europe – some specifications further clarify which Norwegian Embassy or Consulate in the US you should apply to.

If visiting one Schengen country: You must apply at the Norwegian Embassy or Consulate representing the particular country of your destination.

If visiting more than one Schengen country: You must apply at the Embassy or Consulate representing the country of your leading destination (the country of longest stay).

If visiting more than one Schengen country with equal stay duration: You must apply at the Embassy or Consulate representing the Schengen country you will enter first.

If you intend to stay in the Schengen Area for over 90 days, you must apply for a long-stay visa, not a Schengen visa.

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ETIAS for Norway

Travel to norway from the u.s. with etias.

U.S. citizens can travel to Norway without a visa for up to 90 days. Americans can visit the northern European nation visa-free for tourism, business, and transit.

However, U.S. passport holders will soon need to register with the European Travel Information and Authorization System. ETIAS is expected to be a Schengen Area entry requirement from 2025 .

This page explains the ETIAS requirements for Americans traveling to Norway and how to apply online.

ETIAS Norway for U.S. Citizens

Tourists and business travelers from the U.S. will soon need to apply for ETIAS to visit Norway . ETIAS is valid for Norway and the other countries in the Schengen Area.

From 2025, American passport holders will be able to get ETIAS for Norway online. The application is quick and simple.

With ETIAS, U.S. visitors can stay in Norway, or anywhere else in the Schengen Area, for up to 90 days per 180-day period . ETIAS is valid for multiple trips to Norway during its 3-year validity period.


ETIAS requirements for U.S. citizens to visit Norway

American citizens need a valid US. passport to apply for ETIAS. Applicants need to provide the passport number, issue date, and expiry date.

Other ETIAS requirements for Norway include an email address and debit or credit card to pay the visa waiver fees.

Travelers from the U.S. must meet the ETIAS eligibility criteria. They need to be visiting Norway for:

  • Maximum of 90 days per 180-day period
  • Tourism, business of transit purposes

There are also some basic ETIAS health and security requirements . Americans who are not eligible to travel to Norway with ETIAS need to obtain a visa.

Documents required to travel Norway

Norway is a member of the Schengen Agreement.

To travel to Norway U.S. citizens with ETIAS are required to hold :

  • A passport valid for the length of their stay
  • Or an equivalent recognized travel document
  • A valid ETIAS visa waiver for Norway

U.S. citizens staying in Norway for more than 90 days :

  • ETIAS authorization for Americans is only valid for short-term stays of up to 3 months. Those intending to remain in Norway longer than 90 days must obtain the appropriate visa.

Tourist Travel Information about Norway

Norway (Norge) , which means “path to the North,” is the westernmost, northernmost, and easternmost of the 3 Scandinavian countries.

It borders Finland, Sweden, and the northwestern tip of Russia. Sweden, Denmark, and Norway make up Scandinavia. Norway has about 450,000 lakes and over 20,000 km of coastline and is best known for its fjords along its west coast.

Sognefjorden is the largest fjord in Norway and the third-largest in the world. It stretches 127 miles (205 km) inland from the ocean. The Jostedalsbreen is the largest glacier in mainland Europe , it covers an area of 487 km² and is 80 km long.

Holmenkollen Ski Festival is the world’s oldest, established in 1872. It is one of Norway’s most visited tourist sites , attracting nearly 1 million people each year.

About Norway

Capital : Oslo

Language : Norwegian, Sami

Area : 385.178 km²

Population : 5.267.146

Timezone : UTC/GTM 1

Currency : Norwegian Krone (NOK)

Electric sockets : 230 V AC, 50Hz. Type F also known as Schuko. This socket also works with plug C (standard European plug) and plug E

U.S. Embassy in Oslo, Norway

Address : Morgedalsvegen 36 0378 Oslo, Norway

Interesting facts and tourist info about Norway

  • Norway is one of the best countries in the world to see the Northern Lights The sun doesn’t set in northern Norway in the summer, travelers can experience ‘the midnight sun’
  • Norway is not a member of the EU and therefore has its own currency, the Norweigan Krone
  • It is one of the safest countries to visit with very low crime rates in Oslo and other cities
  • Most Norwegians speak English, often to a high level

Medical Information for U.S. citizens

Recommended vaccines :

  • Routine Vaccines
  • Hepatitis A
  • Hepatitis B

Emergencies :

  • 112 is the pan-European emergency number and is always free to call.
  • 112 – Emergency and police
  • 113 – Ambulance and medical assistance
  • 110 – Fire Department and accidents
  • 116 117 – Accidents and emergencies

us passport travel to norway

Introducing Norway

  • About Norway
  • Images of Norway
  • History, language & culture
  • Weather & geography
  • Doing business & staying in touch

Plan your trip

  • Travel to Norway
  • Where to stay

While you’re there

  • Things to see & do
  • Shopping & nightlife
  • Food & drink
  • Getting around

Before you go

  • Passport & visa
  • Public Holidays
  • Money & duty free

Book your flights

  • Bergen Airport
  • Oslo Airport
  • Stavanger Airport

Ski Resorts

Cruise locations.

  • Honningsvag
  • Spitsbergen

Norway Visa and Passport Requirements

Norway is not a member of the European Union (EU), but it is a member of the Schengen Agreement and part of the Nordic Passport Union. This means it allows free movements of EU nationals for up to 90 days, but it welcomes free movements of Nordic nationals without restrictions.

EU nationals : When travelling from one border-free Schengen country to another by car, you are not required to show a passport or national ID card. However, transport providers like airlines, train operators and ferry companies will require you to show your passport or ID card to prove your identity.

Nordic nationals : No restrictions, although travel providers will still require you to produce a valid identification.

Non-EU nationals : You must have a valid passport issued within the past ten years and with at least six months left is required, along with a return ticket and sufficient funds for the length of stay.

Beware that EU members such as Cyprus and Ireland are not part of the Schengen area, so a passport or ID card is required if travelling to/from these countries.

EU nationals : You don't need a visa for Norway if the stay is less than 90 day. Those who plan to stay longer will need a residence permit.   Non-EU nationals : Nationals mentioned in the chart above (Americans, Australians, British and Canadians) can travel to Norway, and any other Schengen countries, without a visa for up to 90 days in any 180-day period. This applies if you travel as a tourist, to visit family or friends, to attend business meetings, cultural or sports events. For other purposes, you need to check with the embassy, high commission or consulate of Norway in your home country on what type of visa and/or work permit you may need.   The complete list of countries and territories whose nationals can visit Norway and any other Schengen countries for up to 90 days in a 180-day period are as follows: Albania, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Australia, Bahamas, Barbados, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominica, El Salvador, Georgia, Grenada, Guatemala, Honduras, Hong Kong*, Israel, Japan, Kiribati, Liechtenstein, Macao*, Malaysia, Marshal Islands, Mauritius, Mexico, Micronesia, Moldova, Montenegro, New Zealand, Nicaragua, North Macedonia, Palau, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Samoa, Serbia*, Seychelles, Singapore, Solomon Islands, South Korea, Switzerland, Taiwan*,Timor-Leste, Tonga, Trinidad and Tobago, Tuvalu, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United States of America, Uruguay, Vanuatu* and Venezuela.   * Hong Kong and Macao: holders of SAR passports do not need a visa. * Taiwan: holders of passports issued by Taiwan which include an identity card number do not need a visa. * Serbia: holders of biometric passports do not need a visa, excluding holders of passports issued by the Serbian Coordination Directorate. * Vanuatu: holders of passports issued on or after 25 May 2015 do not need a visa. • Nationals from micro-states within an EU country (Andorra, Monaco, San Marino and Vatican City) also do not need a visa.  

For more information about Schengen visas, follow the link to the article A guide to Schengen visas .

ETIAS travel authorisation : Starting in mid 2025, all visitors who currently do not need a visa to visit 30 European countries will need to apply for an ETIAS travel authorisation .

