The Egyptian passport has dropped on a scale of global visa restrictions in the last decade, making it more difficult for holders of the green passport to travel overseas.
Egypt is now ranked 88 out of 104, on par with the central African country of Chad in terms of visa privileges. In 2006, it ranked 74 out of 104 on the worldwide visa restrictions index.
The index is annually compiled by the UK–based firm Henley & Partners, who ranked 218 countries according to the total number of countries they are permitted to enter without a previously obtained visa.
Germany passport holders retain access to the highest number of territories — 177, closely followed by Swedish passport holders, who have access to 176 different countries without requiring a visa in advance.
In third place are Finish, French, Italian, Spanish and UK nationals, who may travel to 175 countries without prior visa requirements.
The country with the lowest passport ranking for 2016 is Afghanistan, closely followed by Pakistan (103,) Iraq (102) and Somalia (101).
Egyptian passport holders are only permitted to access 49 countries or territories out of 218 without a visa, or with access to a visa on arrival, according to Henley and Partners.
In 2015, the first full year of President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi’s presidency, Egypt sunk to its lowest position of 91 on the global index, rising three places this year.
Egypt’s position on the index over the last decade is as follows:
2016 – 88
2015 – 91
2014 – 80
2013 – 79
2012 – 89
2011 – 89
2010 – 84
2009 – 78
2008 – 78
2007 – 75
2006 – 72
The biggest decline in rank for Egypt (a drop of 11 positions) occurred between 2014 and 2015, and the most rapid improvement (a jump of 10 places) in 2013, the year when Muslim Brotherhood President Mohamed Morsi was removed from office.
Henley and Partners don’t speculate on the reasons for these fluctuations.