In the last quarter, the South African passport was ranked 50th in the world. The South African passport has once again earned its colloquial name – the Green Mamba – by continuing its descent down the global rankings.
The authority on global passport rankings, the Henley Passport Index, recently released its data for 2018. The news is not good for South African passport holders.
To understand the system’s ranking method, the organisation has offered up its method of calculation:
“Henley & Partners receive exclusive data from the International Air Transport Authority (IATA), which forms the basis of the Henley Passport Index.
For each travel destination, if no visa is required for passport holders from a country or territory, then a score with value = 1 is created for that passport.
A score with value = 1 is also applied if passport holders can obtain a visa on arrival, a visitor’s permit, or an electronic travel authority (ETA) when entering the destination. These visa-types require no pre-departure government approval, because of the specific visa-waiver programs in place.
The total score for each passport is equal to the number of destinations for which no visa is required.”
South African passport drops down the rankings
The Green Mamba has steadily slithered further and further down the international ladder since 2008. The most recent Henley Passport Index ranks the South African passport at number 52 – out of a possible 106 – which is a drop of 17 positions in ten years.
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In the last quarter, the passport was ranked 50th in the world.
In terms of points, South Africa has been standing steady at 102 – while other nation’s passports have gained points thanks to the freedom of movement afforded by bilateral agreements.
Currently, the South African passport sits between that of Turkey (111 points) and Belize (101 points).
The best and worst passports in the world
According to the Henley Passport Index, Japan has the best passport in the world, ranked number one with a total of 190 points. The top five passports in the world are:
Japan – 190 points
Singapore – 189 points
France – 188 points
Germany – 188 points
South Korea 188 – points
The most useless passport in the world is a dubious honour awarded to Iraq and Afghanistan, which are both tied for last position, with a meagre 30 points each. The five lowest ranked passports in the world are:
Pakistan – 33 points
Somalia – 32 points
Syria – 32 points
Afghanistan – 30 points
Iraq – 30 points
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