Before getting specific about the countries that have open border systems in place, let's first discuss open borders and what this type of border control -- or lack thereof -- is all about. Open borders refer to a system that allows for people to pass through borders without checks, proof of anything, or allowance to enter another country. Sometimes, open borders are not intentional, but rather, they are in place as a result of the government not being able to afford an active border control or laws in place that restrict the enforcement of border control altogether.
Another reason behind open borders is that a current border system is not supported financially, so even though it may exist, it is not enforced well because the resources are not there. So, basically, an open border can result from intentional laws or from accidental lack of planning. The reasons behind open borders vary depending upon the country in question, but the concept of open borders stays the same. It is a lack of a successful border control system, point blank.
To be clear, there are not any countries in the world that operate on a fully open border system. This would mean that people could enter and exit countries at their leisure, which sounds very convenient to tourists and anyone who wants to travel around the world without restrictions. However, this is quite a danger to quite literally everyone involved. Without checking the details, information, and intentions of people before they enter a country,
This would place the residents of the countries in harm’s way because it permits anyone and everyone to enter the country. If you have ever crossed the border between two countries or sovereign states before, then you have an idea of how border control works no matter where you are in the world. If you are unfamiliar with border control processes and systems, then you can try to think about it like an airport. Essentially, officials ask why you are entering a country and question your motives for entering the country.
Whether you live within the borders of the country or the destination is a short-term adventure, border control officials want to understand your purpose for passing through the border and into the country they protect. So, as you can imagine, a country that has open borders will not have an interrogation meeting you at the border. Instead, you are free to go into the country as you please. If the countries surrounding your
The region of the world known as the Schengen Area is a very good example of a group of countries that have open borders between those that are considered member nations of the Schengen Area. The Schengen Area is a region in Europe that encompasses twenty-six nations, all of which share open borders between one another so that the movement of people within this European area can take place more smoothly.
The United States of America is an example of a country that is working to go to the opposite extreme. While open borders promote travel and migration, closed borders emphasize the distinction between one country’s land and all the others. The United States is currently under the control of a presidency that seeks to enhance and strengthen the closed border of the States, which is the polar opposite move of countries seeking open border systems. That said, the United States of America has open borders between states within the county.
Open borders are not hard to find within countries that are divided into regions, states, or separate territories. The United States of America is an example of a country with open borders between all fifty states, with Hawaii and Alaska being two places that you cannot actually access by crossing a land border, from one state into these two. The reason for this has to do with the location of Alaska and Hawaii, for they are not accessible by land. That said, if you are a citizen of the USA or a someone just traveling around the United States, you are still able to visit Hawaii and Alaska because the open border system among the fifty states include Hawaii and Alaska.
Other countries that have open borders within their borders include...
There are instances where you can travel between one country and another if those countries have agreements in place between one another that permits this sort of open border system. The European Union is, as mentioned, a region that has open borders among its countries, but Switzerland and the EU also have an agreement that lets people move freely between the EU and Switzerland.
A policy that promotes open borders comes across as a lack of border control in a dangerous way, given the nature of little to no rules over a large group of people. The thought behind closed borders is that it keeps areas safer and more controlled, and open borders are more for the sake of promoting travel and movement across boundaries.
The European Union is another area of the world that has open borders, as much as open borders can exist. The reason why it's hard to explicitly say that a country has absolutely no border control is that there are rules and laws that specify to whom the open border policies apply. Even with the Schengen Area and the countries of European Union, there are restrictions in terms of who can and cannot move around freely.
With the Schengen Area, for example, people who do not have permanent residence in one of the twenty-six nations has to have a Schengen-specific visa that permits them to roam freely. The visa is not impossible to obtain, but like any official document, there is an application process, a waiting period, and an expiration date, so anyone with a Schengen Area visa is not forever free from border restrictions. As you can see, open borders are not open to everyone in every nation, but within many countries, you can freely roam around the country's various states and territories as you wish.