Effective May 10, 2017, the small African island nation of Sao Tome and Principe has opened up its borders to nine countries. Andorra, South Korea, the United Arab Emirates, Russia, Japan, Kuwait, Morocco, Qatar and Turkey now have visa-free access to Sao Tome and Principe. The move increases the visa-free scores of the nine countries by one. The new visa-free scores are as follows:
South Korea: 158
United Arab Emirates: 127
With this increase, Sao Tome and Principe’s welcoming score is also boosted to 62, placing it between Japan and New Zealand. It’s interesting to note that the nation does not have a reciprocal agreement with the above countries, meaning passport holders of Sao Tome and Principe must apply for visas in order to travel to Andorra, South Korea and the rest. A non-reciprocal visa waiver agreement is a show of goodwill and an opportunity to boost the economy via tourism.