Businesstech – 16 January 2017

South Africans can visit these 90 countries without a visa in 2017

Arton Capital, a provider of residency and citizenship solutions, has launched the 2017 edition of its Passport Index – a system that ranks travel documents by the number of countries that can be visited without having to apply for a visa.

Arton noted that in recent years, citizenship by investment has become a US$2 billion industry, with over 20,000 investors seeking a second residency or citizenship around the globe annually.

A total of 199 passports worldwide were included in the index. Germany ranks as the country with the best passport, with a visa-free score of 157. Singapore and Sweden (156) are next on the list, having overtaken South Korea which dropped to to 6th place with access to to 152 countries.

The visa-free score represents the number of countries a passport holder can visit visa-free or with visa on arrival.

Eight countries including Switzerland, France, the United Kingdom, and the United States of America are joint third on the Index with a score of 155.

Japan climbed to 4th place, tied with European countries including Italy, Netherlands, Belgium, and others whose visa-free score is 154.

Among the lowest-ranked countries are Syria, with a visa-free score of 29, Iraq (28), Pakistan (26) and Afghanistan (23).

Marshall Islands added the most countries to its visa-free score – 35 – in 2016. Palau, Micronesia, follow with 34 additional countries, while Solomon Islands and Tuvalu added 33.

Four countries including Ghana and South Korea ‘lost’ four countries last year.

In December, Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba announced that South Africa had withdrawn the visa exemption for New Zealand passport holders, after the Antipodean country withdrew visa free travel arrangements for South Africans due to incidents of counterfeit or fraudulent passports.

Currently those people holding an RSA passport can access 59 countries visa-free, with an additional 31 countries operating a visa-on-arrival system.

These are the countries South African passport holders can access without a visa:

Visa-free entry
Antigua and Barbuda Fiji Lesotho Singapore
Argentina Gabon Macao South Korea
Bahamas Georgia Malawi St. Vincent and the Grenadines
Barbados Grenada Malaysia Swaziland
Belize Guatemala Mozambique Tanzania
Benin Guyana Namibia Thailand
Botswana Haiti Nicaragua Trinidad and Tobago
Brazil Honduras Palestinian Territories Tunisia
Chile Hong Kong Panama Uruguay
Colombia Indonesia Paraguay Vanuatu
Costa Rica Ireland Peru Venezuela
Dominica Israel Philippines Zambia
Dominican Republic Jamaica Saint Kitts and Nevis Zimbabwe
Ecuador Kenya Saint Lucia
El Salvador Kosovo
Visa on entry
Armenia Guinea-Bissau Mauritania Seychelles
Bolivia Iran Mauritius Tajikistan
Burundi Jordan Micronesia Timor-Leste
Cambodia Kyrgyzstan Nepal Togo
Cape Verde Laos Oman Turkey
Comoros Madagascar Palau Tuvalu
Djibouti Maldives Rwanda Uganda
Ethiopia Marshall Islands Samoa
Electronic Travel Authority (eTA) entry
India Sri Lanka
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