Travel advisors Henley & Partners has released its latest Passport Index for 2018.
According to the global citizenship and residence advisory firm, South Africa has improved its ranking – rising to 50th in the world – with its local passport now allowing residents to travel to 102 countries visa-free.
However this may climb even higher in the coming years according to Ryan Cummings, director of Signal Risk, a political and security risk-management consultancy based in South Africa.
Cummings noted that South Africa saw its ranking spiral downward from 35th in 2009, due to concerns over the unlawful replication of South African passports documents.
He added that this replication was often abetted by corrupt officials within the Department of Home Affairs (DOHA), and these concerns saw visa regulations being enforced by several countries, including the UK and Colombia.
“However, the implementation of widespread reforms at the DOHA since 2014 – focused on improving security features both in the application process and within the passport document itself – is expected to enhance confidence in the South African passport and may relax visa restrictions for its holders going forward,” he said.
“Other factors that could strengthen the South Africa passport over the short-to-medium-term include President Cyril Ramaphosa’s intention to ease visa restrictions for African passport holders so as to induce greater intra-Africa trade, in addition to his deployment of an economic envoy with the mandate of securing USD 100 billion in foreign direct investment.”
“Both of these developments are expected to bring about an uptick in the signing of bilateral visa-waiver agreements between South Africa and its trade partners, as a means of facilitating ease of trade and commerce,” Cummings said.
Below are the countries you can travel to visa-free right now.
* Indicates visa on arrival or eTA.
|Cape Verde Islands*||Mauritania*||Tanzania|
|Hong Kong (SAR China)||Maldives*||Tajikistan*|
|Macao (SAR China)||South Korea|
|Cook Islands||Palau Islands*||Vanuatu|
|Antigua and Barbuda||Dominica||St. Lucia|
|Bahamas||Dominican Republic||St. Vincent and the Grenadines|
|Barbados||Grenada||Trinidad and Tobago|
|British Virgin Islands||Haiti||Turks and Caicos Islands|
|Cayman Islands||St. Kitts and Nevis|