If you’re reading this, you’re probably a fellow Bangladeshi trying to figure out what countries you can visit without the hassles of having to obtain a Visa through an embassy/travel agency. I have found the Wikipedia page and other resources on this topic to be unreliable, often containing info that is either false or not well-referenced. If you were hoping to travel visa-free to Bolivia because of such sourcs, this suggest you’re in for bad news.
The GOOD NEWS is..
- I’ve been actively figuring this puzzle out myself for the last 8 years while sporadically traveling through 4 continents
- I’ve put together my notes in an attempt to create a more reliable and transparent resource (with verifiable references) that will hopefully make life easier for fellow Bangladeshis with the travel bug
In this post, I will first list all countries where you can get either a Visa on-arrival or an Electronic-visa yourself without having to deal with third parties. Next, I will list countries and territories that you can visit with a valid US, Canada or Schengen Visa (more on this later). Finally, I will include suggestions for visiting some of the places that I have had the chance to see over the years, and pitch in some trip-planning advice which I hope will be helpful.
- For a few countries, I didn’t entirely trust the sources I referenced, and I marked them with a double asterisk “**” next to their names. I strongly recommend doing extra research for these and using your best judgement.
- All countries will require you to have necessary documents/funds to prove your travel intentions, arranged accommodation and financial ability to sustain yourself during your travels. What exactly is required varies from country to country, but will be stated on the embassy websites. If you need clarifications on requirements, I suggest directly contacting the respective embassies. Please don’t show up to a foreign country without a return ticket, or without “sufficient” travel funds, because you will probably get rejected at the entry-point. Or you won’t be even allowed to board your flight in the first place. This post is meant to serve as a solid starting point of research for your travel plans. But you will have to do the final work 🙂
- Visa policies can change over time. While I will try to keep this document as up-to-date as possible, a little lag-time for updates is expected. Please ensure you follow the links I am sharing to double-check the sources and make sure nothing has changed. The sources I linked are the best that I could find. If you find better ones, please share them in the comments and I will make the necessary edits to this post.
- While I have done thorough research to put this together, this may not be a comprehensive list. If you have been to a country without a visa with a regular Bangladeshi passport and you don’t see it on the list, please let me know, and if possible, please leave a link to sources verifying your correction.
Now for the fun part. Here are the lists!
Countries that offer you On-arrival Visas
Asia + Oceania
- Sri Lanka
- Vanuatu**- Couldn’t find confirmation from a govt. website, but these sources  seem to suggest Bangladeshis can get a Visa on-arrival
- Jamaica – (Visa country listing for Jamaica)
- Bahamas – (Visa requirements)
- Grenada – (Visa requirements)
- Saint Kitts and Nevis
- St. Vincent and the Grenadines
- Barbados– scroll to the bottom of page and enter nationality to double-check
- Trinidad and Tobago**– Couldn’t find govt website confirming/denying visa requirements for Bangladeshis, but third party organizations like this one state we can get visa on-arrival.
- Rwanda -read up on the East Africa Tourist visa (allows collective access to Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda)
- Uganda -read up on East Africa Tourist visa (allows collective access to Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda), and pay attention to immunization requirements
- Gambia- sources: Gambian Tourism Board and Banjul Airport
- Comoros– All travelers to Comoros are given a free, 24-hour transit visa upon entry. The following day, visitors are required to go to the immigration office in Moroni to change their visa status. A fee is charged, depending on length of stay.
- Madagascar**- couldn’t verify if this is indeed an official govt. website
- Cape Verde
- Mozambique**- No govt. website confirmation, but multiple threads/sources suggest visa-on-arrival offered to all citizens of all nationalities
- Guinea-Bissau**-website states it’s possible to obtain an e-visa, but the e-visa application link is down
Countries you can visit with Electronic /Online Visas (prior application required)
For questions regarding E-VISA(s) and to check what you need for different countries and if you want a professional third party to verify the information, I have found the Ivisa website (affiliate link) to be a helpful resource.
