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

Read: New Zealanders now need a visa to travel to SA

In December, Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba announced that South Africa had withdrawn the visa exemption for New Zealand passport holders, after the Antipodean country withdrew visa free travel arrangements for South Africans due to incidents of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 Tuvalu
Comoros Madagascar Palau Uganda
Djibouti Maldives Rwanda
Ethiopia Marshall Islands Samoa
Electronic Travel Authority (eTA) entry
India Sri Lanka

Read: These are countries South Africans can visit without a visa

BusinessTech's Staff Writer is directly plugged into the South African Internet backbone, and spits out press releases and other news as they receive it. They are believed to be cl...
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  • keithbe

    The US has the best offering with their 10 year visa. Why all the others are so sticky is unfathomable.

    • Allanb

      UK offers a 10 year visa as well

      • Selwyn

        Yup! that costs a bloody fortune. i still don’t understand why a 6 month visa cost a little and a 10 year visa so much???. The paper work is the same.
        And 90% of the questions are so stupid EG
        Do you know a terrorist ?
        Have you ever spoken to a terrorist?
        Are you a member of a terrorist movement?
        …..and then it asks the same re your family
        Do any of members of your immediate family know any terorrists? etc
        I mean come on!?!?!
        What if a soft spoken chap with a foreign accent stops you in the street and says: Sorry. My English not very good. Which is the street to the trains?.
        How the hell am I supposed to know if he is a terrorist???? or NOT???

      • Nicole Panda Perry

        the only problem is a USA 10 year visa costs roughly R2320 whereas a UK 10 year visa is over R14000

        • Selwyn

          My point exactly!!!

    • BallsToTheWall

      Any idea how much the 10 year US Visa costs?

      • Nicole Panda Perry

        the consular fee for a USA visa for a South African currently costs about R2320, if you are applying in South Africa that is

      • keithbe

        $160…Rand wise it was cheaper back when we were at R8/$1

    • Paul Michael Mitchell

      Sounds like a good visa. I had no idea.

  • victory

    All good things happening under the leadership of ANC keep wonderful work

    • Donovan Kyle Callow

      South Africa’s visa rank has actually dropped under the rule of the ANC from +-114 Countries to 90 with New Zealand being the most recent.

      • Marc Celliers

        Donovan. I think victory was being sarcastic lol

  • Selwyn

    Who wants to go most of these countries any way? I may want to go to 2 or 3
    The list reads like the Olympic Games parade. You only see or hear of them every 4 years, if you watch the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games

    • beetle


      • Selwyn

        I luv yr sens of humor
        Enjoy them anyway

  • Meri

    Not interested in visiting any of these countries.

    • Jason Welz

      Are you kidding? Let me guess, you’d love to visit the UK, Australia and the USA? Broaden your horizons, there are some awesome destinations on that list.

      • Meri

        I have seen, even lived in some of the visa free countries mentioned.
        Jamaica was the best, easy to travel to Cuba, Florida the whole Carribean.
        Lived in Australia for 3 years, explored a lot…..
        Have a home in Canada I go to once a year and I love the USA especially LA
        Used to love UK, not London so much anymore.
        I live 6/9 months a year in Europe and I love it !

    • Paul Michael Mitchell

      Hong Kong is an amazing experience.

      • Sean Redmond

        Singapore also.

    • Are you interested in visiting any at all? Asking since I know at least one person, who’s the epitome of a doos, who thinks SA uber alles and has zero interest in even visiting any other country.

      • Meri

        SA is definitely not on my ‘uber alles’ list.
        That is why we have a home in Canada as well
        and homes in 2 different countries in Europe.
        I have been to more than 33 countries already

        • An impressive amount for you to not want to visit any listed above in addition.

        • BallitoBill


        • You are amazing.

      • Fanandala

        South Africa could be on many “ueber alles” lists, if we only did not have such a load of sh1theads in Government. I mean the local food is good and cheap, the scenery and wildlife is absolutely fantastic, most of the people are friendly and welcoming.
        So now the Kiwis need a visa. And they will have to decide whether to watch the Boks getting clobbered by the All Blacks on TV or go through the extra hassle and watch it at Newlands. What an utter moron that Gigabyte is. I hope the people who are jobless because of him will turn around soon and retaliate.

