Do You Need a Passport?

For visiting almost any country in the world, you'll need a passport. A passport identifies you and the country where you hold citizenship. The single best source of whether you need a passport (and a visa; see below) to enter the host country is that country's embassy or consulate in the U.S.


In the U.S., embassies are all located in Washington D.C. (area code 202), so calling directory assistance will get you the phone numbers. Increasingly, many embassies have good information online. Try or Project Visa.


You can also search Yahoo! or similar web sites to locate the embassy. Consulates are kind of like branch offices of an embassy, and are located in large cities. The Japanese Embassy, for example, is in Washington, with Consulates in places like New York, Los Angeles and Honolulu.


Country-specific information on where Americans need a passport or a visa is available on-line. Check the date of the information and follow-up by contacting the host countries' Embassy or Consulate to be sure. That web address also includes information on which countries require Americans to have tested for the HIV virus as well as some links to learn more about any required or recommended immunizations.

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