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Q: Please don't leave ( Answered 5 out of 5 stars,   2 Comments )
Subject: Please don't leave
Category: Relationships and Society > Government
Asked by: dprk007-ga
List Price: $10.00
Posted: 13 Aug 2005 13:59 PDT
Expires: 12 Sep 2005 13:59 PDT
Question ID: 555402
I would like a list of countries where citizens must ask the their government 
permission to go abroad (whether for temporary visit abroad or to
leave permanently) ?

Request for Question Clarification by tutuzdad-ga on 14 Aug 2005 16:53 PDT
I could be wrong but I was under tyhe impression that virtually all
countries have a policy like this in place. For example, in one
country NO ONE may travel to or from seven other countries unless they
have an extremely rare permit granting government permission. Most
often, the request is simply denied and the government strictly
enforces the travel restrictions against it's citizens no matter how
much the people plead or what the circumstances are.
The seven countries are: Cuba, Iran, Iraq, Libya, North Korea, Serbia, or Sudan

The country I am speaking of, suprisingly perhaps, is. . . the United
States of America.

What do you think?

Subject: Re: Please don't leave
Answered By: rainbow-ga on 14 Aug 2005 18:01 PDT
Rated:5 out of 5 stars
Hi dprk007,

The following is the result of my research for the countries where
citizens are required to obtain permission to travel abroad from their
government. It should be noted that this law applies to the countries
below as a rule, however under certain political circumstances, this
law may be temporarily enforced by governments. I did not include
these countries in my list.

"The Constitution provides for these rights; however, certain laws
limited citizens' movement. The passport law requires women to obtain
permission from a male family member before having a passport
application processed. In some areas of the country, women were
forbidden by local custom or tradition to leave the home except in the
company of a male relative. The law also prohibits women from
traveling alone outside the country without a male relative, and male
relatives must accompany women participating in Hajj."

"The law provides for freedom of domestic and foreign travel, and
freedom to emigrate; however, the Government sometimes restricted
these rights in practice. The Government does not permit young men who
are eligible for the draft and who have not yet completed their
military service to leave the country if they do not have special
authorization; however, such authorization may be granted to students
and to those persons with special family circumstances."
"The Family Code does not permit married females younger than 18 years
of age to travel abroad without their guardian's permission." 

"The law requires authorities to issue passports to all citizens,
expect for convicted felons; however, an exit stamp may be denied to
persons who possess state secrets, are subject to military service,
are involved in pending court cases, or whose relatives have lodged
financial claims against them. An exit stamp is valid for up to 5
years and may be used without limit. Men of military age must overcome
substantial bureaucratic obstacles to travel abroad."

"The 1963 Citizenship Law provides that the Government may reject
applications to obtain or renew passports for reasonable cause, but
the applicant has the right to appeal such decisions before the High
Civil Court."

"The Constitution provides for freedom of movement in and out of the
country; however, this right was restricted at times. Official entry
and exit regulations specify that citizens who wish to travel abroad
must first obtain an exit stamp valid for 1 to 5 years. Once the
traveler has a valid stamp, travel abroad is not restricted by further
government requirements and formalities; however, the Government could
intervene to invalidate stamps that had been issued."

"The Government maintained documentary requirements for minors
traveling abroad as part of its continuing campaign against
trafficking in persons." 

Freedom of Movement Within the Country, Foreign Travel, Emigration,
and Repatriation
"The law does not provide for these rights, and the Government placed
some limits on them in practice. Citizens traveling in border regions
were required to show their citizenship identity cards at immigration
check points, which in some cases were located a considerable distance
from what is in effect an open border with India. By treaty, citizens
may reside and work in India. In addition, ethnic Nepalese claimed
that they were frequently denied security clearances, which is a
prerequisite for obtaining a passport form. The ethnic Nepalese said
that since the clearances were based on the security clearance of
their parents, the clearances frequently excluded children of ethnic
Nepalese. All citizens must have a security clearance from the

"The Government restricts the movement of former political prisoners
during the first year of their release."
"Government employees, both citizens and foreigners working on a
contractual basis, must apply for approval to go abroad, which was
granted routinely."

