By Nico Strydom
South Africans can travel to more than a 100 foreign destinations without visas.
According to the latest passport index of the company Henley & Partners South Africa is in the 50th position. This index ranks countries according to the number of countries to which their passport holders may travel without a visa.
This index provides extensive information about the countries to which you may travel without a visa, with an electronic visa (e-Visa), with a visa upon arrival or with a normal visa.
In 2016 South Africa was in the 37th position on this list, but this systematically deteriorated to its worst position on the list (55th) in 2017. South Africa has, however, improved its position and the 50th position means that South African passport holders can travel to 102 countries without a visa. Click here for the complete list of countries to which South Africans can travel without a visa.
The countries that give their passport holders visa-free entry to the most countries, are:
- Japan, Singapore: Visa-free entry to 189 destinations
- Germany: Visa-free entry to 188 destinations
- Finland, France, Italy, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Denmark: Visa-free entry to 187 destinations
- Austria, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, the United Kingdom, the USA: Visa-free entry to 186 destinations
- Belgium, Canada, Ireland, Switzerland: Visa-free entry to 185 destinations
The Department of International Relations and Cooperation makes an appeal to South Africans who want to travel overseas to first do some research about the financial, political, cultural and economical environment in the country they intend traveling to.
South Africans must also familiarise themselves with the laws of the country to which they are travelling as these laws also apply to tourists. According to the Department it had to assist an increasing number of South Africans over the past year due to, inter alia, crime, accidents, disasters and civil unrest.
The Department therefore makes a further appeal to South Africans travelling overseas to register at the nearest South African embassy, high commissariat or consulate. South Africans are further advised to keep the contact details of these offices as well as the contact details of their next of kin on them.
South Africans should always find out beforehand whether they need a visa for travelling to a particular destination. The requirements may change from time to time and before every journey you should therefore make sure whether the requirements are still the same.
If you are in a foreign country and to not comply with the visa or permit requirements or are perhaps staying longer than you are allowed to, you may be subjected to criminal prosecution, imprisonment, deportation, or be blacklisted.
Henley & Partners Passport Index: https://www.henleypassportindex.com/passport