For many people around the world traveling is easy because of their passport while a hindrance for many nationalities. Henley Passport Index is a very reputable global organization that calculates the value of passports based on the number of countries a nationality can visit with their travel permit, can get an on arrival visa and number of travel permit restricted countries. Henley Passport Index is the most trustable passport ranking and data because it is the only travel permit index based on IATA data; hence it is the most robust and reliable index. It is also updated throughout the year.
Here are some fantastic findings of the Henley Passport Index in January 2019.
Another surprising finding was that this year; Asian countries beat European countries in passport ranking. Germany had been topping the travel permit ranking for five years consecutively. The latest reports published by Henley Passport Index on 28 February showed that Japan and Singapore beat Germany and other European nations. Japanese and Singaporeans have the highest number of nations they can access with their passport which is 180 as compared to 179 nations of Germany. Uzbekistan recently cooperated with Japan and Singapore and allowed their citizens a visa-free travel up-to 30 days. For two consecutive years, Asian nations came on top of the ranking.
The new travel permit on travel agreement with India made South Korean passport more travel-friendly by enabling the South Koreans to visit 189 countries with their travel permit. China also improved ranking by 20 places from 85th to 69th 2017-2019-in just two years
It is evident from the ranking that all top-ranking nations on the list are Asian countries which are because of their efforts to improve beneficial economic migration and efforts made to improve relations with other economic zones.
Making flexible passport policies hugely contributes to global economic growth by billions. Deprecating ranking of few countries like UK and US indicates an isolationist approach which is not much economically appreciative. Improvement of UAE and South Korea on the rankings shows how they are making efforts to improve foreign affairs which not only benefits their citizens but brings global harmony and global economic growth.
Here are the 30 countries which hold the world’s most potent passports.
Number of countries associated with the index is
1-1, 2-2, 3-2, 4-4, 5-2, 6-7, 8-2, 9-1, 10-3
|Rank||Country||Number of accessible countries|
|2||Singapore, South Korea||189|
|4||Denmark, Finland, Italy, Sweden||187|
|6||Austria, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Switzerland, United Kingdom, United States||185|
|7||Belgium, Canada, Greece, Ireland||184|
|10||Australia, Iceland, New Zealand||181|
United Arab Emirates (UAE) is the world’s most powerful passport holder. Holders of UAE passport can visit 113 countries without a travel permit, 54 nations using travel permit on arrival and 167 countries without a prior visa. This country added four more nations and made an agreement with Japan, Singapore, and a few other countries on redefined passport restraints.
This Asian country ranked first in the passport ranking making its travel permit the world’s most travel-friendly zone. It allows the citizens of Japan to access 190 countries with their passport on a visa-free or travel permit on arrival.
Singapore, South Korea
These two countries have secured their second position on the list with 189 countries accessible via passport as compared to 190 countries of Japan. The latest update is the increase in ranking of South Korea which was third according to a report published in October 2018. South Korea managed to rank second because of the agreement made with India.
France and Germany ranked third with allowing their citizens to visit 188 countries on visa-free and visa-on-arrival with their passports.
Denmark, Finland, Italy, Sweden
These four countries give access to 187 countries making them stand at the fourth position.
Having a passport from Spain gives visa-free access to 125 territories, visa-on-arrival to 40 states and three nations need a visa to visit Spain. While Luxemburg’s passport will give one visa-free access to 127 nations, visa-on-arrival to 38 nations and visa-required access to 33 countries. Collectively both nations secure the 5th rank on the list.
Austria, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Switzerland, United Kingdom, United States
This rank includes nations whose status has fallen, i.e., US and UK. These territories give visa-free and visa-on-arrival to 185 countries.
Belgium, Canada, Greece, Ireland
Greece gives access to 124, 40 and 34 nations on visa-free, visa-on-arrival and visa-required policies respectively. Canadian passport allows you to visit 115, 49 and 34 nation on visa-free, visa-on-arrival and visa-required policies respectively. Together these four territories give access to 184 nations.
The Czech Republic also made its place in the top 10 nations with the most powerful passports this year enabling the citizens of the Czech Republic to visit 183 territories visa-free and visa-on-arrival.
According to Henley’s Passport Index published in October 2018, Malta stood at seventh position in the world to have the most influential passports which dropped to ninth spot in the recent report released in January 2019, another country to drop its rank.
Australia, Iceland, New Zealand
These three territories give access to 181 nations managing to stay on the top ten ranking this year too.
Top 10 worse countries according to on Passport ranking
Now let’s look at the most unfortunate nations that cannot travel wherever they want. These territories are war-afflicted, poor and economically challenged nations where life is tough and going abroad is tougher. Travelers from these nations face a lot of problems because they have to apply for a visa which usually takes a month. There is a hefty fee required to apply for a visa, and you don’t even get any sort of guarantee that your visa will be approved or not.
Here are top worse passport holder nationalities in the world, a lot of Muslim countries, sad but true.
|Rank||Country||Number of accessible countries|
|6||Palestinian Territory, Sudan||39|
|8||Bangladesh, South Sudan, Lebanon, Libya||41|
|9||Ethiopia, Iran, North Korea||42|
|10||Sri Lanka, Congo||43|
The worst ranked countries always stay in the headlines for all the negative reasons. Afghanis can only visit 23 states without a visa. And all these nations which have allowed these lowest ranked countries to visit them are all the vacation destinations like the Maldives, the Caribbean, island nations of Africa.to visit any of these nations one needs a considerable bank balance which is, unfortunately, a dream for 80 percent of these nationalities’ population.
Traveling with a weak passport is a nightmare. Getting good higher education, employment opportunities and economic growth are hindered. People assume that one with a weak passport wants to immigrate to a powerful country because all these nations are third world nations. Governments of these nations need to be politically active to improve relations with economic zones and improve the status and rank of their passports.