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How Powerful is Your Passport in the New Ranking ?

How Powerful is Your Passport in the New Ranking ?

The Japanese passport has been named the "world's most powerful" in a new survey. The Henley Passport Index measures how many countries each passport allows its holders to access visa-free.

Singapore had been the top dog, but thanks to a new arrangement with Myanmar, Japan now leads with 190 visa-free countries. 

In the latest edition of the ranking, Germany is in third place with South Korea and France. The three countries offer visa-free or visa-on-arrival travel to 188 countries. 


Germany, which began 2018 in the top spot, is now in third place with 188 destinations, tied with France and South Korea. Uzbekistan lifted visa requirements for French nationals on October 5, having already granted visa-free access to Japanese and Singaporean citizens in early February.

South Korea gained visa-free access to Myanmar on October 1, while Paraguay removed visa requirements for Singaporean passport holders in 2017.

Tied for fourth place are Denmark, Finland, Italy, Sweden and Spain.

At the other end of the scale are Afghanistan and Iraq, with visa-free or visa-on-arrival access to just 30 jurisdictions.

The biggest mover since 2006 is the UAE, from 62nd place to 21st place. It's also recently signed a visa-waiver agreement with Russia, due to come into effect in the coming months. China recently obtained access to St. Lucia and Myanmar and is now in 71st place, having climbed 14 places since the start of 2017.

Russia has fallen to 47th position, despite having received a boost in September when Taiwan announced a visa-waiver for Russian nationals.

In a press release, Dr Christian H. Kälin, Group Chairman of Henley & Partners, said the data is collected from the International Air Transport Association.

"It is an important tool for measuring not only the relative strength of the world's passports but also the extraordinary results that states can achieve when they work hand in hand with their global peers to build a more interconnected and collaborative world." 

"China and the UAE exemplify this kind of progress, with both states among the highest overall climbers compared to 2017, purely as a result of the strong relationships they have built with partner countries around the world."

While for Southeast Asian countries, there's no change in the ranking.

New passport ranking 2018 |
New passport ranking 2018 |

The Henley Passport Index

The Henley Passport Index is a ranking of all the passports of the world according to the number of countries their holders can travel to visa-free. The ranking is based on exclusive data from the International Air Transport Association (IATA), which maintains the world’s largest and most accurate database of travel information, and is enhanced by extensive in-house research.

The index is updated in real-time, as and when visa-policy changes come into effect. With the Henley Passport Index, you can assess where you lie on the spectrum of global mobility and discover how to maximize your travel freedom through citizenship-by-investment. Along with the Henley & Partners – Kochenov Quality of Nationality Index, the index is considered the most reliable reference standard for global citizens.


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