Powered by the International Air Transport Association (IATA), in-house research and expert commentary, Henley & Partners has released its latest Henley Passport Index. The report ranks passports from every country around the world according to the number of countries its holders can travel to without a visa.
According to its website, “the Henley Passport Index is the most rigorous and sophisticated measure of global access. It goes beyond a simple ranking of passports to provide you with an in-depth picture of your travel freedom, including which countries you can access with which type of visa”.
Having looked at 199 different passports and 227 different travel destinations, Japan was ranked the highest, with its passport-holders having access to an incredible 189 destinations.
In joint-second position were Singapore and Germany and these countries were followed by Finland, France, Italy, South Korea, Spain and Sweden.
South Africa ranked 50th on the list, with South African passport-holders having visa-free access to 102 countries. South Africa has, however, shown a decrease in the travel freedom its passport affords citizens.
“Among the African countries that are experiencing a reduction in the travel freedom associated with their passports is South Africa. Since reaching its highest rank of 35th globally in both the 2008 and 2009 Henley Passport Index listings, South Africa has dropped 15 places, now occupying 50th place overall,” says Ryan Cummings, Director of political and security risk-management consultancy firm Signal Risk.
In fact, sub-Saharan Africa experienced a decline in the 2018 year-to-date ranking, while over the past decade, the majority of the continent’s countries have fallen in the rankings.
Countries South Africans can travel to visa-free
|Antigua and Barbuda
|Hong Kong (SAR China)
|Marshall Islands *
|Cape Verde Islands *
|British Virgin Islands
|Comores Islands *
|Macao (SAR China)
|Palau Islands *
|St. Kitts and Nevis
|Sri Lanka *
|St. Vincent and the Grenadines
|Trinidad and Tobago
|Turks and Caicos Islands
|St. Helena *