Which countries do not need a visa to travel to Europe?
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Over more than 50 countries do not need a visa to travel to Europe, specifically the Schengen Area.
For visa-free countries, the European Union will launch the European Travel and Information Authorisation System (ETIAS) in November 2023.
ETIAS is not a visa, it is an electronic travel authorisation that can be easily obtained through an online application.
Through the system, visa-exempt foreigners will need to get an ETIAS to visit Schengen countries for stays of up to 90 days.
Although ETIAS will become a new entry requirement for Schengen countries, it will only take travellers a few minutes to complete the registration. Most applications should be approved shortly after they have been submitted.
Nationals from the following countries are eligible to apply for ETIAS and visit Europe without a visa:
Country of origin of the traveller to Europe
Which countries can I visit in Europe without a visa?
If you are from one of the countries listed above, which have a visa-free agreement with the EU, you may visit the Schengen Area without a visa for short term stays.
However, please note that not all European member countries are part of the Schengen zone. The Republic of Ireland, for instance, is not a Schengen member country.
What countries are in the Schengen Area?
The Schengen Area is made up of European nations that have abolished controls at their shared external borders.
There are 22 EU member countries, 4 member countries of the Free Trade Association, and 3 micro-states in the Schengen Area.
Nationals from countries that do not need a visa to travel to Europe will have to apply for an ETIAS travel authorisation, starting in November 2023.
ETIAS will also be a requirement to travel to Member States that have not yet fully adopted the Schengen Agreement. These include:
Third-country nationals who are not visa-exempt need a Schengen visa to enter the Schengen zone.
To visit countries outside Schengen, it is necessary to contact an embassy. For instance, to enter the United Kingdom, foreigners must meet the respective entry requirements.
How to travel to Europe without a visa
To travel to Europe without a visa, you need a passport with a minimum validity of at least 3 months beyond the period of your expected stay in the region.
However, be sure to check that you are from a visa-free country before booking your trip.
Additionally, all foreign visitors are advised to get travel or health insurance in case of an emergency.
Schengen Area countries do not require foreign visitors from visa-exempt countries to have a visa. However, EU countries that are not Schengen members have their own entry requirements.
Which European countries are not in Schengen?
The European countries that are not part of the Schengen zone are:
- Bosnia & Herzegovina
- North Macedonia
- United Kingdom
These European countries have their own specific visa requirements which may differ from Schengen regulations. However, ETIAS will be a requirement for incoming Schengen members such as Croatia, Cyprus, Bulgaria and Romania by November 2023.
Which visa-free countries will need the ETIAS travel authorisation?
The countries that will need an ETIAS travel authorisation are the countries exempt from a visa to travel to the Schengen Area.
A citizen from one of the eligible countries will simply need an Internet connection and a computer, mobile, or tablet to complete the ETIAS online form.
Eligible travellers should meet the ETIAS requirements before completing the form. To successfully get ETIAS, applicants need a valid passport, an email address, and a debit or credit card to pay the ETIAS fee.
To complete an ETIAS application, travellers must provide their personal information, travel details and passport information.
Each applicant must answer a series of security questions related to their health status, criminal background and if they have visited conflict zones in recent years.
It is expected that most ETIAS applications will be processed in a matter of minutes.
However, in some cases, some ETIAS applications might be processed manually to verify the accuracy of the traveller’s data.
All the information provided by a traveller is contrasted with international security databases and the Schengen Area.
Who needs to get the ETIAS visa waiver to travel to Europe?
Any citizen of an eligible country wishing to travel to Europe without a visa, specifically to the Schengen Area, will have to register in the ETIAS system before boarding their flight.
The ETIAS visa exemption is a security measure to improve immigration control upon arrival in European territories.
The EU is committed to making Europe more secure. They hope to achieve this by implementing the ETIAS system and pre-screening visa-exempt travellers before they arrive in European territory.
Foreigners who wish to visit any member country of the Schengen Area must either obtain a Schengen visa or, as of November 2023, get the ETIAS visa waiver.
Once the EU launches the system, it will be necessary to get the ETIAS authorisation at least 72 hours before departure.
All travellers, including minors, must register through the ETIAS system to visit a Schengen country.
Once approved, ETIAS is valid for 3 consecutive years, allowing stays of up to 90 days within an 180 day period.
South Africa passport visa free countries list in 2022
South African citizens can travel to 4 European countries
Kosovo tourist visa is free for South African passport holders and the duration of stay is 3 months. Kosovo is part of Eastern Europe, Europe with main city at Pristina. Its Least Developed country with a population of 2M. The languages typically spoken are Albanian and Serbian. The main currency is Euro.
Ireland tourist visa is free for South African passport holders and the duration of stay is 3 months. Ireland is part of Northern Europe, Europe with main city at Dublin. Its Developed country with a population of 6M. The languages typically spoken are Irish and English. The main currency is Euro.
