SA passport makes gains on global index

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  • Global investment migration consultancy Henley & Partners compiles a quarterly passport index.
  • The South African passport has moved up on the index to take 53rd spot after Egypt was added to the visa-free destination.
  • The SA passport offers visa-free access to 106 of 227 destinations measured by the index.
  • For more financial news, go to the News24 Business front page.


The South African passport has moved up on a global index ranking to take the 53rd spot with its visa-free access offered to 47% of the world's destinations.

This is two places higher than in July 2022, according to the latest passport index by investment migration consultancy Henley & Partners, based in London. The SA passport's upward move is due to the addition of visa-free access to Egypt since then.

The SA passport offers visa-free access to 106 of 227 destinations measured by the index. It beats passports including those of Qatar, Botswana, Saudi Arabia, China, Namibia, Thailand, Malawi, and Kenya.

Mauritius is the only other African country with greater visa-free access than SA. It is in 34th place, along with Grenada, with access to 146 visa-free destinations.

The Henley Passport Index is based on research by the International Air Transport Association (IATA) and the Henley & Partners research team.

In terms of "passport power" - the percentage of global GDP a passport can access visa-free - SA passport holders can access about 15.36% of the global economy.

By comparison, Japan's passport provides visa-free access to 193 destinations. Japan is at the top of the Henley Passport Index, with visa-free access to 85% of the world's economy. 

Next on the list is Singapore and South Korea, in joint second place with a visa-free destination score of 192. Germany and Spain are in joint third place with 190 visa-free destinations, followed by Finland, Italy, and Luxembourg in joint fourth place with a destination score of 189.

Austria, Denmark, The Netherlands, and Sweden are jointly in 5th place with access to 188 visa-free destinations. The UK passport is in 6th place, along with France, Ireland, and Portugal, with a destination score of 187.

The US passport is in 7th place, along with Belgium, the Czech Republic, New Zealand, Norway, and Switzerland, with visa-free access to 186 destinations. Australia, Canada, Greece, and Malta are jointly in 8th position with a destination score of 185.

The lowest-ranked passport is that of Afghanistan. It is in 109th place on the list, with visa-free access to 27 destinations. Among some of the other countries at the bottom end of the list are Somalia (35 visa-free destinations), Yemen (34), Pakistan (30), and Iraq (29).

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