Types and Cost

Schengen visa €80 for those who are above 12 years old, €40 for children aged six to 12, and free for children below six.

Nationals from Armenia, Azerbaijan and Kosovo pay €35.

In addition, the visa fee is waived for the following applicants: • School pupils, students, postgraduate students and accompanying teachers who undertake stays for the purpose of study or educational training. • Researchers from third countries travelling for the purpose of carrying out scientific research. • Representatives of non-profit organisations aged 25 years or less participating in seminars, conferences, sports, cultural or educational events organised by non-profit organisations. • Family members of EU/EEA (European Economic Area) citizens, falling under Directive 2004/38.

Up to 90 days in any 180-day period.

Citizens of some countries need an airport transit visa when transiting through international parts of any airports within the Schengen countries, whereas citizens of certain countries are only required a transit visa for some of the Schengen countries. If you are not from a Schengen visa exempt country, please check with a consulate of Norway near you.

Application to

Contact the embassy, high commission or consulate.

Schengen Visas

Norway is a Schengen country, so the Schengen visa scheme applies.

Temporary residence

EU nationals: Will need to register with the police and obtain a residence permit (issued by Directorate of Immigration) if the stay is more than 90 days.

Non-EU nationals: Will need a residence permit if the stay is more than 90 days.

Working days

Schengen visa applications usually take 15 to 21 calendar days, but sometimes up to 45 days. Be mindful of the national holidays in Norway as they may affect the processing time. It is recommended to submit applications at least four weeks prior to departure.

Sufficient Funds

Schengen visa applicants must be able to provide proof of funds to cover their stay.

Extension of stay

Schengen visa holders with a visa valid for less than 90 days can only extend their visas in exceptional circumstances, such as force majeure or for humanitarian reasons.

Entry with pets

When bringing a pet from another EU country, the animal must have a microchip or tattoo, an EU pet passport and a valid rabies vaccination certificate (the vaccination must have taken place at least 21 days prior to travel). Animals from outside the EU must also have an ISO 11784/11785 compliant 15-digit microchip. Depending on whether your pet is from a high-rabies country or a rabies-controlled country, your pet either has to be vaccinated first or microchipped first. For pets from high-rabies countries, a rabies titer test also has to be administered 30 days after the vaccination. A veterinary certificate issued by an authorised veterinarian is also required when entering Norway with a pet from outside of the EU.

Please check with the consulate directly for the appropriate procedures.

Embassies and tourist offices

British embassy in norway.

Mon, Tue, Thur and Fri 0900-1500.

Royal Norwegian Embassy in the UK

Mon-Fri 1000-1500 (general enquiries). Mon, Tue and Fri 1000-1230. Thurs 1220-1500 (enquiries to consular section).

Royal Norwegian Embassy in the USA

 Mon-Fri 0900-1600 (Passports applications Mon-Fri 0900-1100. Appointment needed).

A digital image at

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Planet Norway

Find out if you need a Visa to visit Norway: A Quick Guide

Planning a trip to Norway? In that case, you might wonder whether or not you need a visa to enter Norway.

A regular visitor’s/tourist visa to Norway grants you entry for up to 90 days. If you are a citizen of a Schengen area country, you don’t need to apply for a visa. The same applies to over 50 countries Norway has visa-free travel agreements with, including the UK, USA, and Canada. If you live in countries without an agreement, you need to apply for a visa.

In this article, we will take a look at the visa requirements for visiting Norway and who needs/doesn’t need to apply for a visa.

Visa Requirements in Norway

Eu/eea citizens (schengen area), countries that have agreements with norway, individuals with a residency permit in an eu/eea country or county with a visa agreement, countries from which a visa is required, visit family member, partner or friend, business or event, norwegian visa application (and how mich it costs), is it hard to det a norwegian travel visa, can you work in norway with a tourist visa.

us passport travel to norway

Whether or not you need a visa to visit Norway depends On the purpose of your trip as well as your citizenship. 

If You travel for business or Leisure with an intended stay of fewer than 90 days, chances are you won’t be needing a visa to come to Norway.

The reason is that Norway, as an EEA member is a part of the Schengen area. a European zone consisting of 26 countries where internal borders have been abolished, allowing the area to function as a single jurisdiction for international travel purposes.

This means that is no citizen of a Schengen area country you can travel visa-free to Norway.

In addition, no way to have agreements for visa-free travel with many countries, including the United States, Canada, the UK, and many more.

If you happen to be a citizen of a country Without an agreement for visa-free travel to Norway will have to apply for a Schengen travel visa.

If you are traveling here as part of a work or study program with a duration of more than 90 days, you have to get a residency permit.   

Norwegian Visitors Visa

As mentioned, citizens of Schengen area countries and countries Norway has agreements with can travel visa-free to Norway for up to 90 days.

If not, you will have to apply for a visitors/tourist visa (Schengen visa). This Visa will allow you to travel not only to Norway but all of the countries within the Schengen area for up to 90 days.

There is one exemption. If you are a citizen of a country that requires you to have a visitors visa, however, you have permanent residency or a residency permit in a Schengen country or a country with which Norway has a visa agreement, you can still travel without applying for a Visa.  

All citizens of Schengen area countries can travel Visa-free to Norway for up to 90 days.

 If you wish to stay longer, you have to provide a valid reason for your stay and register with the police. alternatively, you can leave Norway then re-enter for another stay of 90 days.  

There aren’t any restrictions on how long you must stay outside of Norway before re-entry, but you must be able to document that you left the country.  

These rules apply for all Schengen area countries, which include:

Even though you may not be required to have a visa to enter Norway, there are a few requirements. 

If asked, you should be able to provide documentation that shows your reason for entry, such as an invitation, and documentation that shows where you will be staying while you are in Norway.  

Additionally, you may not become an unreasonable burden for the public welfare systems, meaning that you must provide proof of income or the financial means to fund your stay.  

Norway has agreements with many countries for visa-free travel for up to 90 days. These include.

If you are a citizen of Albania, Herzegovina, Moldova, Montenegro, North Macedonia, or Serbia, you must hold a biometric passport then in order to gain entry into Norway through the agreement. 

If you have a residency permit in a Schengen country or any other country that Norway has a visa agreement with, you may travel to Norway for up to 90 days without applying for a Visa.  

In order to do so, make sure to bring your residency permit from the country that has a travel agreement with Norway, as well as your passport from your native country. 

In addition, you should have the appropriate documentation required that shows your reasons for travel and intended place of stay.  

If you reside in a country that is outside the Schengen area and does not have a visa agreement with Norway, you have to apply for a visitor/tourist visa. 

Because Norway is a Schengen area country you have to apply for a Schengen visa. This is because once you are granted entry to Norway, your visa is valid for all Schengen countries.

Countries that require a visa to travel to Norway include:

How to apply for a Norwergian visitor/tourist visa

If you have to apply for a visa before traveling to Norway, make sure you have enough time in order to get approved before you are scheduled to travel.

Start by gathering all the necessary documentation for your application. This includes:

  • Must be valid for 3 months after the intended stay and contain atelast 2 blank pages
  • A copy of your passport (biopage and used pages)
  • Should not be older than 6 months and are not to be edited
  • Signed cover letter from the online application
  • Has to be valid for the entire trip and have a coverage of atleast 30 000 EUR
  • Copy of your flight reservation
  • Can be bank statement, salary or pension slips from the last 3 months.
  • Copy of your latest tax returns.
  • Hotel reservation, rental home, proof of accommodation by host/reference person)
  • Close family relations such as marriage and children.
  • Occupation/studies, incvluding employment contract, proof of enrollment in school. If self employed a copy of your business registration or latest tax return or financial statements.
  • Financial commitments such as ownership of property and savings.

Depending on the intent for your visit, you should also provide some additional documents.