"An ordinary citizen needs three documents to travel outside the
country: a passport from the Ministry of Home Affairs; revenue
clearance from the Ministry of Finance and Revenue; and a departure
form from the Ministry of Immigration and Population. In 2002, in
response to the trafficking in persons problem, the Government
tightened the documentation process in ways that hinder or restrict
international travel for the majority of women."
"The Government carefully scrutinized prospective travel abroad for
all passport holders. Rigorous control of passport and exit visa
issuance perpetuated rampant corruption, as applicants were forced to
pay bribes of roughly $300 (300,000 kyat), the equivalent of a yearly
salary, to around $1,000 (1 million kyat) for a single woman under 25
years of age. The board that reviews passport applications denied
passports on political grounds. College graduates who obtained a
passport (except for certain official employees) were required to pay
a fee to reimburse the Government for the cost of their education."

Congo, Democratic Republic of the
"Married women were required by law to have their husband's permission
prior to traveling outside the country."
"Local authorities in the Kivus routinely required Congolese citizens
to show official travel orders from an employer or government official
authorizing travel."

"The Government severely restricted freedom of movement..."
"The Government imposed some restrictions on both emigration and
temporary foreign travel. By year's end, the Government had refused
exit permits to 836 people, but allowed the majority of persons who
qualified for immigrant or refugee status in other countries to

"The Government requires all citizens to obtain permission to travel
abroad, which was granted routinely. Military and minor applicants
must comply with special requirements."

"Males who have not completed compulsory military service may not
travel abroad or emigrate, although this restriction may be deferred
or bypassed under special circumstances. Unmarried women under the age
of 21 must have permission from their fathers to obtain passports and

Equatorial Guinea
"All citizens were required to obtain permission to travel abroad from
the local Police Commissioner, and some members of opposition parties
were denied this permission. Those who did travel abroad sometimes
were interrogated upon their return."

"Citizens and foreign nationals were required to obtain an exit visa
to depart the country."
"Citizens of national service age (men 18 to 45 years of age, and
women 18 to 27 years of age), Jehovah's Witnesses (see Section 2.c.),
and others who were out of favor with or seen as critical of the
Government were routinely denied exit visas. Students who wished to
study abroad often were unable to obtain exit visas. In addition, the
Government frequently refused to issue exit visas to adolescents and
children as young as 5 years of age, either on the grounds that they
were approaching the age of eligibility for national service or
because their diasporal parents had not paid the 2 percent income tax
required of all citizens residing abroad. Some citizens were given
exit visas only after posting bonds of approximately $7,400 (100,000

"The Government intermittently enforced an internal regulation
requiring married women to obtain their husbands' permission to travel
abroad. During the year, there were numerous reports that authorities
refused to issue passports for travel abroad with no explanation.
There also were reports of unreasonable delays in obtaining passports,
despite a government promise in 2003 to process passports within 3

"Under the Passports Act of 1967, the Government may deny a passport
to any applicant who "may or is likely to engage outside India in
activities prejudicial to the sovereignty and integrity of India." The
Government used this provision to prohibit the foreign travel of some
government critics, especially those advocating Sikh independence and
members of the separatist movement in Jammu and Kashmir."

"The Constitution allows the Government to prevent persons from
entering or leaving the country, and sometimes the Government
restricted freedom of movement."
"The Government prevented at least 412 persons from leaving the
country during the year. The AGO and the High Prosecutor's Office
prevented most of these departures. Some of those barred from leaving
were delinquent taxpayers, while others were involved in legal

"The Government required exit permits (a validation stamp in the
passport) for foreign travel for draft-age men and citizens who were
politically suspect. Some citizens, particularly those whose skills
were in short supply and who were educated at government expense, must
post bonds to obtain exit permits." 

"Citizens generally were free to travel abroad and to emigrate,
provided they had no outstanding military obligations and were not
restricted by administrative order. Pursuant to the 1945 State of
Emergency Regulations, the Government may bar citizens from leaving
the country based on security considerations."
"In addition, no citizen or passport holder is permitted to travel to
countries officially at war with Israel without special permission
from the Government."

"The law requires that all women obtain written permission from a male
guardian to apply for a passport; however, women do not need a male
relative's permission to renew their passports. In the past, there
were several cases in which mothers reportedly were prevented from
departing with their children because authorities enforced requests
from fathers to prevent their children from leaving the country."

"Civil servants and M.P.s must get government permission for
international travel, which generally was granted."

Korea, Democratic People's Republic of 
"The regime only issues exit visas for foreign travel to officials and
trusted businessmen, artists, athletes, academics, and religious
figures. Short-term exit papers were also available for residents on
the Chinese border to enable visits with relatives in bordering
regions of China."

