These are the 100 countries South Africans can travel to visa-free in 2019

Henley & Partners has updated its passport index for 2019, ranking all the world’s passports according to the number of destinations their holders can access without a prior visa.

For the first time ever, Japan, Singapore, and South Korea now hold joint top spot on the inde with a visa-free/visa-on-arrival score of 189.

These latest results consolidate 12 months of Asian dominance, after Japan first climbed to the top spot in February last year, Henley & Partners said.

Following a visa-exemption from Uzbekistan, Germany currently sits alone in 2nd place, with a score of 188. Five countries now share 3rd place on the index – which is based on exclusive data from the International Air Transport Association (IATA) – with a score of 187: Denmark, Finland, France, Italy, and Sweden.

The UK and the US look increasingly unlikely to regain the top spot they jointly held in 2015, with the UK now siting in 5th place with a visa-free/visa on arrival score of 185, and the US in 6th, with a score of 184.

Afghanistan and Iraq remain at the bottom of the ranking with a score of just 30, a position one or both countries have occupied throughout the index’s 14-year history.


While growing passport strength seems inevitable for some countries, uncertainty abounds for others, as protracted Brexit negotiations continue.

Last Thursday, EU leaders agreed to a request to delay the Brexit process, with a new conditional deadline set for mid-April.

Although the outcome remains unknown, Prof Florian Trauner, Research Professor at the Institute for European Studies at the Free University of Brussels, points out that the process has not yet affected the UK’s standing on the Henley Passport Index.

“Post-Brexit, it is likely that UK citizens will retain their (short-stay) visa-free travel for the Schengen area. If the UK and EU manage to maintain a close political and trade relationship, the actual impact of Brexit on the travel freedom of British citizens may remain limited.

“However, the picture may change with regard to long-term mobility given that the free movement rights for UK citizens in the EU (and vice versa) will cease to apply.”

South Africa

South Africans can travel to 100 countries visa-free in 2019 – ranking 51st on the list.

The number of counties is down from 102 in 2018, with South Africans now requiring a visa to enter Turkey – although this can be done through a simple online process designed to issue your visa within 48 hours.

Oman also recently scrapped its visa-on-arrival policy in recent months.

South Africa has steadily dropped down the rankings since 2006, with a best ranking of 35th in 2009.

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

Visa-free entry (68)
Angola Falkland Islands Malawi Senegal
Antigua and Barbuda Fiji Malaysia Singapore
Argentina Grenada Mauritius South Korea
Bahamas Georgia Micronesia St Kitts and Nevis
Barbados Guatemala Mozambique St Lucia
Belize Guyana Montserrat St Vincent and Grenadines
Botswana Haiti Namibia Swaziland
British Virgin Islands Honduras Nicaragua Tanzania
Brazil Hong Kong Niue Thailand
Cayman Islands Indonesia Palestine Trinidad and Tobago
Chile Ireland Panama Tunisia
Cook Islands Israel Paraguay Turks and Caicos Islands
Costa Rica Jamaica Peru Uruguay
Dominica Kenya Philippines Vanuatu
Dominican Republic Kosovo Qatar Venezuela
Ecuador Lesotho Reunion Zambia
El Salvador Macao Russia Zimbabwe

Visa on entry (32)
Armenia Ghana Mauritius Tajikstan
Benin Guinea-Bissau Nepal Timor-Leste
Bolivia Iran Palau Islands Togo
Cambodia Jordan Rwanda Tuvalu
Cape Verde Kyrgystan Samoa Uganda
Comores Laos Seychelles
Dijbouti Madagascar Somalia
Ethiopia Maldives Sri Lanka
Gabon Marshall Islands St Helena

Read: New baggage rules at OR Tambo International – here’s what you need to know

Must Read

Partner Content

Show comments

Trending Now

Follow Us

These are the 100 countries South Africans can travel to visa-free in 2019