If you are visiting a friend, relative, or partner, you should have an invitation letter signed by your host. If visiting a partner you should also be able to provide some proof of your relationship.

This can include marriage certificates, proof of cohabitation, etc, or other proof of your relationship documenting time spent together. 

Finally, you might also be required to provide a copy of the passport of your host/partner/reference person. This includes the bio page and used pages.

If you travel for business or a sports/cultural event, you should include a certificate from your company/organization verifying the purpose of the trip.

You should also have an invitation from your host in Norway. The documentation should detail the role and length of service, the place, and duration of the trip, as well as a short company profile with contact details.

There should also be some documentation on who will guarantee the travel expenses and bear the living expenses.

If you are applying for a tourist visa, you should provide an itinerary of dates and places you intend to visit during your stay in Norway. 

This should be as detailed as possible and include means of transport, attractions you intend to visit, and if you are attending any events.

If you are traveling as a part of a tourist group, you should attach a copy confirming your participation in the tour package, as well as contact information to the travel agent/agency.

Once you have all the documentation gathered, you can continue by filling out an online application and paying the application fee.

The visa fee is EUR 80. Children under six years do not pay a fee. Children from the age of six years and below the age of 12 years shall pay a visa fee of EUR 40.

After filling out the form and paying the fee, you can schedule an appointment for handing in your application and all the necessary documentation at the Norwegian embassy in your country, or at a Norwegian Visa application center.

If your application has all the necessary documentation, the processing time is usually up to 15 days. However, it might take up to 45 days.

In general, it is recommended to hand in your application at least 4 weeks before your trip. You can apply up to 6 months before your intended arrival.

Once the application is processed, you will receive an email and SMS with the result of your application. If granted, you can pick up the passport with your visa at the embassy/application center, or have it delivered by a courier service.

When processing your application, one of the most important factors determining if you will be granted a visa is the likelihood that you will return to your home country once your visa expires.

Each application is considered individually, however, the general situation in your country is also considered.

In general, it is harder to be granted a visitor’s visa if you are from a country known for having a higher number of migrants and work migrants.

Such countries include India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and the Philippines. However, your chances of being granted a visa are higher if you can document strong ties to your home country.

In addition, you have a better chance of being granted a visa if you take a trip organized by a tour operator.

If you want to start the process of applying for a visitors visa to Norway you can start by visiting the website of The Norwegian Directorate of Immigration (UDI).

If your application is rejected, you have the possibility to appeal the decision by submitting an appeal to the Embassy or Visa application center.

If you want to appeal a rejected application you can read more on UDI’s website here.

No, you cannot work in Norway if you visit on a tourist visa. In order to be able to work in Norway, you will need to apply for a residence permit.

In addition, you cannot come to Norway on a visitors visa to apply for work a residency permit. However, if you are currently residing in Norway on a student permit, you can apply in Norway.

To apply, head over to the portal on the website of The Norwegian Directorate of Immigration (UDI). Here you can also find the rules and regulations that apply to you.

Visitors visa to Norway – The Norwegian Directorate of Immigration (UDI)

Schengen area – Schengen visa info

Persons who do not need a visa to visit Norway – The Norwegian Directorate of Immigration (UDI)

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Find Answers to Immigration Questions

Visa Requirements to Visit Norway as a U.S. Citizen

Do i need a visa to visit norway as a u.s. citizen, what types of visas can i get for norway as a u.s. citizen, do i need an visa interview to visit norway as a u.s. citizen, what are the required documents to visit norway as a u.s. citizen, what are the steps to apply for a visa to visit norway as a u.s. citizen, are there special instructions to visit norway as a u.s. citizen, what is the visa fee to visit norway as a u.s. citizen, what is the processing time to get a visa to visit norway as a u.s. citizen, what to do in case of a visa denial to visit norway as a u.s. citizen, what are the frequently asked visa questions and answers to visit norway as a u.s. citizen.


us passport travel to norway

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us passport travel to norway

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Entry requirements

This advice reflects the UK government’s understanding of current rules for people travelling on a full ‘British citizen’ passport from the UK, for the most common types of travel.

The authorities in Norway set and enforce entry rules. If you’re not sure how Norway’s entry requirements apply to you, contact the Norwegian Embassy in London .

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Countries may restrict travel or bring in rules at short notice. Check with your travel provider for changes.

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Entry to Norway

There are no COVID-19 testing or vaccination requirements for travellers entering Norway.

Passport validity requirements

Your passport must:

  • have a ‘date of issue’ less than 10 years before the date you arrive. Passports issued after 1 October 2018 are now valid for only 10 years, but for passports issued before 1 October 2018, extra months may have been added if you renewed a passport early
  • have an ‘expiry date’ at least 3 months after the day you plan to leave

Contact the Norwegian Embassy in London if your passport does not meet both these requirements.

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Checks at border control

Make sure you get your passport stamped.

If you’re a visitor, your passport must be stamped when you enter or leave the Schengen area (which includes Norway). Border guards will use passport stamps to check you have not overstayed the 90-day visa-free limit for stays in the Schengen area. If your passport was not stamped, border guards will presume you have overstayed the visa-free limit.

If your passport was not stamped, show evidence of when and where you entered or left the Schengen area (for example, boarding passes or tickets) and ask the border guards to add the date and location in your passport.

Read about passport stamping if you live in Norway .

At Norwegian border control, you may also need to:

  • show proof of your accommodation, for example, a hotel booking confirmation or proof of address for a second home
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  • show a return or onward ticket
  • prove that you have enough money for your stay – the amount varies depending on your accommodation

You’ll need your passport to travel to and enter the Svalbard archipelago.

Customs rules

There are strict rules about goods that can be brought into and taken out of Norway . You must declare anything that may be prohibited or subject to tax or duty.

It is illegal to import whale meat from Norway into the UK or EU. You could get a fine of up to £5,000 or be imprisoned.

Restrictions on Russian vehicles 

There are restrictions on vehicles with Russian licence plates in Norway. See Norway’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs for more information .

Taking money into Norway

You can take up to 25,000 Norwegian krone into Norway without declaring it. If you bring in any more than this, you must declare it to customs on arrival. If you do not declare it, you could get a substantial fine and temporary confiscation of the excess currency, which may then be released only through a bank.

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us passport travel to norway

Where Can U.S. Citizens Travel Without a Passport?

  • Sheldon Soper

us passport travel to norway

Travel enthusiasts often praise the value of a U.S. passport. After all, United States citizens have some of the greatest travel freedom in the world, being able to travel to 173 countries visa-free with only a U.S. passport in hand. That’s a world of possibilities! 

But here’s the secret: You don’t always need a passport to embark on exciting adventures. Yes, you read that correctly! There are plenty of places where U.S. citizens can travel passport-free.

Whether you are looking for pristine sandy white beaches and a tropical island feel, historical locales steeped in culture and tradition to explore, world-renowned authentic local cuisine to indulge in, or majestic mountainous landscapes to traverse, American travelers have plenty of places to travel to without needing a U.S. passport.

Table of Contents

U.s. destinations: explore your own backyard.

Lake in Alaska showing perfect reflection of sky, mountains, and trees

American citizens have the privilege of traveling to any of the 50 states without the need for a passport. A simple state-issued ID, such as a driver’s license, can unlock a host of popular destinations.

Travelers often underestimate the vastness and diversity of the United States. Compared to other nations, America boasts a wide variety of climates, landscapes, and attractions.

The United States is home to pristine beaches, towering mountain ranges, stark deserts, and lush forests. Alongside these natural wonders, there are cities and towns rich in culture and history, each offering unique experiences within the U.S. borders.

In contrast, while continents like Europe, Africa, and South America also offer diverse and enticing locales to visit, they are continents divided into separate countries, each requiring passports for border crossings.

This is not the case within the United States. You can traverse all 48 contiguous states (and the District of Columbia) without a passport. Often, a large welcome sign by the roadside is the only indication that you’ve crossed from one state to another.

