World's 'most powerful' passport revealed


The most powerful passport in the world when it comes to travel freedom has been revealed.

Japan has claimed the number one spot, overtaking Singapore on the 2018 Henley Passport Index, having gained visa-free access to Myanmar this month. 

The country now enjoys visa-free/visa-on-arrival access to 190 destinations, compared to Singapore’s total of 189. 

The countries have been neck and neck since they both climbed to first place in February, pushing Germany down to second for the first time since 2014.

Japan has claimed the number one spot, overtaking Singapore on the 2018 Henley Passport Index, having gained visa-free access to Myanmar this month. Source: Getty Images (File pic)

Germany has now fallen further to third, which it shares with South Korea and France. Their nationals enjoy visa-free access to 188 countries. 

France moved up a place last Friday when it gained visa-free access to Uzbekistan.

Iraq and Afghanistan continue to sit at the bottom (106th) of the Henley Passport Index — based on exclusive data from the International Air Transport Association (IATA). 

The US and the UK, both with 186 destinations, have slid down yet another spot – from fourth to fifth place – with neither having gained access to any new jurisdictions since the start of 2018.

The Australian passport currently sits in seventh – tied with Greece and Malta with access to 183 destinations.

In general, the UAE has made the most remarkable ascent on the Henley Passport Index, from 62nd place in 2006 to 21st place worldwide currently.

Germany, South Korea and France all now sit in third according to the index. Source: Getty Images (File pic)

Russia received a boost in September when Taiwan announced a visa-waiver, but the country has still fallen from 46th to 47th place due to movements higher up the ranking. 

The same is true of China: Chinese nationals obtained access to two new jurisdictions (St. Lucia and Myanmar), but the Chinese passport fell two places, to 71st overall. 

Dr Christian H Kälin, Group Chairman of Henley & Partners, says countries with citizenship-by-investment (CBI) programs all fall within the top 50 of the Henley Passport Index.

“The travel freedom that comes with a second passport is significant, while the economic and societal value that CBI programs generate for host countries can be transformative,” he said.