Note: Pay attention to how long before your arrival date you have to apply online, as these periods vary for different countries
- Ivory Coast** – source: Abidjan Airport website
- Zambia  
- Zimbabwe  
- São Tomé and Príncipe
- Antigua and Barbuda
- Malaysia– read fine print: “in the event of suspicion, applicants may be required to supply further documents or be called for an interview or skype session with Malaysia Consulate”
Special mention: Indonesia used to offer both on-arrival and e-visas to Bangldeshis but both are currently on hold 🙁
Countries/territories you can visit with a valid US/Canada/Schengen/EU nation Visa
A little-known secret to international travel as a Bangladeshi is that a lot of the countries that usually require us to obtain a visa through their embassy loosen that restriction if we have a valid Visa from another developed country. I have personally made the most out of this caveat over the years, and have visited around a dozen countries outside the US and the Schengen zone using multiple-entry US and Schengen Visas. Next, I will enlist what countries you can visit via this approach and what visas you need to be able to visit them. Pay special attention to what countries require a valid multiple-entry Schengen visa as opposed to a Single-Entry one.
- Mexico- valid Canada, Japan, the USA, the UK or Schengen visa
- Costa Rica- permanent residence , a student visa, a work visa in the USA, Canada, and members of the EU
- Panama- valid Visa or Residence issued by Canada, USA, Australia, the Republic of Korea, Japan, the UK, Republic of Singapore and any EU state
- Belize- READ THIS: While it seems that you can enter Belize with a valid multiple-entry US, Canada or Schengen visa, there are potentially major hidden costs involved. These sources  suggest that Bangladeshis have to pay $250 USD ($500 BZD) for a single entry visa and an additional $600 USD ($ 1200 BZD) in “Repatriation fees” at the point of entry. When I called the consulate in Los Angeles, the lady who answered said these fees have been removed. However, I was never able to get any confirmation in writing or email, and further research into the laws didn’t return any favorable results. Which is why I still haven’t visited Belize.
- Dominican Republic- Any person who can legally travel or reside in the USA, Canada and the EU
- Aruba- valid multiple-entry Schengen visa
- Sint Marteen- valid multiple-entry Schengen visa
- Antigua and Barbuda- valid US/Canadian/EU/Schengen/UK Visa or UK Indefinite Leave to Remain
- United Kingdom- This one may be a little surprising, but you are allowed a 24 hour transit in the UK without a UK visa if (among other requirements) you’re travelling to (or on part of a reasonable journey to) Australia, Canada, New Zealand or the USA and have a valid visa for that country. Please check the other requirements.
- Albania- valid, multiple-entry Schengen, US or UK visa, which has been previously used in the respective country of issuance
- Bosnia and Herzegovina- valid multiple-entry visa or residence permit issued by the Schengen Agreement country, EU Member States or USA
- Montenegro- valid visa from Schengen area, USA, UK, Northern Ireland or the Republic of Ireland, or a permission to stay in these countries
- Serbia- valid Schengen, UK or US visa, and for holders of foreign passports having residence permit in the countries of the Schengen area, EU or USA
- Kosovo- valid multiple-entry Schengen visa
- Macedonia- valid British, Canadian, USA or multiple-entry Schengen visa
- Croatia- valid multiple-entry Schengen documents/national visas and residence permits of Bulgaria/Cyprus/ Romania
- Romania- valid multiple-entry Schengen documents
- Bulgaria- valid multiple-entry Schengen visa
- Cyprus- valid multiple-entry Bulgarian, Croatian, Romanian or Schengen Visa
- Georgia- valid visa from USA, UK, Australia, Schengen area or a long list of nations (see list here)
- Turkey- valid Schengen/USA/UK/ Ireland visa or residence permit may let you get single entry e-Visas valid for one month via the website www.evisa.gov.tr
- Qatar- valid residence permit or visit visa to either Schengen countries, Australia, Canada, UK, USA or New Zealand, can obtain an Electronic Travel Authorisation (ETA) free of
- Madagascar- applicants residing in the U.S.A, regardless of the nationality
- São Tomé and Príncipe- US, Canada or Schengen visa charge* by completing an online application prior to travelling
- Malaysia- 120 hour transit without visa available for those traveling to and from these 7 countries with the appropriate visa(s) (see full list of eligibility criteria)
- Turkey- valid UK, US, Schengen or Ireland visa
- Bermuda (British Territory)- multiple entry Canada/USA visa
- British Virgin Islands (British Territory)- valid UK, USA or Canada visa
- Turks and Caicos (British Territory)- valid UK, USA or Canada visa
China’s 24-hour Visa-free transit rule (visa free country #49)
This one didn’t really fit anywhere else so putting it in its own section. Bangladeshi travelers transiting through China to reach another country of destination may be eligible for a 24 hour Transit Visa Exemption. This visa exemption is available to all foreigners, and most ports of entry in China. I didn’t even know about this rule till I ended up in China for a long layover in 2016, and wandered out of the airport in Kunming dumbfounded by how I went past Chinese immigration without a Visa. For my next 2 layovers in China, I planned in advance. I hired a tour-guide to show me around the island of Xiamen the first time, and ventured out to go solo-exploring during the second one.