Whether you’re seeking adventure, nature, stunning beaches, breathtaking glaciers, mountainous landscapes, or historical landmarks, you can find all these experiences within the U.S. borders—no passport required!

scenic drive on cliff-side dirt road along Hawaii coast

A common question we get is: Do I need a passport to visit Hawaii?

The answer: No!

Hawaii, America’s 50th state, is an archipelago of 137 islands located over 2,000 miles from the U.S. west coast. Despite its distance, Hawaii is an ideal tropical getaway for American citizens who wish to travel without a passport.

Most travelers will arrive on the largest island, Hawai’i, also known as “The Big Island.” This island is the heart of the state, housing the capital, Honolulu.

In addition to “The Big Island”, there are seven other major islands, each boasting stunning beaches and a unique tropical island feel. According to travel experts, the top five islands for visitors are Hawai’i, Maui, O’ahu, Kaua’i, and Lana’i.

For those seeking relaxation, Lana’i and Maui are excellent choices. These islands offer beautiful beaches, lush hiking trails, towering volcanoes, and a slower pace perfect for unwinding.

Conversely, Oahu and “The Big Island” provide more diverse experiences. While they still offer amazing beaches and scenic hikes, these islands also boast a variety of world-class resorts, delectable dining options, energetic nightlife, and popular shopping venues.

Destination Deep Dive: 

  • Spotlight Feature: Just imagine standing on the edge of a volcanic crater, the warm Pacific breeze in your hair, the scent of tropical flowers in the air, and an unforgettable view of the sun setting over the ocean.  This is the essence of Hawaii, a place where nature’s beauty is magnified and every moment feels like a scene from a postcard. Imagine the pictures and memories you’ll create in such a stunning place!
  • Cultural Gems: Hawaii’s culture uniquely blends native traditions and influences from Asia and the West.  The spirit of ‘Aloha’ permeates every aspect of life here, from the hula and lei-making to the ukulele music and the ‘ohana (family) values.  The islands’ history is rich, from the ancient Polynesian voyagers who first settled here, to the plantation era, and the path to statehood.

Must-Experience Activities: 

  • Attend a traditional luau to experience Hawaiian music, dance, and food.
  • Hike the trails of Volcanoes National Park on the Big Island.
  • Visit Diamond Head Volcano and Halona Blowhole on Oahu’s eastern coastline.
  • Surf the legendary waves of Oahu’s North Shore.
  • Explore the historic sites on a guided tour of Pearl Harbor .
  • Snorkel the clear waters of Maui’s Molokini Crater.

Practical Tips for Travelers:

  • While no passport is needed for U.S. citizens, a valid ID is required for air travel. 
  • English and Hawaiian are the official languages, but English is widely spoken. 
  • A few Hawaiian words to know: ‘Aloha’ (hello/goodbye/love), ‘Mahalo’ (thank you), and ‘Ono’ (delicious).
  • While someone might reside in Hawaiʻi, the term “Hawaiian” is reserved for those with Native Hawaiian ancestry. For individuals living in Hawaiʻi without Hawaiian lineage, terms like “local,” “locals,” or “kamaʻāina” (meaning long-time resident) are more appropriate.

Local Voices:

“Hawaii is the most beautiful place in the world. I’ve been to a lot of places, and Hawaii is just… paradise.” –Kelly Slater, professional surfer and Hawaii resident.

Overall, the Hawaiian islands are among the best places for U.S. citizens to travel without a passport. 

Please Note: Although Hawaii is a state, not all of the Hawaiian islands are open to tourists. For instance, the small island of Niihau is privately owned and not accessible to visitors, regardless of nationality or passport status.

view of Northern Lights over Alaska glaciers and water

As the largest state in the U.S., Alaska is a sanctuary of pristine, undisturbed, natural wonders. There are few places in the world where one can immerse themselves in the awe-inspiring, subarctic wilderness like you can in Alaska. 

A wide variety of outdoor activities such as hiking, river rafting, mountain climbing, observing the Northern Lights, whale watching, and more await nature lovers and adventure seekers.

Do You Need a Passport to Travel to Alaska? In some cases, yes.

While a passport isn’t necessarily required to travel to Alaska, there are situations where you might need one.

Geographically, Alaska is separated from the contiguous 48 states by Canada. Therefore, if you’re embarking on an overland journey, you may need to present a U.S. passport at the Canadian border unless you have a Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI)-compliant document for entry into Canada. However, if you’re flying directly from within the United States to Alaska and returning the same way, a passport is not required.

Destination Deep Dive:

  • Spotlight Feature: Experience what it’s like to stand at the edge of Denali, the highest peak in North America, as the breathtaking Northern Lights dance across the sky.  Alaska offers many memorable experiences just like this. Alaska is a truly remarkable destination, a place where the wilderness is still wild, and natural wonders surround you.
  • Cultural Gems: Alaska’s culture is a blend of Native Alaskan traditions and influences from the Russian and American frontiers. From the totem poles of the Tlingit people to the Iditarod sled dog race, Alaska’s cultural heritage is as vast as the state itself.

Must-Experience Activities:

  • Witness the majesty of the Northern Lights.
  • Explore the Byron Glacier Trail, Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center, Beluga Point, and Flattop Mountain on a Glacier View & Wildlife Anchorage Adventure Tour .
  • Fish for salmon in the world-renowned rivers.
  • Take a guided tour of the Alaska Botanical Garden .
  • Encounter wildlife on a Denali National Park tour .
  • Experience native culture at an Alaskan Native Heritage Center.
  • While no passport is needed for U.S. citizens traveling directly from other states, one might be required if transiting through Canada. 
  • English is the primary language, but you might hear some Alaska Native languages too!

“ Alaska is the only place in the world where you can see grizzly bears, bald eagles, and beluga whales all in one day!” –John Muir, American Naturalist and Author.

In essence, Alaska stands as one of the premier destinations for U.S. citizens to explore without needing a passport.

Key West, Florida

Key West dock-side dining experience

Ask anyone who has visited, and they’ll confirm: Key West, Florida, is a destination like no other.

Nestled at the southwest tip of the Florida Keys, Key West boasts some of the most stunning beaches in the continental U.S. The crystal-clear waters and soft, warm sands provide an idyllic setting for swimming, sunbathing, and a host of water sports.

Speaking of sports, the Keys offer a plethora of options, including snorkeling, diving, kayaking, and fishing.

If sports don’t appeal to you, consider embarking on a sunset cruise, joining a ghost tour, or enjoying a street performance at Mallory Square.

Key West is also steeped in history. The town is dotted with numerous historical landmarks that date back to the early 1800s. Among the most popular are:

  • The Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum
  • The Key West Lighthouse
  • The Truman Little White House

No visit to Key West would be complete without indulging in the local cuisine. Seafood reigns supreme here, and there’s no shortage of waterfront restaurants serving up the day’s fresh catch. Don’t miss the chance to sample local Cuban cuisine or a slice of the famous Key lime pie.

Perhaps the most endearing aspect of Key West is its relaxed and laid-back atmosphere. The island, with its charming architecture, pristine beaches, and lush tropical foliage, is the perfect destination for those seeking to unwind and recharge—all without needing a passport.

  • Spotlight Feature: Enjoy strolling down Duval Street as the sun sets, the air filled with the sound of live music and the scent of the sea. Watch Key West transition from a relaxing day to an energetic night. That’s the essence of Key West, a place where every day feels like a tropical island escape and a party just waiting for you.
  • Cultural Gems: Key West’s culture is an eclectic mix of Cuban influences, maritime history, and a laid-back island lifestyle. From the iconic Conch houses to the legendary sunset celebrations, Key West’s cultural charm is as captivating as its natural beauty.
  • Visit the Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum.
  • Enjoy a sunset sail around the island .
  • Explore the underwater world with a snorkeling or diving excursion .
  • Take a stroll down Duval Street and experience the local nightlife.
  • Try the Key West Food Tour and taste the local cuisine, especially the seafood and Key lime pie.
  • While no passport is needed for U.S. citizens, a valid ID is required for air travel.
  • English is the primary language, but you might hear some Spanish due to the Cuban influence!

