(RANKED) World's Most Powerful Passports, According to 2019 Henley Passport Index
Boasting cutting-edge expert commentary and historical data spanning 14 years, the Henley Passport Index is the original ranking of all the world’s passports according to the number of destinations their holders can access without a prior visa.
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 it is enhanced by extensive, ongoing research by the Henley & Partners Research Department.
The Henley Passport Index is updated in real-time, as and when visa-policy changes come into effect.
Along with the Kälin – Kochenov Quality of Nationality Index, it is considered a major reference tool for global citizens and the standard reference for governments in this field.
The index includes 199 different passports and 227 different travel destinations. Updated in real-time throughout the year, as and when visa-policy changes come into effect, the Henley Passport Index is the most robust and reliable index of its kind.
Global ranking and visa lists
On a fixed date each year, Henley & Partners receives exclusive data from the International Air Transport Authority (IATA), which forms the basis of the Henley Passport Index. In order to maintain the accuracy of the data provided by IATA in the face of constant updates to visa policy, and in order to create detailed visa lists for all 199 passports in our database, the Henley & Partners research team uses publicly available and reliable online sources to cross-check each passport against all 227 possible travel destinations. This research process is ongoing throughout the year. It is coupled with a rigorous monitoring system to pick up relevant visa-policy shifts.
Conditions and criteria
For each travel destination, if no visa is required for passport holders from a country or territory, then a score with value = 1 is created for that passport. A score with value = 1 is also applied if passport holders can obtain a visa on arrival, a visitor’s permit, or an electronic travel authority (ETA) when entering the destination. These visa-types require no pre-departure government approval, because of the specific visa-waiver programs in place.
Where a visa is required, or where a passport holder has to obtain a government-approved electronic visa (e-Visa) before departure, a score with value = 0 is assigned. A score with value = 0 is also assigned if passport holders need pre-departure government approval for a visa on arrival, a scenario we do not consider ‘visa-free’.
The total score for each passport is equal to the number of destinations for which no visa is required (value = 1), under the conditions defined above.
The index assumes the following: the passport is valid; the passport is ‘normal’ rather than diplomatic, emergency, or temporary; the passport holder is an adult citizen of the issuing country, traveling alone rather than in a tourist group; the passport holder meets all the basic requirements for entry (for example, holding a hotel reservation or having proof of sufficient funds); the passport holder does not meet any complex requirements for entry (for example, possessing a government-issued letter); the passport holder has had all the necessary inoculations or vaccinations; the passport holder is arriving at and departing from the same airport; the passport holder is seeking a short stay rather than a transit stay in the destination country or territory; the duration of the short stay is between three days and several months; the port of entry is a major city or capital, in cases where this is required; and entry to the destination country is for tourist or business purposes.