Holders of Seychelles’ passport have the most powerful passport in Africa, a 2017 travel ranking reports.
According to the Passportindex.org, Seychellois nationals can visit 96 countries visa-free and 30 with issuance of a visa on arrival, bringing the total to 126.
Mauritius is second in Africa with 118 countries, and South Africa in third place with a visa-free score of 90.
Visitors to Seychelles, a group of 115 islands in the western Indian Ocean, also have an easy time travelling, as they do not have to apply for a visa in advance; travellers are given a visitor’s permit upon arrival. The island nation is one of 13 countries ranked first as a welcoming country.
Since the island nation is open to all other countries, it is constantly in discussion with countries to get visa waivers.
“There are various countries that we have contacted and we are taking all the opportunities given to raise the question [of signing a visa waiver],” said Jean-Claude Adrienne, the Director for Consular Affairs at the Department of Foreign Affairs.
Adrienne added that there might be other countries to sign the visa waiver this year.
Globally, Seychelles is ranked 25th, a position that has not changed since 2016.
- Bosnia and Herzgoniva
- Czech Republic
- Holy See
- South Africa
- Hong Kong
- Republic of Korea
- Solomon Islands
- Sri Lanka
- Antigua and Barbuda
- Saint Kitt and Nevis
- Saint Lucia
- Saint Vincent and the Grenaldines
- Trinidad and Tobago
Negotiations are ongoing with some of those countries to allow visa free entry for all passport types, including with the United Arab Emirates which the Seychelles government says it is currently finalizing negotiations on the matter.
Currently, only citizens holding Seychelles diplomatic and special passports can enter in the UAE without a visa as part of a visa waiver agreement which the Seychelles government signed in 2012.
From 16th July 2015 Thursday onwards Seychelles passport holders will no longer require the visa to travel in UAE. As the agreement of visa waiver signed between UAE and Seychelles in last year will come into effect.
The Seychelles Minister foreign affairs said on the afternoon of Monday, all the internal process related to visa waiver had completed.
The Seychelles citizen will now, from the date of arrival to UAE he can stay and travel for up to 90 days without any visa.
It is also to be noted that Seychelles citizens will not be allowed to take part in any work, study or in any profession, without following any corresponding laws related to these activities in UAE, said in the released statement.
The coming of visa waiver would herald a new opportunities to the people of both countries, it will enhance people to people contact, trade and tourism between the both countries, said Seychelles President James Michel while commending the excellent relationship between both the countries.
Seychelles, a conglomeration of 115 islands in Indian Ocean archipelago with a population of 90,000 has become the first African country joining the list of 40 countries that do not require a visa to travel in UAE.
According to Seychelles national bureau of statistics, there were 9,039 trips made by Seychelles citizens to UAE, followed by Mauritius (6,353) and South Africa (5,286) out of the total 35,431 overseas trips made by the Seychelles nationals.