“It’s the best place I’ve ever been anytime, anywhere, flowers, tamarind trees, guava trees, coconut palms…” –Ernest Hemingway, American Author and Resident of Key West, Florida

All in all, Key West, Florida emerges as a must-see destination for U.S. citizens to visit without the requirement of a passport.

Jackson Hole, Wyoming

scenic cabin in front of the Teton Mountains in Jackson Hole, Wyoming

If you’re seeking to travel without a passport and prefer mountains over beaches, consider Jackson Hole, Wyoming.

First and foremost, the landscape is simply breathtaking. Jackson Hole is home to some of the country’s most spectacular natural vistas. The towering Teton Mountains and the winding Snake River dominate the valley town’s scenery, creating picturesque views that resemble a masterful painting.

For outdoor enthusiasts, Jackson Hole is a haven. During winter, the area transforms into a skier’s paradise, boasting world-class Rocky Mountain ski resorts.

The excitement continues into the summer. Visitors can indulge in a myriad of outdoor activities such as hiking, mountain biking, fishing, and whitewater rafting. Wildlife spotting is also a popular pastime. As you traverse the numerous trails, keep a lookout for moose, elk, bison, or even a grizzly bear!

The town of Jackson Hole exudes a charming Western ambiance, complete with a variety of shops and restaurants. It also boasts an interesting arts and culture scene, featuring numerous galleries, museums, and theaters. History enthusiasts should not miss the reenactment of the historic Jackson Hole Shootout.

Lastly, one of the most endearing aspects of Jackson Hole is its strong sense of community. The locals are warm and welcoming, and there’s a palpable pride in the town’s heritage and natural beauty. 

  • Spotlight Feature: Imagine standing atop a snow-capped peak in the Teton Mountains, the crisp winter air filling your lungs, the vast Wyoming landscape stretching out before you. You feel like the only human on earth, surrounded by pure natural beauty. That is just one of the many experiences of visiting Jackson Hole, a place where nature’s grandeur is always within reach.
  • Cultural Gems: Jackson Hole’s culture is a unique blend of Old West charm and outdoor adventure. From the wooden boardwalks and antler arches of Town Square to the annual Elk Fest and Fall Arts Festival, Jackson Hole’s cultural heritage is as rich as its natural beauty.
  • Ski or snowboard at the world-class Jackson Hole Mountain Resort.
  • Take a wildlife safari in the National Elk Refuge .
  • Hike the trails of Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Park .
  • Enjoy a scenic rafting tour down the Snake River .
  • Visit the National Museum of Wildlife Art.
  • English is the primary language, but you might learn some Western slang!

“We love the lifestyle. It reminded me so much of Patagonia, but a way better version. Much more organized, better taken care of. I immediately loved the culture of taking care of nature and protecting it, being respectful, and the kindness in the community.” –Daniela Peterson, Resident and Local Therapist

Whether you’re in search of adventure, culture, or a tranquil getaway without a passport, Jackson Hole is a truly unique destination that is not to be overlooked.

Boston, Massachusetts

USS Constitution docked in Boston Harbor

For travelers seeking a blend of history, culture, and attractions without the need for a passport, Boston, Massachusetts is an exceptional choice.

Boston’s rich history, having played a pivotal role in the American Revolution, is evident in its numerous historical sites and landmarks. These include the Freedom Trail, the USS Constitution Museum, and the Paul Revere House. 

Beyond the city limits, there’s even more to discover, such as Plymouth, the famed landing spot of The Mayflower and the Pilgrims.

Boston’s culinary scene is another highlight, renowned for its seafood and chowder. The city boasts a thriving foodie scene with an array of excellent restaurants and must-try dishes like lobster rolls and clam chowder.

The city is also home to world-class museums such as the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. Whether your interest lies in art, science, or history, there’s a wealth of knowledge to be gained.

Boston’s passion for sports is undeniable, with legendary teams like the Red Sox, Celtics, and Bruins calling the city home. Visitors can catch a game at Fenway Park, TD Garden, or Gillette Stadium.

Surrounded by New England’s stunning scenery, Boston offers ample opportunities to connect with nature. The Arnold Arboretum is a city gem, while a short drive south leads to the stunning beaches and picturesque towns of Cape Cod, as well as the quaint island communities of Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket.

  • Spotlight Feature: Walk the historic Freedom Trail, the echoes of the American Revolution resonating around you, the thriving city life of Boston unfolding before your eyes. That is the spirit of Boston, a place where our nation’s history and modern life have naturally emerged for an unforgettable experience.
  • Cultural Gems: Boston’s culture is a fascinating blend of historical significance and cultural diversity. From the old cobblestone streets of Beacon Hill to the bustling Italian neighborhood of the North End, Boston’s cultural heritage is as diverse as it is rich.
  • Walk the Freedom Trail and explore the city’s historical landmarks on a guided tour .
  • Visit the Museum of Fine Arts and the Boston Children’s Museum.
  • Catch a Red Sox game or take a guided Fenway Park Tour .
  • Enjoy a scenic stroll along the Charles River Esplanade.
  • Sample local cuisine on a guided food tour , especially the fresh New England seafood and iconic Boston cream pie.
  • English is the primary language, but you’ll definitely hear that distinctive Boston accent!

“It’s such a great city, visually. You can’t get that kind of look in Canada that you can get in Boston: the old-brick historical buildings, the winding streets, the old but funky neighborhoods like Southie and Somerville. You can’t get that elsewhere. It’s a very unique place in that way.” –Brad Anderson, Film Director

“Honestly, I didn’t understand how special of a place Boston was until I got here. But this is a special place.” –Jayson Tatum, Boston Celtics

In essence, whether your interests lie in history, culture, food, sports, or nature, Boston and its surrounding areas offer a unique experience for everyone, with or without a passport.

Big Sur, California

Big Sur beach with cove and cliffs

The West Coast is replete with remarkable destinations that can be visited without a passport, and Big Sur, California, stands out among them.

Big Sur’s natural splendor is truly extraordinary. The coastline, characterized by its rugged beauty, features towering redwood forests and steep cliffs that descend into the Pacific Ocean. 

The vistas are absolutely breathtaking, with numerous hiking trails and scenic drives allowing visitors to immerse themselves in the incredible landscape fully.

Big Sur is also a haven for a diverse range of wildlife, including sea otters, harbor seals, elephant seals, whales, and dolphins. Bird enthusiasts will be delighted by the many species of seabirds and raptors that inhabit the area.

For the adventurous, Big Sur offers ample opportunities for exploration. Numerous state parks and wilderness areas, such as Andrew Molera State Park, provide settings for hiking, camping, surfing, kayaking, and more.

Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park is renowned for its unique pink sand beach. The sand’s purple hue, particularly striking after rainfall, is derived from the impressive rock formations that line the beach.

However, Big Sur isn’t solely about outdoor pursuits. It also boasts a rich artistic and cultural history. Over the years, it has been home to many famous writers, musicians, and artists. Places like the Henry Miller Memorial Library, which celebrates the life and work of the renowned writer, offer insight into this location’s creative legacy.

Additionally, Big Sur brings relaxation and rejuvenation to a whole new level with numerous luxurious resorts, spas, and retreats that dot the gorgeous landscape, offering breathtaking views and all the amenities needed for a tranquil getaway.