    • Slabboy

      Well then stay in the Karoo.

  • DumbSA

    Basically all the countries the rest of the world requires visas for

  • Prof. Klinghoffer

    Basically all the sh*thole countries that ANC’s South Africa aspires to. Except for Singapore and Hong Kong.

    • BallsToTheWall

      Dunno man…was actually contemplating a visit to Armenia to find out who is responsible for unleashing the Kardashians on us!

      • Wurnman


      • Colonel Jack

        Be sure to take a baseball bat with. You know, to thank them.

      • Meri

        You should go, Armenia is beautiful !

      • Slabboy

        Have a problem with them unleashing Kim on you?

    • reVelske

      And Ireland and South Korea. I’d argue Singapore and HK aren’t that great though.

    • Spika

      I want Kenya, Brazil, Thailand and Mauritius.

    • expatNederland

      Shithole, ook lande wat ekonomies armoedig is, geen economie en werkloosheid een nasionale sport is.

  • FracturedButWhole

    It won’t be long before Ireland goes the same route as New Zealand.

  • Nicole Panda Perry

    Well actually Turkey requires an e-visa before you travel as well, it is not a visa on arrival.

    • Paul Michael Mitchell

      Strange, my wife missed her connecting flight. The only way to book another ticket was to enter the country. They gave her a visa right there.

    • Selwyn

      You simply go on line
      Filll in .
      No prob

    • Deal_with__it

      You can get the evisa at the airport. They have kiosks everywhere.

  • Right, so if you dont get a direct flight, and you have a lay over in one of the other countries you will need a visa.

    • Shayne S

      My friend literally got stuck at the border in Amsterdam as she missed her connecting flight to Toronto. With no schengen visa, she could not go to the ticketing office to have a new ticket issued. 14 hours later… they put her in a hotel room in the airport and booked her on a flight for the next day (Business class at least). Dreadful.

    • Only if you leave the airport. Many international airports today have hotels which are deemed part of the airports specifically for the purpose.

    • Belingwe1

      I was denied passing through and taking a connecting flight after 4hrs coz I needed a visa for this country. Just check with the airline or booking agent before you fly.

  • philani moffat mfeka

    Is this the same Ireland that is part of Great Britain

    • John

      No, Northern Ireland falls under the UK. The rest of Ireland is called….Ireland.

  • MelcolmX

    many interesting places other than the usual US, UK, Australia, NZ. Virtually most Caribbean, Central America, South America visa free and is more friendlier than stuffy poms, or the serious Germans, Swiss. Europe has become less attractive over the last 20 years.

  • Day Walker

    It’s pity that our passports don’t have that much value in the world, as person who like to travel a lot i am really sad to find out that we are been cut out every year in many interesting countries that i would like to visit… I wish our government can do something about this…. Its really demotivating…. To be proudly South African when hearing things like this still happening eg fraud of our passports… OMG

    • David

      Actually a South African passport is better if you travel in Africa than a European US passport.

      • Day Walker

        I am fully aware of that Dave, I will like so much to see other continents, it would be great if our government work with other EU/US/CAN, on the other hand hand I am fully aware again all this restriction is due to political reason that were as nation we are not full aware of. but hey lets hope for the best, After all SA is still one of the most beautiful country in the world….I have travel many countries but i can tell you we have amazing country despite whats going on in it.

    • Selwyn

      Yup! Pakistani arrives in London with his ‘R50 SA passport’. Usual 2 or 3 questions. Next question——-
      Wat is jou naam? GUESS WHO WENT STRAIGHT BACK TO SA???
      One year later you need to hoes R7000 for a 10 year visa.
      I now need to renew,about R10k WTF!!!!!

  • Ken Barron

    I think that Zambia should be visa on entry?

  • Shayne S

    Fun Fact: There is a travel agreement between the UK and Ireland. I flew from Dublin to Gatwick and walked straight into London without going through passport control. (I did have a UK visa, but nobody bothered to ask for it!)