"The Constitution does not provide for the rights of freedom of
movement within the country, freedom of foreign travel, or freedom to
emigrate. The Government placed some limits on freedom of movement in
"Unmarried women must be 21 years of age or older to obtain a passport
and travel abroad without permission of a male relative. Married women
must obtain their husbands' permission to apply for a passport. A
married woman with a passport does not need her husband's permission
to travel, but he may prevent her departure from the country by
placing a 24-hour travel ban on her through immigration authorities.
After this 24-hour period, a court order is required if the husband
still wishes to prevent his wife from leaving the country. In
practice, however, many travel bans were issued without court order,
effectively preventing citizens (and foreigners) from departing.
All minor children under 21 years of age require their father's
permission to travel outside the country. There were reports of
citizen fathers and husbands confiscating their children's and wives'
travel documents to prevent them from departing."
"The law permits the Government to place a travel ban on any citizen
or foreigner who has a legal case pending before the courts. The law
also permits any citizen to petition authorities to place a travel ban
against any other person suspected of violating local law. In
practice, this has resulted in many citizens and foreigners being
prevented from departing the country without investigation or a legal
case being brought before a local court."

"Citizens who sought to travel abroad were required to apply for an
exit visa. The Government usually granted such visas; however,
officials at the local level have denied permission to apply for
passports and exit visas to some persons seeking to emigrate."

"All men between 18 and 21 years of age are subject to compulsory
military service and are required to register at a recruitment office
and obtain a travel authorization document before leaving the
"Spouses may obtain passports for their children who are less than 7
years of age after obtaining the approval of the other spouse. To
obtain a passport for a minor child between 7 and 18 years, the father
or legal guardian needs to sign the request to obtain a passport."

"The Government requires citizens to obtain exit permits for travel abroad..."
"A female citizen must have her husband's permission and a male escort
to travel abroad."

"The Ministry of Interior restricted freedom to travel outside the
country in certain circumstances. In addition, all civil servants and
military personnel must obtain written permission from their
ministries to leave the country."

Freedom of Movement Within the Country, Foreign Travel, Emigration,
Repatriation, and Exile
"The law does not provide for these rights; however, the Government
generally respected these rights in practice."

"Government employees and students must obtain "no objection"
certificates before traveling abroad, although this requirement rarely
was enforced against students. Persons on the publicly available Exit
Control List (ECL) are prohibited from foreign travel. There were
approximately 2,153 names on the ECL. While the ECL was intended to
prevent those with pending criminal cases from traveling abroad, no
judicial action is required to add a name to the ECL."

"In general, women over 30 years old did not require permission from
male guardians to travel; however, men may prevent female relatives
and children from leaving the country by providing their names to
immigration officers at ports of departure. Technically, women
employed by the Government must obtain official permission to travel
abroad when requesting leave..."

Saudi Arabia
"Citizen men have the freedom to travel within the country and abroad;
however, the Government restricted these rights for women based on its
interpretation of Islamic Law. All women in the country were
prohibited from driving and were dependent upon males for
transportation. Likewise, they must obtain written permission from a
male relative or guardian before the authorities would allow them to
travel abroad. The requirement to obtain permission from a male
relative or guardian applied also to foreign women married to citizens
or to the minor and single adult daughters of Saudi fathers." 

"Some public employees, including teachers, are required by law to
obtain government approval before departing the country; however,
human rights groups noted that this law was only enforced against
teachers and not other public servants."

"Although it was not used during the year, the law allows the
Government to deny passports to any citizen if the Minister of Defense
finds that such denial is "in the national interest."" 

"The Government may refuse to issue a passport and did so in the case
of former ISA detainees. Under the ISA, a person's movement may be
"Male citizens with national service reserve obligations are required
to advise the Ministry of Defense if they plan to travel abroad. Boys
age 11 to 16 years are issued passports that are valid for 2 years
and are no longer required to obtain exit permits. From the age of 16
until the age of enlistment, male citizens are granted 1-year
passports and are required to apply for exit permits for travel that
exceeds 3 months." 

"The Government denied exit visas to some categories of persons,
including policemen and physicians, and maintained lists of political
figures and other citizens who were not permitted to travel abroad."
"Women cannot travel abroad without the permission of their husbands
or male guardians; however, this prohibition was not enforced
strictly, especially for NC members."

Freedom of Movement Within the Country, Foreign Travel, Emigration,
and Repatriation,
"The law does not provide for these rights, and the Government placed
some limits on them in practice. Citizens may travel and work freely
within the country; however, under traditional law, a married woman
requires her husband's permission to apply for a passport, and an
unmarried woman requires the permission of a close male relative."

