Nigeria Missing As Japan Now Has The Most Powerful Passport In The World
Japan now has the most powerful passport in the world – a key to visa-free travel to more destinations than Singapore and Germany – according to the 2018 Henley Passport Index, Henley & Partners, a residence and citizenship advisory firm.
Based on the press release issued on Tuesday, the Japanese passport overtook the Singapore passport, which allows travel to 190 destinations without a prior visa, after gaining visa-free access to Myanmar earlier this year.
Japan now enjoys visa-free/visa-on-arrival access to 190 destinations, compared to Singapore’s total of 189, pushing Singapore into second place on the index.
The two had been neck-and-neck since they both climbed to first place in February, said the release.
Tied for third: Germany, South Korea and France.
The United States passport fell to the fifth slot with 186 locations, behind Denmark, Finland, Italy, Sweden and Spain. The US and the UK, now also in fifth, were both the most powerful passports in 2015.
“With stagnant outbound visa activity compared to Asian high-performers such as Japan, Singapore and South Korea, it seems increasingly unlikely that the US and the UK will regain the number one spot they jointly held in 2015,” said the press release.
Denmark, Finland, Italy, Sweden and Spain all came in joint-fourth, with 187 destinations accessible to their citizens.
Meanwhile, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) came in at 21st place, up from 62nd place in 2006, making it the most powerful passport in the Middle East.
Two of the biggest countries in the world, Russia and China, stayed in broadly similar positions. Russia, which fell from 46th to 47th place, had a short-term boost when in September Taiwan announced that it would offer a visa waiver programme for its nationals, valid until next July. China fell two places to 71, although its citizens gained entry to St Lucia and Myanmar without a prior visa.
Iraq and Afghanistan hold the bottom spot on the index, with only 30 destinations accessible to their citizens.
- In Africa, Nigeria was missing as the Seychelles, Mauritius, and South Africa, respectively, hold the top 3 spots. The Seychelles and Mauritius are the only countries in Africa that have shown positive growth over the past decade.
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.
It is updated in real-time, as and when visa-policy changes come into effect, according to Henley and Partners.
The ranking is based on data from the International Air Transport Association and in-house research.
The countries in the top ten positions of the 2018 Henley Passport index are:
1. Japan (190 countries)
2. Singapore (189)
3. Germany, France, South Korea (188)
4. Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Spain, Italy (187)
5. United Kingdom, United States, Austria, Portugal, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway (186)
6. Canada, Belgium, Ireland, Switzerland (185)
7. Greece, Malta, Australia (183)
8. New Zealand, Czech Republic (182)
9. Iceland (181)
10. Malaysia, Hungary, Slovenia (180)