Destination Deep Dive

  • Spotlight Feature: Imagine yourself relaxing as you get a hot stone massage while you look out over the edge of a cliff in Big Sur, over the Pacific Ocean, the scent of redwoods in the air, and the sound of waves crashing below. Big Sur provides a truly beautiful, serene seaside destination, a place where nature’s splendor will relax and rejuvenate you.
  • Cultural Gems: Big Sur’s culture is a captivating mix of natural beauty and artistic inspiration. From the iconic Bixby Bridge to the Henry Miller Memorial Library, Big Sur’s cultural heritage is as engaging as its natural beauty.
  • Hike the trails of Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park.
  • Visit the pink sand beach and witness the purple tint of the sand.
  • Explore marine life by kayaking , surfing, or scuba diving.
  • Watch for whales on a boat cruise in Monterey Bay .
  • Relax and rejuvenate at one of the luxurious spas or retreats.
  • Take a Carmel-by-the-Sea guided walking tour .
  • English is the primary language, but you’ll get a taste of California’s laid-back vibes by hearing local vernacular!

“This is the way life goes in Big Sur. Waiting for the mail, watching the sea-lions in the surf or the freighters on the horizon, sitting in the tubs at Hot Springs, once in a while a bit of drink – and, most of the time, working at whatever it is that you came here to work on, whether it be painting, writing, gardening or the simple art of living your own life.” – Hunter S. Thompson, American Journalist and Author, Resident of Big Sur

“The redwoods, once seen, leave a mark or create a vision that stays with you always.” – John Steinbeck, American Author and Resident of Big Sur

For those seeking a place to relax and rejuvenate without a passport, Big Sur is an ideal destination. 

Every region and state within the United States boasts a unique story; the history and culture present a diverse array of must-see attractions for visitors to experience. From the bustling, world-renowned cities of New York and Los Angeles to the tropical paradise of Hawaii and Florida, the United States is home to hundreds of destinations that can easily compete with any location worldwide. 

  • 285 U.S. destinations with a population of at least 100,000
  • More than 400 amusement parks
  • 17,500+ museums
  • 398 areas in the National Park system
  • 7911 beaches

U.S. Territories: Do I Need Passports or Not?

San Juan Puerto Rico coastal hotels

While most U.S. citizens are aware of their freedom to travel within the United States, many may not know that numerous enticing destinations outside of the U.S. do not require a passport.

The United States governs 14 territories , five of which are permanently inhabited and can be visited without a passport.

Among these are the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico , both nestled in the Caribbean and favored by U.S. travelers for their tropical allure.

The remaining 3 passport-free U.S. territories—American Samoa, Guam, and the recently included Northern Mariana Islands—are situated in the Pacific Ocean.

These territories serve as excellent alternatives to other popular Caribbean countries that necessitate passports. In essence, if you’re seeking tropical destinations to visit without a passport, these territories are your prime choices.

The U.S. Virgin Islands

The Virgin Islands, a Caribbean archipelago, comprise 9 distinct islands under 3 different political jurisdictions.

1. The U.S. Virgin Islands , some of America’s most popular unincorporated territories, include St. Thomas , St. John , and St. Croix . 

These tropical paradises are easily accessible to Americans without a passport. 

St. John, in particular, is a haven for nature lovers. Two-thirds of the island is designated as the U.S. Virgin Islands National Park, home to historical ruins, world-class snorkeling, exotic wildlife, and some of the finest beaches in the Virgin Islands.

St. Croix and St. Thomas also offer abundant natural beauty, from lush rainforests to sprawling white sand beaches and turquoise waters, perfect for relaxing and scuba diving.

2. The Spanish Virgin Islands , which include Culebra and Vieques (and are technically part of Puerto Rico, another U.S. unincorporated territory) are excellent passport-free destinations for U.S. vacationers. 

Culebra and Vieques islands boast beautiful beaches, colorful coral reefs, and awe-inspiring hiking experiences.

3. The British Virgin Islands , (formally known as simply the Virgin Islands), are a British overseas territory comprising Tortola , Virgin Gorda , Anegada , and Jost Van Dyke . 

Please note: U.S. citizens are required to have a U.S. passport to travel to and from the British Virgin Islands due to their political jurisdiction. 

That said, these islands offer unique opportunities for vacationers to experience some of the world’s best beaches and the thrill of international travel without leaving the Western Hemisphere. The British Virgin Islands represent some of the best reasons to get a passport !

  • Spotlight Feature: Picture this: pristine white sands on a secluded beach in St. John, dazzling turquoise waters of the Caribbean Sea, and the warmth of the sun enveloping you.  The U.S. Virgin Islands offer a truly remarkable island getaway, a place lush with natural beauty, tranquil settings, and a warm, welcoming climate.
  • Cultural Gems: The U.S. Virgin Islands’ culture uniquely blends Caribbean charm and American convenience. From the vibrant carnivals and festivals to the historical ruins and local cuisine, the cultural heritage of the U.S. Virgin Islands is fascinating to experience.
  • Explore the U.S. Virgin Islands National Park and Coral World Ocean Park in St. John.
  • Dive or snorkel in the crystal-clear waters of the Caribbean Sea.
  • Volunteer for the sea turtle monitoring program.
  • Visit the historical ruins scattered across the islands.
  • Relax on the pristine beaches of the Virgin Islands.
  • While no passport is needed for U.S. citizens to visit the U.S. and Spanish Virgin Islands, a valid ID is required for air travel. 
  • Remember the British Virgin Islands are not a U.S. territory ; U.S. citizens must have a valid U.S. passport to travel to and from these islands. 
  • The local currency is the U.S. dollar. 
  • English is the primary language, but you might hear some local dialects and Caribbean slang!

“St. Croix is the largest of the three US Virgin Islands, with many things to do and places to explore. That’s why, if you are on limited time, it’s essential to carefully craft an efficient St. Croix itinerary to experience as much as possible. After all, it’s no easy task to witness and enjoy all the things to do in St. Croix: the great beaches, historic sugar plantations, lively nightlife, underwater scenery, and fantastic cuisine.” – Andrew Bloem, Adventure Travel Writer and Resident of St. Thomas

All in all, whether you’re looking for a tropical paradise without needing a passport (or reasons to get one ) the Virgin Islands offer something special and for everyone to enjoy.

Puerto Rico

San Juan, Puerto Rico castle view

Contrary to common belief, Puerto Rico , the fourth-largest island in the Caribbean, is not an independent nation. It is a U.S. territory. This means American citizens can visit this Caribbean jewel without a passport.

Puerto Rico boasts a rich Spanish colonial history, prominently displayed in its capital, San Juan. Numerous tours of Old San Juan provide access to impressive sites, vibrant nightlife, bustling cultural and musical scenes, and all the culinary delights, shopping, and excitement you would expect from a modern metropolis.

Venturing beyond the city limits reveals gorgeous white sand beaches, lush rainforests, cascading waterfalls, and diverse tropical wildlife. 

  • Spotlight Feature: Witness the historic walls of Castillo San Cristobal, along the Atlantic Ocean, with the vibrant city life of San Juan behind you. Try to imagine the history and cultural influences that have shaped and developed this amazing place. This is Puerto Rico, a Caribbean island full of history and deep ancestral roots.
  • Cultural Gems: Puerto Rico’s culture is a rich blend of Spanish colonial heritage and contemporary Caribbean influence. From the historic streets of Old San Juan to the lively salsa music that fills the air, Puerto Rico’s cultural charm is appealing and entertaining.
  • Explore the historic sites of Old San Juan on a guided walking tour .
  • Visit the El Yunque National Forest, the only tropical rainforest in the U.S. National Forest System on an adventure tour .
  • Enjoy the vibrant nightlife and culinary scene of San Juan.
  • Relax on the stunning beaches of Vieques and Culebra.
  • Discover the bioluminescent bays of Puerto Rico.
  • Spanish and English are the official languages, but Spanish is more commonly spoken.
  • Local Voices: “While there are so many beautiful similarities in culture, community, and climate that indisputably bond islands together, Puerto Rico is an explosion for the senses in a way I’d never experienced before. With its tapestry of peoples (most notably, Taíno, African, and Spanish), vast biodiversity, dramatic landscapes, and colorful cities, you’ll quickly see why the island earned its nickname of La Isla del Encanto.” –Rachel Off Duty, Travel Writer

Among all the places to travel without a passport, Puerto Rico truly offers a truly eclectic experience of excitement and fun in a beautiful tropical location.