"Travel to Israel is illegal, and the Government restricted travel
near the Golan Heights. The Government also denied human rights
activists, leaders of opposition groups, and other individuals
permission to travel abroad, although government officials continued
to deny that this practice occurred. Government authorities could
prosecute any person found attempting to emigrate or to travel abroad
illegally, any person who was deported from another country, or anyone
who was suspected of having visited Israel.
Women over the age of 18 have the legal right to travel without the
permission of male relatives; however, a husband or a father could
file a request with the Ministry of Interior to prohibit his wife or
daughter's departure from the country"

"The law provides that the courts can cancel passports and contains
broad provisions that both permit passport seizure on national
security grounds, and deny citizens the right either to present their
case against seizure or to appeal the judges' decision. The Ministry
of Interior is required to submit requests to seize or withhold a
citizen's passport through the public prosecutor to the courts;
however, the Ministry of Interior routinely bypassed the public
prosecutor with impunity. The public prosecutor deferred to the
Ministry of Interior on such requests." 

"The Constitution does not provide for full freedom of movement;
although the Government took steps to ease restrictions on freedom of
movement, restrictions remained."
"In January, the Government eliminated the exit visa requirement,
following international pressure from the diplomatic corps, the OSCE,
and the U.N. The elimination of the exit visa regime allowed the
majority of citizens to travel abroad; however, the Government
maintained a "black list" of those not allowed to travel. Some members
of minority religious groups, regime opponents, relatives of those
implicated in the November 2002, and those suspected of having "state
secrets" were not permitted to leave the country."

"Exit visas were required for citizens who intended to take up
permanent residence in another country..."

United Arab Emirates
"Custom dictates that a husband can bar his wife, minor children, and
adult unmarried daughters from leaving the country by taking custody
of their passports." 

"The Government required citizens to obtain exit visas for foreign
travel or emigration, and while it generally granted these routinely,
local officials often demanded a small bribe."
"Authorities did not require an exit visa for travel to most countries
of the former Soviet Union; however, the Government severely
restricted the ability of its citizens to travel overland to
neighboring Kazakhstan, the Kyrgyz Republic, and Turkmenistan and
restricted and significantly delayed citizens attempting to cross the
border to Tajikistan. Authorities closed the border with Afghanistan
to ordinary citizens."

"Although the Government no longer required citizens traveling abroad
to obtain exit or reentry visas, the Government sometimes refused to
issue passports. The Government did not allow some persons who
publicly or privately expressed critical opinions on religious or
political issues to travel abroad." 

Source of Research:
U.S. Department of State: Human Rights 2004

Search strategy:
I searched through each country at the above site for the information.

I hope the information provided is helpful. If you have any questions
regarding my answer please don?t hesitate to ask before rating it.

Best regards,
dprk007-ga rated this answer:5 out of 5 stars and gave an additional tip of: $2.00
Very interesting answer. Also Tutuzdad's comment regarding the US was  
I find the number of countries who require their wives to get permission from
their husbands well quite amazing (and amusing).
To quote the case of Libya:
>A female citizen must have her husband's permission and a male escort
>to travel abroad."
Feminism has quite a ways to go in Libya! :-)
Regarding the US I was always aware of the restrictions on Cuba
but not the other six countries.
As a visitor to both Cuba and North Korea , I have met US citizens 
in both countries (not sure though if they had permission from the state 
Further to Tutuzdad's comment , I am aware that many countries forbid
their citizens from traveling to specific countries (For example Japan
does not allow
its citizens to travel to North Korea)
I would suspect though that citizens from Australia,Canada,New Zealand and all
the EU member states have no restrictions on travel abroad (to any country)
although their Foreign Ministries may issues warning from time to time.


Subject: Re: Please don't leave
From: myoarin-ga on 14 Aug 2005 18:24 PDT
Great job, Rainbow.  
Tutuzdad's posting reminded me of another interpretation of the
question.  Any foreign travel requiring a passport is a situation in
which the citizen must ask the government for permission to travel
abroad, For most of us, it is a formality  - but not for someone on
propation for drug trafficking.
Members of the European Union, who may travel within the EU with just
their ID card are not subject to this control; US citizens also, for
travel to Mexico and Canada; and probably elsewhere in many places to
adjacent countries.
There is even daily traffic between a small island belonging
to/claimed by Taiwan just of the Chinese mainland.
Subject: Re: Please don't leave
From: rainbow-ga on 15 Aug 2005 21:55 PDT
Thank you very much for the rating and tip.
Best regards,

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