    • Selwyn

      Cos I go to my kids in Londres ,I have heard this is not too uncommon.
      Me? I’m a bit chicken to try.

      • Shayne S

        I would get a visa honestly! not worth any risk, especially in todays climate where everyone is super cautious and on edge about immigration

        • Selwyn

          I agree absolutely!!! I would never risk it and by the time one has done the trip to Ireland and then transport to London with all the connections, —– not worth the hassle or cost either

    • I can confirm that this is true – I took a ferry from Dublin (Ireland) to Wales (UK) once and just walked off the boat into the UK, no passport check, no questions, nothing. I am absolutely amazed that this loophole has not yet been closed …

  • On these lists I’ve been to Nepal, Turkey, Jordan, Peru, Bolivia, Argentina, Thailand, Cambodia, Malaysia, Mauritius, Ireland and Namibia, and in every case I was welcomed as an SA passport holder. No hassles, no twenty questions, no “you are rubbish, how dare you come here” attitude ….. which is commonplace in Europe and North America. Travelling in South America and Asia is a pleasure; if you haven’t been, try it.

    • Jade Rietmann

      What’s the visa requirements for Cambodia? Can’t seem to find much help online. Thanks

      • When I went to Cambodia a few years you could get a visa at the border/airport – cost $20, no questions asked. They take a digital photo, take your money and you’re in. Apparently you can now do it online, a so-called eVisa (read that on a travel forum, but I haven’t done it)

      • I suggest going on to the Lonely Planet and/or Trip Advisor travel forums and asking there – there are loads of very knowledgeable travellers there who can answer any question. Cambodia info will be in the South-East Asia or Asia forum. I’d post the URLs here but when I’ve done that previously my post got blocked …

        • Jade Rietmann

          Thanks a lot, I really appreciate the help. I’m looking to go at the end of the year, so I still have some time. Will definitely search those forums you suggested.

      • Debbie Eaton

        You can get a visa on arrival in Cambodia.

    • expatNederland

      Thailand is ssuuuuuuuuuper 🙂 🙂

    • My experience is a mixed bag.

      I was detained in visa free Lesotho on exiting, by the same border post that (it later appeared, deliberately) failed to stamp my passport on entry. They then took me to a room with continued sighs and “if only we could make some kind of plan (wink, wink) we could let you go now”.. until they got tired and let me go (strangely, without a warning).

      On the other hand, for the USA, I spent an evening filling out a form, and a few hours off work a few days later, to attend a (hassle-free) appointment. At the appointment, it was very clear that if you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to worry about. After which I was issued a 10 year visa. From then on it was open arms.

      I suppose the lesson is that visa free does not guarantee getting welcomed with open arms, nor that visa-required means that you’ll be treated with suspicion all the way.

      The big difference, apart from cost, is that with most visas, you have to have your travel plans formally arranged in advance (kind of difficult if you like independent travel, and flexible itenerary), while with visa free, you can just go. In countries like Lesotho and Mozambique, “just go” seems to with risks of strings attached.

  • Peter the Observer

    The killing of trade, travel and opportunity has been killed by the ANC and it is reflected in these basic countries. Of course the whole thing of KILLING the trade prospects, wealth creation, job opportunities and general upliftment of the economy and making sure it dies is proudly brought to you by the ANC !!! what a legacy to bring to its people !!

  • Colin Yates

    So annoyed that North Korea isnt listed

  • Steco

    Israel the only visa free country in the middle east . Goes to show where democracy is in that region.

  • Bob

    Booking for Haiti as I read!!!

  • Ace of Spades

    Thanks to the ANC corruption at home affairs is worse than ever and not improving!

  • etsnyman

    I went to Mauritius 5 years ago for my honeymoon and I don’t recall paying a Visa. Has something changed?

  • Ewan Burger

    Why is Vietnam not noted as visa on arrival as well? Did something change that I do not know about?

  • Nokuthula

    Wanna go to Thailand 😑 atleast won’t need visa. Can’t afford it.

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