How To Easily Look Up Passport & Visa Requirements

Filed Under: Advice

While the internet can be a great resource, it can also be the source of a lot of misinformation. Not intentionally, necessarily, but rather because not all information is updated.

Along those lines, it can sometimes be a bit of a pain to figure out passport and visa requirements for various countries. That’s not to say that it’s actually complicated, but sometimes it takes several minutes of searching before you find out the real requirements, and it’s a process which could certainly be simplified. That’s largely due to the fact that many consulates have horrible websites.

Perhaps it can be a bit trickier in my situation, since I have both a US and German passport, so I’ll often easily find visa requirements for my US passport, but not for my German passport, since consulates often have different websites for nationals of different countries.

Back in the day, the Star Alliance’s website used to have a great built in tool offered by Timatic, which showed visa and passport requirements based on your nationality, country of residency, destination country, and transit country. However, that seems to have been removed last year.

So I’ve just spent a bit of time trying to find a comprehensive tool which lets you search visa requirements. While I’m sure there are other tools out there as well, I figured I’d point out that Emirates’ website has a great page which shows visa & passport information, and is my “go to” resource for now.


The information is provided through IATA, so I assume it’s constantly updated, as it’s simply a tool installed on Emirates’ website.

It takes just a few seconds to enter the necessary information, including your nationality and destination, along with alien residency and transit country information, if applicable.


Then on the next page it will show you passport requirements, and whether you need a visa or not.


I figured I’d share, since I assume I’m not the only person who was looking for a one-stop resource for passport and visa requirements.

Does anyone have another website they prefer for checking passport and visa requirements?

  1. Most airlines use the IATA Timatic Database to check the validity of your travel documents when you arrive at the airport. Everyone can access this database and verify the validity of his/her travel documents here: (best website IMHO)

  2. @Danil: Not everyone holds a U.S. passport.

    @Lucky: Thanks for linking this tool. It is very useful.

  3. I concur that the most accurate resource is as it is maintained by IATA. It typically asks more questions about your travel documents = to get the result but thats because it is providing more thorough results for those outlier situations.

  4. @Paul – What an ignorant comment – yes, not everyone holds a US passport, but everyone has a passport from a country with a Foreign Ministry (every country in the world) which should, hypothetically, be the definite source of visa information for their nationals.

    UK –
    France –
    Canada –
    Australia –

    And many more.

  5. What about the expertflyer tool? I use that all the time and have found it to he pretty useful

  6. I’ve purchased KVS availability tool and there is a built-in tool connect to TIMATIC database as well, and it’s updated pretty often. Also, the IATA travel center requires a lengthy input but the result is more accurate. BUT, be careful of ur visa on arrival plan in Minsk, Belarus using ur German passport, it seems like a pre-arranged visa on arrival policy by which u need to send all the documents to the visa office in Minsk airport at least 3 days before ur arrival.

  7. @Lucky

    KLM still uses Timatic

    There is also some Wiki pages for this, but you might want to double check with a proper tool to be sure for longer stays or difficult countries.

    Visa requirements=Where a holder of a specific passport can go without visa and or visa on arrival.
    Visa policy by country=What passport/visa is needed to get into a specific country

  8. All ExpertFlyer subscribers have access to the Timatic data via the Travel Information search.

  9. My go-to site has always been KLM’s as mentioned above. But I just recently found Qatarairways has a similar tool on their website that also seems to be up-to-date.

  10. Lucky, why does the EK tool claim you need a visa? Im assuming you entered either USA or Germany as you nationality?

  11. Nvm, just saw the exemptions. But I personally don’t like that the tool is set up to show “visa required” in a separate section from the exemptions…

  12. How about for cruise ships?
    I arrive to taijin port and depart from Beijing 14 hours later back to USA

  13. Emirates has changed their site. As far as I can see it no longer includes the portion of the text that lists the exceptions. This means, for example, that a Moroccan with a Spanish residence permit will be told incorrectly that they need a visa to enter Greece.

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