We are done with listing places you can visit. In this section, I will offer some insights into planning your trips, and suggest a few travel itineraries based on my own travel experiences that I think others can learn from from.
Finding cheap flights
It took me a while to nail this down the exact methodology that I use now to find the cheapest flights. I use a combination of Google flights and Skyscanner. Google flights is the best website/app (in my humble opinion) for figuring out where you can fly for cheap when you have open-ended travel plans. The map/explore feature which allows you to look at flight prices to anywhere after picking a departure point is amazing. Google also tells you if the flight prices to a location at the moment are cheap/expensive relative to how much they usually cost.
Now, for the second part. Once you have a rough idea of where you want to go based on flight prices, I recommend switching to Skyscanner and checking the deals for flights there on the same dates. Usually, the flights on Skyscanner are cheaper than Google Flights for some reason. But Skyscanner’s open-ended map exploration feature doesn’t work as well as Google’s does, which is why I recommend switching to this once you have narrowed down your destination.
But what if my plans are not open-ended and there is a specific place I want to go?
No worries! These apps should have you covered as well. With both apps, you can choose to get notified when flight prices to your dream destinations change. I use this feature all the time, and have utilized unbelievable deals such as $140 Round-trip from Los Angeles-Panama City and $185 one-way flight from Sweden to Los Angeles.
Suggested Trip 1 (traveling from Bangladesh): Indonesia
Note: Indonesia used to offer both on-arrival and e-visas to Bangldeshis but both are currently on hold since Covid started. Hopefully this is temporary, and will be sorted soon 🙁
Indonesia is hands down one of my two favorite countries to visit along with Mexico. I had the chance to spend 2 weeks traveling around it in 2017. After visiting Flores and going from Bali to Jakarta by road, I still left the country feeling I had only scratched the surface of the paradise with its 14,000+ islands and multiple biospheres. Not only can you visit Indonesia for a month with a free on-arrival visa (you can pay for a 2 month on-arrival visa), you can also travel around most of the country on a tight budget of $30/day if you are backpacking like me. The cheapest accommodation I used was a $6/night hostel in Jogjakarta. I found Indonesia to be much cheaper than Thailand, which is where most Bangladeshi tourists seem to flock to. I found most of Indonesia outside of Bali to be cheaper as well.
Here are 3 things to do on your next trip to Indonesia:
- Go Volcano hiking in Eastern Java. Hiking up both Mount Bromo and Mount Ijen are breathtaking experiences (metaphorically more so than literally 😉 )
- Go to the Sumatran jungle and see some wildlife. Orangutans are one of the main reasons I am planning on returning to Indonesia next year.