Svalbard tourist visa is free for South African passport holders. Svalbard is part of Northern Europe, Europe with main city at Longyearbyen. Its Developed country with a population of 3K. The languages typically spoken are Norwegian and Russian. The main currency is Norwegian Krone.
Russia tourist visa is free for South African passport holders and the duration of stay is 3 months. Russia is part of Eastern Europe, Europe with main city at Moscow. Its Developed country with a population of 147M. The languages typically spoken are Russian. The main currency is Russian Ruble.
Frequently Asked Questions
South Africa passport visa free map
Where can South African citizens travel without a visa in 2022
South African passport citizens can visit 74 European countries visa free without a visa. South Africa passport visa free countries include Kosovo, Ireland, Svalbard and Russia. South Africa passport is ranked 135 by Visa List Index 2022.
South Africa is part of Southern Africa, Africa with main city at Cape Town. Its Developing country with a population of 56M. The main currency is Rand. The languages spoken are Southern Sotho, Swati, Tswana, Tsonga and Venda. Find best countries to travel on visa free. See a visual map of visa requirements on the world map.
Visa-Free Countries for South African Passport Holders in 2022
The South African passport allows its holders visa-free entry to more than 50 countries. It gives access to destinations located in Latin America and southern Africa without the need for a visa. This passport makes it possible to travel through several locations that grant South African citizens visa-free entry. Read the article to learn the list of destinations where a visa is not required for people with a South African passport, as well as places that in 2022 offer visa alternatives like visa-on-arrival, eVisa, or eTA.
In this article on topic of world accessibility for South African passport owners, you will read about:
|TYPE OF ACCESS||NUMBER OF COUNTRIES|
|Visa-Free Countries||59 (30%)|
|Visa-On-Arrival Countries||29 (15%)|
|eVisa Countries||22 (11%)|
|eTA Countries||4 (2%)|
|Visa Countries||92 (46%)|
How many countries can South African citizens travel to visa-free?
59 countries grant visa-free entrance to South African citizens. They can travel to several states without a visa, using only their passport. Most of these countries are located in Latin America, and South Africa. For example, to travel to Brazil or Angola, it is sufficient to present your South African passport at the airport or at the border.
What countries can South African citizens go to without a visa?
The South African passport allows you to access 59 countries without a visa.This number is relatively low compared to some of the European nations but nevertheless, it still makes traveling to many places possible. Below you can find a complete list of countries South African passport holders can visit visa-free. In the round brackets, you can see the information about how long they could stay in each state without a visa. In some places South Africans can stay more than 180 days without any additional documents!
|Angola (30 days)||Lesotho|
|Antigua and Barbuda (180 days)||Malawi (90 days)|
|Argentina (90 days)||Malaysia (90 days)|
|Bahamas (90 days)||Mauritius (90 days)|
|Barbados (180 days)||Micronesia (30 days)|
|Benin (90 days)||Namibia (90 days)|
|Botswana (90 days)||Nicaragua (90 days)|
|Brazil (90 days)||Palestinian Territories|
|Chile (90 days)||Panama (90 days)|
|Costa Rica (90 days)||Paraguay (90 days)|
|Dominica (180 days)||Peru (180 days)|
|Dominican Republic||Philippines (30 days)|
|Ecuador (90 days)||Qatar (30 days)|
|El Salvador (90 days)||Russian Federation (90 days)|
|Eswatini (30 days)||Saint Kitts and Nevis (90 days)|
|Fiji (120 days)||Saint Lucia (42 days)|
|Gambia (90 days)||Senegal (90 days)|
|Georgia (360 days)||Singapore (30 days)|
|Grenada (90 days)||St. Vincent and the Grenadines (30 days)|
|Guatemala (90 days)||Tanzania (90 days)|
|Guyana (30 days)||Thailand (30 days)|
|Haiti (90 days)||Trinidad and Tobago (90 days)|
|Honduras (90 days)||Tunisia (90 days)|
|Hong Kong (30 days)||Uruguay (90 days)|
|Ireland (90 days)||Vanuatu (30 days)|
|Israel (90 days)||Venezuela (90 days)|
|Jamaica||Zambia (90 days)|
|Kenya (30 days)||Zimbabwe (90 days)|
|Kosovo (90 days)|
How many countries can South African citizens visit with a visa on arrival?
South African citizens can enter 29 countries with a visa on arrival.
A visa on arrival is a visa that can be obtained upon arrival at the airport, the land, or the sea border of some states. The visa application process for the owners of a South African passport is therefore conducted upon arrival in the country and not before.
Once South African citizens have obtained their visa-on-arrival they must respect the validity date indicated on the document and stay in the state only during that period.
