Germany secures the top spot in the 2018 Henley Passport Index, while the UK, China, Russia, and the UAE all improve their ranking year-on-year
Germany holds on to 1st place on the Henley Passport Index (henleypassportindex.com) for the fifth year running, with its citizens enjoying visa-free access to 177 countries in total, up from 176 countries in 2017.
Singapore ranks 2nd globally on the 2018 edition of the index, with visa-free access to 176 countries, while eight countries — Denmark, Finland, France, Italy, Japan, Norway, Sweden, and the UK — share 3rd place, offering passport-holders access to 175 countries.
Ranking jointly 4th on the index, Austria, Belgium, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Switzerland, and Spain all provide visa-free access to 174 countries.
The Henley Passport Index is widely acknowledged as the original and most authoritative passport index, with historical data spanning 13 years. The global ranking is the only one of its kind that 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. The index is enhanced by extensive in-house research.
The US is among the countries holding 5th place on the 2018 edition of the index, improving its visa-free score from 172 in 2017 to 173 in 2018. The Russian Federation, meanwhile, climbed three places to 48th position. China has shown the most growth in North Asia over the past year, moving up 10 places compared to 2017 and now ranking 75th globally.
For the second year in a row, Pakistan, Syria, Iraq, and Afghanistan sit at the bottom of the Henley Passport Index, each able to access 30 or fewer countries visa-free.
Dr. Christian H. Kälin, Group Chairman of Henley & Partners, says the need for visa-free access is greater than ever. “Across the economic spectrum, individuals want to transcend the constraints imposed on them by their country of origin and access business, financial, career, and lifestyle opportunities on a global scale. The Henley Passport Index shows individuals where they lie on the spectrum of global mobility, revealing the strength that their passport has in relation to other passports,” he says.
In the Caribbean, several countries showed improvements on the 2017 results. St. Lucia, St. Kitts and Nevis, and Grenada added three additional countries to their 2017 visa-free lists. St. Kitts and Nevis also climbed two places in the 2018 edition of the index, now ranking 4th in the region and 28th globally.
The Dominican Republic was the highest regional climber, ascending seven places on the 2018 Henley Passport Index to secure the 73rd position on the global ranking. All countries in the region excepting Antigua and Barbuda and Trinidad and Tobago improved or maintained their visa-free score year-on-year.