Power of the passport


SINGAPORE, 12 July 2018: Singapore and Japan share first place in the latest Henley Passport Index, that ranks passport power on the number of countries offering visa-free or visa-on-arrival entry.

Both nationalities have access to 189 destinations through visa-free or visa-on-arrival facilitation.

They both gained access to Uzbekistan, earlier this year, knocking Germany off the top spot into second place for the first time since 2013.

2018 is the first year in the index’s 13-year history that either Singapore, or Japan, ranked as the most powerful passport in the world.

The rest of the top 20 on the Henley Passport Index, which is based on exclusive data from the International Air Transport Association (IATA), remains fairly stable as the northern hemisphere enters the big summer holiday season, with no new visa-waivers processed for the UK and the US. They share 4th place.

Nationals of these countries, like nationals of most EU member states, have not seen any improvement in their global access since 2017.

Countries in Southeast Asia have remained stable on the 2018 Henley Passport Index. Within Southeast Asia, Malaysia shares the 9th spot on the index with two other countries and is the second-highest-ranked country in the region, offering its passport holders visa-free travel to 180 destinations. Brunei ranks in 18th place, with visa-free access to 165 destinations.

Indonesia recently gained visa-free access to Brazil and is the only Southeast Asian nation to improve its score since Q2, but sitting in 69th place globally.

It still lags behind its regional neighbours Singapore, Malaysia, and Brunei.

Global highlights

South Korea shares third place with six EU member states: Sweden, Finland, Italy, Spain, Denmark, and France.

Fourth place is shared by Austria, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Portugal, the US and the UK.

Russia, which opened its borders to World Cup fans this summer, has not yet gained reciprocal access to any new destinations, but it rose one place to 46th position, benefitting from an upward climb by the Pacific island-nation of Tuvalu, which gained visa-free access to Taiwan.

The UAE continued to gain access to four new destinations since May, rising to 21st place globally on the Henley Passport Index and fast approaching the top 20.

Despite gaining access to two new destinations, China has fallen one place to 69th on the index. Improved scores for countries such as Nauru, Belarus, and Indonesia, which sit directly above China, have made it difficult for the country to ascend the ranking.

Henley & Partners Singapore and Southeast Asia managing partner, Dominic Volek, said: “The Henley Passport Index allows individuals to assess where they lie on the spectrum of global mobility, while enabling governments to understand the relative value and power of the passports they provide.”