2018 Findings: Top 10/20 scoring countries

The top 10 and the top 20 most visa- open countries continued to improve their average score in 2018, reflecting a number of countries’ more liberal visa policies.

The average score for all African countries is just over half of the average score of the top 10 most visa-open countries, showing that the top performers remain significantly ahead.

Africa’s upper-middle economies as a group have low visa openness scores, while most of the top 20 countries in the Index are low-income or lower-middle income economies.

Average visa openness scores, 2018


  • Seychelles and Benin are the top performing countries, offering visa-free access to all Africans.
  • Two new countries from West Africa (Benin) and Southern Africa (Zimbabwe) entered the top 20 most visa-open countries.
  • Average score for the top 10 countries is 0.878 (up from 0.853 in 2017, and 0.861 in 2016).
  • Average score for the top 20 countries is 0.807 (up from 0.768 in 2017, and 0.734 in 2016).
  • Average score for all countries is 0.443 (up from 0.420 in 2017, and 0.425 in 2016).

Top 20 most visa-open countries

graph showing top 20 most visa-open countries
  • 18 of the top 20 countries are low- income or lower-middle income economies. 7 out of 8 of Africa’s upper-middle income economies have low visa openness scores.
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