Passport world rankings 2018: List of countries you can travel to visa-free!

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South Africa’s passport has weakened drastically over the past decade, falling 17 places down the global ranking since 2008.


This is according to Henley & Partners’ latest Passport Index which ranked South Africa 52nd in the world in 2018, with South Africans able to access 102 destinations around the world visa-free or with a visa on arrival.

However, South Africa still ranks 3rd in Africa, after the Seychelles (25th strongest passport in the world, with 152 destinations) and Mauritius (31st strongest passport in the world, with 146 destinations).

South Africa hit low among countries to travel to visa-free in 2018 as Japan and Singapore stay neck and neck on the index since they both climbed to 1st place in February, pushing Germany down to second place for the first time since 2014. Pix courtesy: Shutterstock

On the global stage, Japan is the current passport champion, with Japanese citizens able to access a record total of 190 destinations around the world. Right behind Japan is Singapore, with a score of 189.

Japan and Singapore have been neck and neck on the index since they both climbed to 1st place in February, pushing Germany down to second place for the first time since 2014.

“The success stories of Mauritius and the Seychelles are a testament to the benefits that come with opening up your country to others,” said Amanda Smit, director of Henley & Partners South Africa.

“Mauritius and the Seychelles both have very welcoming visa policies, and as a result of this openness, other countries reciprocate and make travel easier for Seychellois and Mauritian citizens.

“It is therefore with much enthusiasm that we greet the latest announcement from South African Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba about the planned revisions to South Africa’s visa policy, which pave the wave for a number of reciprocal waivers for South African passport-holders.”

“In today’s fully globalized economy and society, state leaders need to work hand in hand with their global peers to build a more interconnected and collaborative world.

“Retreating into and closing off our borders will only leave us more isolated in the long term, and our citizens more disadvantaged. South Africa is currently on the right path in terms of its approach to immigration and inbound travel, and as a firm of global citizens, we commend the current leadership.”

Below are the 102 countries that South Africans can travel to visa-free right now.

* indicates visa on arrival


  • Cambodia*
  • Hong Kong
  • Indonesia
  • Kyrgyzstan*
  • Laos*
  • Macao
  • Malaysia
  • Maldives*
  • Nepal*
  • Philipines
  • Singapore
  • South Korea
  • Sri Lanka*
  • Tajikistan*
  • Thailand
  • Timor-Leste*


  • Ireland
  • Kosovo
  • Russian Federation


  • Angola
  • Benin*
  • Botswana
  • Cape Verde Islands*
  • Comores Islands*
  • Djibouti*
  • Ethiopia*
  • Gabon*
  • Ghana*
  • Guinea-Bissau*
  • Kenya
  • Lesotho
  • Madagascar*
  • Malawi
  • Mauritania*
  • Mauritius
  • Mozambique
  • Namibia
  • Reunion
  • Rwanda*
  • Senegal
  • Seychelles*
  • Somalia*
  • St Helena*
  • Swaziland
  • Tanzania
  • Togo*
  • Tunisia
  • Uganda*
  • Zambia
  • Zimbabwe


  • Cook Islands
  • Fiji
  • Marshall Islands*
  • Micronesia
  • Niue
  • Palau Islands
  • Samoa
  • Tuvalu
  • Vanuatu


  • Antigua and Barbuda
  • Bahamas
  • Barbados
  • British Virgin Islands
  • Cayman Islands
  • Dominica
  • Dominican Republic
  • Grenada
  • Haiti
  • Jamaica
  • Montserrat
  • St Kitts and Nevis
  • St Lucia
  • St Vincent and Grenadines
  • Trinidad and Tobago
  • Turks and Caicos Islands


  • Argentina
  • Belize
  • Bolivia
  • Brazil
  • Chile
  • Costa Rica
  • Ecuador
  • El Salvador
  • Falkland Islands
  • Guatemala
  • Guyana
  • Honduras
  • Nicaragua
  • Panama
  • Paraguay
  • Peru
  • Uruguay
  • Venezuela

Middle East

  • Armenia*
  • Georgia
  • Iran*
  • Israel
  • Jordan*
  • Oman*
  • Palestinian Territories
  • Qatar
  • Turkey*

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