Just what the title states.

Amateur radio is international in nature covered by ITU/Radiocomm. Whether to allow ham radio operators is, however, a matter of state policy. Here, in VU land, regulations mandate an amateur station may communicate only with licenced amateurs. To the best of my knowledge such mandate is part-and-parcel of amateur service regulation in all nations where the service is allowed.

In this context, it seems proper to know

  • What nations do not grant an Amateur Radio licence?
  • What nations ceased to issue an Amateur Radio licence as a matter of policy?

I.e. What prefix/es should send me scrambling to get on the horn with the Monitor? (+:

  • $\begingroup$ Meta: How about list questions? The answer to this question, even assuming someone is willing to compile some sort of comprehensive list, will almost certainly change with time. Thus, it is a poor fit for the Stack Exchange Q&A format. Voted to close. $\endgroup$ – a CVn Oct 26 '13 at 15:00
  • $\begingroup$ Granted it may be deemed a list question, yet it is IMO adequately relevant to the site to remain open. The alternative here might be a much bigger number of questions; Each to enquire whether particular nation is officially on the amateur radio map ... $\endgroup$ – VU2NHW Oct 26 '13 at 16:42
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    $\begingroup$ This might be a candidate for a community wiki. $\endgroup$ – Amber Oct 26 '13 at 17:26
  • $\begingroup$ No idea I as to why the down-votes but do feel free to vote to close/delete too people in addition to the down-votes ... $\endgroup$ – VU2NHW Oct 28 '13 at 3:54
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    $\begingroup$ @VU2NHW Closed questions serve as important signposts for what we don't want on the site. Especially during the private beta, you shouldn't take a question being closed as anything personal (even after the site goes public, it's still about the question, not about the individual). In this case, I think it's safe to say that the question was closed because (a) the correct answer will change with time and (b) the likelihood that any one individual will have a full answer (a complete, authoritative list of the countries in question) is small. These in combination make for a very poor Q&A. $\endgroup$ – a CVn Oct 28 '13 at 12:17

There are numerous regions of the world where there are not well-established governments (some where various competing regimes continually overturn one another or a region is in a state of civil war). It would be futile to attempt to list these as they change so often. However, among established nation-states, the following do not grant amateur radio licenses:

  • Yemen*
  • North Korea

There are also many countries that make it very difficult for people to obtain licenses (whether through bureaucracy or high costs), but currently these are the only two who do not grant them to citizens at all. Another example of note is the Vatican City. Amateur radio in the State of the Vatican City is club-station activity, with no individual station licenses granted.

* According to Wikipedia, but the ARRL has no information on file either way.

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  • $\begingroup$ I missed throwing in that qualifier about competing regimes; it was on me mind though $\endgroup$ – VU2NHW Oct 26 '13 at 19:26
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    $\begingroup$ In those disputed countries you may not need a license but you can bet that every military in the world has some kind of direction-finding capability, so to transmit is like jumping up and down saying "I'm a target! Shoot me!" $\endgroup$ – SDsolar May 16 '17 at 5:56

A little dated but the IARU 2001 Status Summary of Amateur Stations listed the following nations as "Information being sought". I assume these nations in particular either do not, OR cannot grant an amateur radio operator's licence

EDITED to reflect updated information available on the web vide. comment chain:

  • Burundi (?)
  • Eritrea
  • Niger (?)
  • Somalia
  • Yemen
  • Afghanistan Forgot about another OM there
  • Cambodia Forgot about XU1SS
  • DPR Korea
  • Myanmar (?)

Of this list, at the time of compilation, some nations were in a state of vigorous socio-political flux (as Dan pointed out in his answer). In the event an updated compilation is available, please feel free to edit this answer.

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    $\begingroup$ Check out the ARRL's current list at arrl.org/select-countries-a-d - you have outdated information. Also, Googling 'amateur radio' and the names of these countries will often pull up numerous sites showing clubs in those countries. The only ones still officially banned are Yemen and North Korea. Burundi and Niger have very unstable governments, and it is largely unknown at this time if they grant licenses or not. Some hams from the US were granted permission to operate in Burundi in 2004, but beyond that I could find nothing about licensure. $\endgroup$ – Dan Oct 27 '13 at 2:22
  • $\begingroup$ The Somalian Ham Radio Club keeps tabs on activity throughout Africa as well: sites.google.com/site/somaliahamradio/amateur-radio-in-africa $\endgroup$ – Dan Oct 27 '13 at 2:22
  • $\begingroup$ So definitely keep Yemen and North Korea on this list, and leave Burundi and Niger in questionable status. But otherwise these other countries do grant licenses now (and a couple of them did even before 2001, the publishers of this resource probably just didn't know about it). Thanks for helping compile the list! $\endgroup$ – Dan Oct 27 '13 at 2:24
  • $\begingroup$ @Dan Will do. Hence the looking at the IARU status summary (+: It would be great if somebody can point at the newer summary. $\endgroup$ – VU2NHW Oct 27 '13 at 2:28

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