- Go to Flores and enjoy the tranquil views at Labuan Bajo and see the sun set by hundreds of little islands (a video preview with travel tips at the end for those interested)
Suggested Trip 2 (for US/Canada residents): Mexico
A lot of people studying/working in the US and Canada are not aware that having a valid multiple-entry visa to either country allows you unlimited travel into several countries in Central America. Mexico arguably has the most to offer out of all of them. Even I wasn’t aware of this exemption during my first 4 years in the US, but since then, I have done around a dozen trips to Mexico and have no plans of stopping. From surf-waves on the western end of Baja California, to Aztec ruins buried under Mexico City, to Mayan Pyramids and underground swim-holes in Yucatan, Mexico has no shortage of amazing experiences. Not to forget, the street-side food is one of the best I have ever tasted in my life (and very accommodating for those of us used to a Bangladeshi diet). I usually eat chicken tacos 3 times a day when in Mexico. And on top of it all, it’s filthy cheap! Budget travel costs in Mexico are estimated to range roughly around $25-40 a day. Here’s my first vlog that I made 3 years ago during a 3-day trip to Mexico, and everything you see me doing in this video (including entrance fees) cost less than $40 combined.
My recommendations for 3 things to do in Mexico:
- Go see the pyramids of Teotihuacan near Mexico city. They are bigger and much older than the Mayan ones in Yucatan, and I thought they were cooler than Chichen Itza. If you can afford it, I highly recommend going on a sunrise hot-air balloon ride over them. Here’s a short video I made from when I had the chance to do it.
- Go swim in the Cenotes of Yucatan. Under-ground swimming caves with crystal-clear pools are just as cool as they sound. Skip to 2:20 of this video for a glimpse.
- Go swimming with a sea-lion colony in Baja California. You can play with wild sea-lion pups in the water next to an island. I have a video on that somewhere on my YouTube channel too, but I will stop spamming you with self-promotion here.
* I am aware that most Dhakaias (myself included) probably never learned to swim growing up. But I promise there’s a lot more to Mexico than just the swimming activities I mentioned
Suggested Trip 3 (for holders of Schengen Visa/documents): The Balkans
I have spent more than a year traveling all across Europe (more on that in this article if interested), and some of my best experiences were in the Balkans (Slovenia, Serbia, Montenegro, Croatia, North Macedonia and Albania). As long as you avoid the coastal towns where cruise ships come in, the prices are cheaper than almost all of Europe, and significantly cheaper than Western Europe. I have friends that were camping out during the summer, and getting by while spending less than 15 euros/day. My favorite part is that the beautiful locations (apart from the aforementioned coastal hot-spots) are far from being crowded with tourists, and are very serene. Relative to Western Europe, the Balkans attract more chill travelers who like to take things easy, and I have formed incredible friendships with other solo-travelers during my 2 months in the Balkans. There are a lot of historical spots as well throughout the Balkans, where major region-defining events unfolded up until the late 90s. Any talk about the Balkans would be incomplete without mentioning how good their food (read Burek) is. A very filling burger/pljeskavica in Serbia will cost around l-2 Euros if you get it at the right spot, and Albania and Bosnia-Herzegovina is even cheaper. If you have dietary restrictions, do note that the food isn’t usually vegan-friendly.
Recommendations on 3 things to do in the Balkans:
- Take a free walking tour on the Bosnian civil war in Sarajevo. This was one of the more moving places I have been to. My tour-guide was another young man who had lived through the violence of the civil war himself as the city was under siege
- Go see the medieval coastal towns of Croatia and Montenegro. For all you Game of Thrones fans, Dubrovnik is where they filmed all scenes from King’s Landing.
- Go to Slovenia. It’s the most underrated country in Europe in my opinion, with amazing views, amazing architecture and amazing people. I became fascinated with it after the first time I went there. After returning home to Los Angeles, I got together with a Slovenian friend to make a 50-minute instructional video of how to visit Slovenia, and of course, went back this summer.
*I realize that the Balkans technically include Greece, Bulgaria and Romania (may be the last one’s debatable), but I am choosing to focus on former Yugoslavia countries and Albania. I should add that Romania is pretty amazing too.
If you have any questions about anything I said, the quickest way to get a response would be to comment here instead of sending a private message. If you notice any mistakes in the info I provided, or if I am missing something, I would be very appreciative if you guided me to the right sources to correct them.
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I hope this post was helpful. Cheers!