Get Smart With These Visa Facts

By Aaron Rockwell, Staff Data Cruncher

Using data extractor (genius tool for grabbing large sets of table data from websites), I was able to grab 37,000 lines of visa data from Wikipedia. Here’s what the world of visas look like:

South Koreans “Travel-Banned:”

South Koreans have “travel-banned” their citizens from five of the seven countries that America has “admission-refused:”  Yemen, Syria, Somalia, Libya, and Iraq. But not: Iran and Sudan. Curiously enough, South Korea has had this ban intact since 2014.

Why not ban your citizens from going to Sudan, South Korea? Oh yeah, you bought vast tracts of land there to grow wheat (2.7 billion square meters). I’m not informed enough to decided whether it’s neocolonialism or beneficial foreign investment. I do believe in the power of free trade.

Who’s not playing well together:

Visa information is telling on which countries in the world are not getting along. Top refusals: 16 countries refuse admission to Israeli citizens,  4 countries refuse Guinean citizens, and 3 countries refuse Sierra Leonean citizens.

< – These citizens are refused admission into these countries – >
Armenian citizens Azerbaijan
Bangladeshi citizens Sudan
Guinean citizens Bahrain
Guinean citizens Mauritius
Guinean citizens Mongolia
Guinean citizens Papua New Guinea
Iranian citizens Libya
Israeli citizens Algeria
Israeli citizens Bangladesh
Israeli citizens Brunei
Israeli citizens Iran
Israeli citizens Iraq
Israeli citizens Kuwait
Israeli citizens Lebanon
Israeli citizens Libya
Israeli citizens Malaysia
Israeli citizens Oman
Israeli citizens Pakistan
Israeli citizens Saudi Arabia
Israeli citizens Sudan
Israeli citizens Syria
Israeli citizens United Arab Emirates
Israeli citizens Yemen
Liberian citizens Bahrain
Liberian citizens Mongolia
Nigerian citizens Bahrain
Sierra Leonean citizens Bahrain
Sierra Leonean citizens Mauritius
Sierra Leonean citizens Mongolia
Syrian citizens Kuwait
Taiwanese citizens Georgia
United States citizens Iran

Delicious visa stats:

Beyond travel bans and admission refusal, country entry processes typically fall under four categories: visa not required, eVisa, visa on arrival, and visa required.

Visa Type Amount Percentage
eVisa 1604 4%
Visa on arrival 5479 15%
Visa not required 10955 30%
Visa required 19077 51%

VisaMoneyTrain With 70% of countries’ admission requiring a visa, it can be assumed it’s great for a country’s security, or more likely, it’s a cash cow. The real question would be whether the money gained from visa entry costs offsets the money lost from disincentivizing folks from traveling to said country (that good tourist money).

5 easiest and most difficult countries for their citizens to travel:

Citizenship Some Sort of Visa Required GDP per Capita ($) World Rank GDP per Capita
Singaporean citizens 76 85,382 3rd
Swedish citizens 77 46,704 15th
German citizens 77 47,377 14th
Finnish citizens 77 40,979 23rd
Italian citizens 77 36,030 29th
Eritrean citizens 186 1,411 178th
Iraqi citizens 187 15,395 76th
Somali citizens 187 400 198th
Pakistani citizens 187 1,411 134th
Afghan citizens 189 1,925 164th

Singapore visa requirements:

Grey = Visa Required, Courtesy:
Grey = Visa Required, Courtesy:

Afghanistan visa requirements:


Do countries with lower visa entry requirements have higher GDPs?

I tested this hypothesis assuming that there would be a strong correlation between the amount of “Visas Not Required” and the GDP of the country. It did exist (-0.239), saying that the more open your country is, the higher its GDP. Though it looks like a small correlation, with a sample size of 37,000, it is significant.

How reciprocal are visa relationships?

Incredibly. Countries reciprocate their visa policies: (29166 / 35736) = 81.6% of the time. This goes back to the concept of, if you want to be invited to parties and events, you have to occasionally throw parties and events and invite other people.

Who are country “best friends” when it comes to visa policy?

Here are the top 6 countries whose visa policies pair up nearly 100% on “required visa” and “not required visa.” There appears to be a visa love triangle between Sweden, Finland, and Italy.

Latvia Lithuania
Hungary Greece
Tajikistan Uzbekistan
Sweden Finland
Finland Italy
Sweden Italy

Who pairs up best with America?

Rank Country Visa Correlation
1 Canada 0.903
2 United Kingdom 0.882
3 Republic of Ireland 0.861
4 Australia 0.852
5 Netherlands 0.842


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