What countries can South African citizens go to with a visa on arrival?
Most of the countries that require South African citizens to get a visa on arrival are located in Central Africa and Oceania. We have prepared a full list of nations that grant a visa-on-arrival to South African citizens together with the number of days it is valid for:
|Azerbaijan (30 days)||Marshall Islands (90 days)|
|Bolivia (90 days)||Mauritania|
|Burundi (30 days)||Nepal (90 days)|
|Cape Verde (EASE)||Nigeria|
|Comoros (45 days)||Oman (14 days)|
|Ethiopia||Palau (30 days)|
|Gabon (90 days)||Rwanda (30 days)|
|Ghana (30 days)||Samoa (60 days)|
|Guinea-Bissau (90 days)||Sierra Leone (30 days)|
|Indonesia (30 days)||Somalia (30 days)|
|Jordan (30 days)||Tajikistan (45 days)|
|Kyrgyzstan (30 days)||Timor-Leste (30 days)|
|Laos (30 days)||Togo (7 days)|
|Madagascar (90 days)||Tuvalu (30 days)|
|Maldives (30 days)|
How many countries can South African citizens visit with an eVisa?
South African passport holders are required to have an eVisa to enter 22 countries.
The eVisa is an electronic visa. After completing a procedure it authorizes the person who holds it to stay in certain countries. When you apply for an eVisa, a photocopy of the passport and other documents are required. You need to complete the procedure and obtain the visa before arriving in the country. It is mainly intended for short stays, tourist purposes, or for work-related stays.
Which countries require South African citizens to obtain an eVisa?
Countries that expect South African citizens to obtain an eVisa are located primarily in Central Africa and the Middle East. Below you can find a complete list of states that require South Africans to get an eVisa before entering their territory.
|Armenia (120 days)||Kyrgyzstan (30 days)|
|Bolivia (90 days)||Laos (30 days)|
|Cambodia (30 days)||Madagascar (90 days)|
|Congo (Dem. Rep., 90 days)||Oman (14 days)|
|Djibouti||Papua New Guinea (30 days)|
|Ethiopia||Rwanda (30 days)|
|Gabon (90 days)||South Sudan|
|Guinea (90 days)||Suriname|
|Guinea-Bissau (90 days)||Tajikistan (45 days)|
|India (30 days)||Turkey (30 days)|
|Iran (30 days)||Uganda|
How many countries South African citizens are required to have a visa to visit?
92 countries require South African citizens to have a visa.
Not a lot of nations allow South African passport holders to enter without a visa. You would need one if you want to travel to Europe, Asia, or North America. It is important to learn more about your destination and find out if it requires a visa before you travel. You can, for example, visit the government’s official website to get all the necessary information.
What countries require South African citizens to get a visa?
Below you can see a list of countries that require a visa for South African citizens:
|Andorra||Macao (COVID-19 ban)|
|Bosnia and Herzegovina||Morocco|
|Brunei||Myanmar [Burma] (eVisa)|
|Central African Republic||North Korea|
|Czech Republic||Sao Tome and Principe (eVisa)|
|Iceland||Taiwan (COVID-19 ban)|
|Kazakhstan (eVisa)||United Arab Emirates (eVisa)|
|Kuwait||United States of America|
South African citizens can travel to 4 countries with eTA authorization
Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA), is a document used by visa-exempt travelers. It’s a tool that allows tracking of the number of visitors. You need a passport to be in possession of the eTa authorization. This tool enhances security by checking the identity of people even before they enter the country. A form is generally to be filled out on the website of the country you wish to visit.
There are 4 countries that grant eTA for South African passport holders:
|Côte d’ivoire (pre-enrollment, 90 days)||South Korea (30 days)|
|Pakistan (30 days)||Sri Lanka (30 days)|
Key takeaway on visa-free countries for South African citizens
The South African passport allows travel to approximately 53% of countries in the world. If you have this document in 2022 you can travel to 59 countries without a visa, 29 with a visa on arrival, and 22 countries with an eVisa. 4 other countries grant entry using the eTA system. South Africans are required to have a visa in 93 countries.
Which countries are visa-free for South African passport holders?
There are 59 states that grant visa-free entry to South African citizens. They are mostly located in Latin America, and South Africa, and require only a valid passport to enter.
Can South Africans get a visa after arrival?
Yes, this type of visa is called a visa-on-arrival and is granted to South Africans in 29 countries.
Do South Africans need a visa for Dubai?
Yes, South African nationals are required to obtain a visa before they can travel to Dubai. This visa can be granted online (eVisa).
Clémentine is a student in a Master’s degree program in Applied Foreign Languages (English – Italian) in France. She spent 6 months in the United States. She is passionate about languages and travel, and above all, she loves discovering new cultures and meeting new people what inspires her writings!