Beach chairs on a Guam beach under tree cover

Guam, a stunning American island territory situated in the western Pacific Ocean, is a destination that offers more than just its natural beauty. 

With pristine white-sand beaches, warm waters, and expansive tropical forests, Guam is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts. The island provides a variety of activities, including world-class snorkeling, scuba diving, hiking, and fishing.

The cultural and historical richness of Guam is equally impressive. The island’s control has changed hands multiple times throughout history, resulting in a fascinating blend of Chamorro, Spanish, and American influences. 

Culinary enthusiasts will find Guam to be a delight, as the island offers a unique fusion of flavors drawn from its multicultural heritage. Fresh seafood, local Chamorro cuisine, and international dishes can all be savored here.

Guam also presents excellent shopping opportunities. The island hosts numerous duty-free stores offering designer brands at discounted prices, as well as local shops and markets selling handmade crafts and souvenirs.

Above all, Guam is renowned for its hospitality. The locals, known for their welcoming nature, are eager to share the island’s beauty and culture with visitors, making every trip a truly unforgettable experience.

  • Spotlight Feature: Think of how it would feel to bury your toes in the warm, pristine white sands of Tumon Bay, while you overlook the Pacific Ocean stretching out before you, with lush greenery and the sounds of nature all around you. This is what you can experience in Guam, an exquisite destination of unparalleled natural beauty.
  • Cultural Gems: Guam’s culture is a fascinating blend of Chamorro traditions and Spanish and American influences. From the ancient latte stones to the vibrant festivals, Guam’s cultural heritage is truly enchanting.
  • Explore the War in the Pacific National Historical Park.
  • Dive or snorkel in the crystal-clear waters of the Tumon Bay Marine Preserve.
  • Visit the Latte Stone Park and learn about the ancient Chamorro culture.
  • Experience a Karera Show at Sand Castle Guam
  • Enjoy the local cuisine, especially the seafood and Chamorro dishes.
  • Shop for local crafts and souvenirs at the Chamorro Village Night Market.
  • English and Chamorro (an Austronesian language) are the official languages, but English is more commonly spoken.

“Guam’s beaches are one of the island’s major attractions. Imagine picture-perfect beaches with gorgeous white sand, twinkling turquoise water, and swaying palm trees, and you’ll get pretty close to reality. If you’re a beach person, you’ll love Guam.” –DeWitt Guam

Whether you’re seeking a vacation that includes immersion in nature, cultural exploration, gastronomic delights, or warm hospitality without the need for a U.S. passport, Guam is the ideal destination for you!

American Samoa

American Samoa wilderness coastline view

American Samoa, a breathtaking and culturally rich U.S. territory, is among the more unique places you can visit without a passport.

Home to some of the world’s most pristine and untouched natural beauty, each of the 5 islands of American Samoa boasts stunning beaches, vibrant coral reefs, lush tropical forests, and cascading waterfalls. 

American Samoa also offers a rich immersion in traditional Polynesian culture. The locals, proud of their heritage, provide opportunities for visitors to experience it firsthand. Attend a traditional dance performance, visit a local village, or learn about Samoan crafts and art.

For food lovers, American Samoa is a paradise. The local cuisine features fresh seafood, tropical fruits, and unique Samoan dishes like palusami (taro leaves cooked in coconut cream) and oka (raw fish in coconut milk).

History enthusiasts will find American Samoa fascinating, with many sites of cultural and historical significance, such as the Jean P. Haydon Museum and the Aunu’u Island Archaeological Preserve.

  • Spotlight Feature: Imagine attending a traditional Samoan dance performance. The drums beat a hypnotic beat all around you as you listen to the sweet, melodic singing while watching the uniquely choreographed dancing and the beautiful, vivid traditional dress of the Samoan dancers. This is just one of the many experiences you can have when you visit and embrace American Samoa, a tropical paradise steeped in rich culture and tradition.
  • Cultural Gems: American Samoa’s culture is a very unique blend of traditional Polynesian customs and American influences. From the traditional Samoan ‘ava ceremony to the vibrant performances of the siva dance, American Samoa’s cultural heritage is fascinating to experience.
  • Explore the National Park of American Samoa.
  • Attend a traditional Samoan dance performance.
  • Sample the local cuisine, especially the seafood and Samoan dishes.
  • Visit the Jean P. Haydon Museum.
  • Relax on the stunning beaches of American Samoa.
  • English and Samoan are the official languages, but Samoan is more commonly spoken. A few important words and phrases to know: “Talofa” (Hello), “Tofa” (Goodbye), “Fa’afetai” (Thank You), and “Fa’amolemole” (Please). 

“Halfway between Hawai’i and New Zealand rests the only U.S. National Park Service site south of the equator. A tropical forest, a beach where you’ll be the only person you see, and a culture that spans five inhabited islands are what make a visit to the National Park of American Samoa unique.” –Mikah Meyer, Road Trip and National Parks Expert

Overall, American Samoa offers a peaceful and relaxed atmosphere. The slower pace provides a welcome respite from the hustle and bustle of daily life, making American Samoa an exceptional destination for those seeking to truly unwind and enjoy their surroundings—without needing a passport!

The Northern Mariana Islands

Secluded beach on the Northern Mariana Islands

The Northern Mariana Islands, the newest American territories, are an idyllic destination nestled in the western Pacific Ocean. 

Like the other territories we’ve covered, these islands boast breathtaking natural landscapes, a fascinating history, and an eclectic mix of cultures.

For nature enthusiasts, the Northern Mariana Islands offer a variety of outdoor activities. Renowned for its stunning coral reefs, turquoise waters, and white sandy beaches, these islands provide ample opportunities for snorkeling, swimming, and sunbathing.

Beyond the beaches, you can explore the lush green forests, hidden waterfalls, and ancient lava tubes through hiking or guided tours.

The Northern Mariana Islands also serve as a unique cultural destination. The diverse population reflects the islands’ rich history, with the Chamorro culture, influenced by centuries of Spanish and American colonization, prominently displayed. During your stay, immerse yourself in the traditions of the Carolinians, the native people who have inhabited the islands for over 2,000 years.

The local cuisine is a culinary delight. Enjoy fresh seafood, tropical fruits, and unique Chamorro dishes like kadon pika (a spicy chicken soup), and tinala katne (grilled marinated beef).

  • Spotlight Feature: Immerse yourself in the ancient culture and legends of the House of Taga. Amid the beautiful tropical landscape lay the ruins of an old house and supports made of heavy stone that legend tells was constructed over 3,000 years ago by Chief Taga, a man with superhuman strength. These megalithic structures, surrounded by lush flora and fauna, are truly a sight to behold.  
  • Cultural Gems: The Northern Mariana Islands’ culture is a unique blend of traditional Chamorro customs and American influences. From the ancient latte stones to the vibrant Flame Tree Arts Festival, the cultural heritage of the Northern Mariana Islands is as enchanting as its natural beauty.
  • Explore World War II historic sites such as American Memorial Park.
  • Dive or snorkel in the crystal-clear waters of the Grotto.
  • Visit the ancient Chamorro village of the House of Taga.
  • Relax on the stunning beaches of the Northern Mariana Islands.
  • English and Chamorro are the official languages, but Chamorro is more commonly spoken. Some important words and phrases to know: “Håfa adai” (Hello), “Adios” (Goodbye), “Pot fabot” (Please), “Si Yu’us ma’åse’” (Thank you), “Hunggan” (Yes), and “Åhe’” (No).

