Seychelles remains No. 1 country on Africa Visa Openness Index
The Seychelles' passport. (Seychelles News Agency)
(Seychelles News Agency) - Seychelles remains the top performing African country on visa openness, according to the second edition of the Africa Visa Openness Index launched last Friday.
Seychelles is ranked first on the index followed by Uganda and Togo. According to the index, the island nation in the western Indian Ocean “continues to lead the index and remains the only African country on the continent to offer visa-free access for all Africans.”
The index measures how open African countries are when it comes to visas by looking at what they ask of citizens from other countries in Africa when they travel. It aims to show at a glance which countries are facilitating travel for citizens of other countries and how. Data was collected between September 2016 and January 2017 with the International Air Transport Association (IATA) being the primary source of information.
Visitors to Seychelles 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 was one of 13 countries ranked first as a welcoming country in the passport index 2017.
Irrespective of the nationality of the visitors there are no visa requirements to enter Seychelles, but some documents must be shown in order to obtain immigration clearance at the International Airport. These are: a passport valid on the date of entry to and exit from Seychelles, return or onward ticket and proof of accommodation including contact details.
The Africa Visa Openness Index reported that: “Overall, Africans were able to travel more freely across the continent in 2016, as visa openness levels improved from 2015. However, many challenges remained.”
The index showed the disparity in visa openness between the various regions in Africa. In the top 20 most visa-open countries 75 percent are in either East or West Africa, 20 percent in Southern Africa, one country from North Africa (Mauritania) and no countries from Central Africa.