Arton Capital, a provider of residency and citizenship solutions, has updated 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.
The visa-free score represents the number of countries a passport holder can visit visa-free or with visa on arrival.
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, with Germany ranking as the country with the best passport with a visa-free score of 161.
This sees the European country overtake Singapore (160), which was ranked as the country with the strongest visa in September. Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Italy, France and Spain all also boast a score of 160.
South Africa ranked at 47 on the list with a visa-free score of 94 – an improvement on the 90 countries open to South Africans in 2017.
For 2018, a few countries have been added or changed visa classifications (from visa on arrival to visa free).
Specifically, Angola, Mauritius, Micronesia, Russia, Qatar and Senegal are now visa-free, while Gabon has been added as a visa on arrival destination, along with Ghana and Turkey. Cote d’Ivoire (Ivory Coast) was added as an Electronic Travel Authority destination.
These are the countries South African passport holders can access without a visa:
|Antigua & Barbuda||Grenada||Mauritius||South Korea|
|Argentina||Guatemala||Micronesia||St Vincent and the Grenadines|
|Benin||Hong Kong||Palestinian territories||Trinidad and Tobago|
|Dominica||Kenya||Qatar (Visa waiver on arrival)||Zambia|
|Dominican Republic||Kosovo||Russian Federation||Zimbabwe|
|Ecuador||Lesotho||Saint Kitts and Nevis|
|El Salvador||Macao||Saint Lucia|
|Visa on arrival|
|Gabon||Maldives||Seychelles (visitor’s permit)|
|Electronic Travel Authority (eTA) entry|
|Ivory Coast||India||Sri Lanka|