“Escape to a place of magnificent beaches and crystal clear aqua waters, rich history, year-round outdoor activities, world-class diving and golfing, international shopping, a wide range of ethnic restaurants, and a wide variety of international and indigenous cultures adding their unique flavors to this island paradise.” –Marianas Visitors Authority

Above all, the Northern Mariana Islands offer a peaceful and serene atmosphere. With a slower pace of life, it’s the perfect destination to relax on the beach, enjoy beautiful sunsets, or embark on an adventure to escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life, all without the need for a U.S. passport.

U.S. Neighbors: Visiting Canada and Mexico Without a Passport

Peace Arch near Western U.S. and Canadian border

Traveling to Canada and Mexico: A Guide for U.S. Citizens

Two of the most common questions we receive regarding travel document requirements are: 

  • “ Do I need a passport to visit Canada? ” and 
  • “ Do I need a passport to visit Mexico? ” 

The answer to both is: it’s complicated . 

In a few specific cases, U.S. citizens can travel to Canada or Mexico without U.S. passports. 

For instance, children under 16 without passports can visit Canada or Mexico via land or sea border crossings, but must bring their original certified birth certificates. This documentation is vital for their re-entry into the United States. However, no American can fly internationally without a valid passport , regardless of age.

As such, traveling to Canada or Mexico without a passport can carry risks. There’s always the possibility of needing to return to the U.S. by air because of an emergency. Without a passport, that would be impossible.

Generally, a passport gives American citizens the most flexibility and the smoothest travel experience when crossing borders from the United States to visit Canada or Mexico.

Exceptions to this rule include those in possession of Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI) -approved documents. These include the Trusted Traveler Programs card ( NEXUS , SENTRI , Global Entry , or FAST), or an Enhanced Driver’s License . WHTI-approved travel documents can be obtained through an application process and used in many of the same ways as a passport.

Fortunately, there are ways to expedite obtaining a passport , broadening your travel horizons swiftly.

  • Spotlight Features: Picture the moment your eyes and ears take in the sights and sounds of the majestic Niagara Falls. A breathtaking view of the gushing waterfall, the sound of roaring water, and the unforgettable feeling of cool mist on your face.  This and many more awe-inspiring experiences await you in beautiful Canada, where natural beauty and wonders surround you.
  • Cultural Gems: Canada’s culture is an interesting blend of British, French, and Indigenous influences. From the historic sites of Quebec City to the multicultural vibrancy of Toronto, the cultural heritage of Canada is as diverse as it is captivating.
  • Explore the historic sites of Ottawa.
  • Visit the stunning natural wonder of Niagara Falls.
  • Enjoy the local cuisine, especially poutine and butter tarts.
  • Experience the vibrant festivals and events.
  • Explore the wilderness of the Canadian Rockies.
  • Familiarize yourself with Canada’s Travel Requirements before planning your trip.
  • The local currency is the Canadian dollar. 
  • English and French are the official languages in Canada.

“The expanse of Canada’s natural beauty, from mountains and glaciers to secluded lakes and forests, is almost unparalleled worldwide. But Canada’s allure is not just the great outdoors. Canada has cosmopolitan cities that are clean, safe, friendly, and multicultural.” –Jane McLean, Canadian Travel Writer

Natural beauty, cultural diversity, and warm hospitality are what make Canada a must-visit destination for American travelers.

  • Spotlight Feature: Explore the ancient Mayan ruins, history unfolding before your eyes, and the thriving modern city life of Mexico City just a short distance away.  This is Mexico, a place where rich heritage, ancient history, and modernity coexist beautifully for a unique and memorable experience.
  • Cultural Gems: Mexico’s culture has been cultivated from a mixture of Indigenous, Spanish, and modern Mexican traditions. From the ancient pyramids of Teotihuacan to the lively markets of Mexico City, the cultural heritage of Mexico is enchanting and exciting.
  • Visit the ancient Mayan and Aztec ruins on a historical highlights tour .
  • Dive or snorkel in the crystal-clear waters of the Cancùn.
  • Enjoy world-renowned Mexican cuisine , especially tacos and chiles en nogada.
  • Experience the vibrant festivals and events like the Cancùn Carnival.
  • Relax on the stunning beaches of Tulum.
  • Witness the Waterfalls of Chiapas and take a guided tour of the magical cenotes (sacred wells) found around the Yucatan Peninsula.
  • Know Mexico’s Travel Requirements before planning your trip .
  • The local currency is the Mexican peso. 
  • Spanish is the official language in Mexico. However, in tourism hot spots such as Cancùn , English is also spoken within the resorts to accommodate English-speaking tourists.

“Mexico has something for everyone and it’s one of the most varied countries I’ve ever been to – it has big cities, quaint cobblestoned towns, rich history & culture – that vastly differs across the states, a beautiful language, delicious cuisine, beaches, mountains, ruins, and so much more. “ –Lauren from Out of Office Girl, Travel Expert and Blogger

Fascinating history and culture, world renowned cuisine, and some of the most breathtaking landscapes and natural wonders place Mexico at the top of the must-see destinations for American travelers. 

Canada and Mexico, respectively, have an abundance of amazing sites to see and unforgettable memories to be had. Just remember to familiarize yourself with each location’s travel requirements for a hassle-free getaway you won’t soon forget!

Closed-Loop Cruise Destinations: Set Sail Sans Passport

cruise ship docked in a tropical bay

If you’re a U.S. citizen embarking on a cruise from a U.S. port, traveling within the Western Hemisphere, and returning to the same port, you’re in luck! You can reenter the U.S. with just two documents :

  • Government-Issued ID: Your driver’s license or state ID serves as proof of identification.
  • Certified Birth Certificate: This document establishes your citizenship.

Closed-loop cruises—those that start and end at the same U.S. port—offer a passport-free escape. Imagine exploring the sun and warmth of tropical paradises like the Cayman Islands, the Bahamas , or Jamaica without worrying about a passport!

However, know that if you board a cruise in the U.S. without a passport in hand, you may not get the full experience. If the cruise stops at countries requiring a U.S. passport for entry, you might find yourself ship-bound while others explore the port city. Also, some cruise lines may insist on a U.S. passport regardless of the itinerary, so check before booking.

  • For further information, check out our Guide to Cruise Passport Policies for U.S. Travelers .

Remember, closed-loop cruises beyond U.S. territories will always provide information regarding travel document requirements up front. To minimize any missed exploration opportunities, be sure to read all the fine print before booking a closed-loop cruise.

Why Get a Passport? Unlock Your Travel Horizons

woman's hands drawing on a map with a passport and camera resting on it

With so many passport-free travel options, you might wonder if you’ll ever need one. 

While destinations like American Samoa and The U.S. Virgin Islands allow entry without a passport, there’s a compelling case for obtaining this little blue book. Here’s why:

  • Expanded Travel Opportunities: A passport opens doors to some of the most sought-after destinations. From the pristine beaches of the Dominican Republic to the dramatic landscapes of Iceland, some of the most popular destinations Americans visit worldwide await passport holders.
  • RealID Convenience: Both a valid passport and a passport card serve as RealID documents. They’re not only essential for international travel but also handy for domestic flights and cruises.
  • Plan Ahead: Applying for a new U.S. passport or renewing your passport takes time. Don’t limit yourself—start the process early so that you can plan your next trip to explore the world—without boundaries!

Whether you’re chasing sunsets on the beach, savoring the exotic flavors of authentic cuisine, or hiking through untouched wilderness, know that there are plenty of places to go with or without a passport.

Looking for more travel destination ideas or travel document advice? Be sure to subscribe to our blog so you don’t miss any of the latest news and updates!

About the Author: For over 20 years, the U.S. Passport Service Guide team has helped hundreds of thousands of travelers with their travel document questions and shared advice about how to make traveling abroad simpler, safer, and more enjoyable.

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