Friday, 19 October, 2018

Japan overtakes Singapore as world's most powerful passport

PH passport PH passport
Faye Gross | 12 October, 2018, 11:14

Henley & Partners has published updated Passport Index data for the fourth quarter of 2018, which ranks the countries in terms of visa-free travel, according to which Ukraine ranks 41st among all countries in the world.

Though Singapore passport holders already had the same 30-day visa-free period granted by Myanmar, they can still only visit 189 countries visa-free as compared to Japan's 190.

The 2018 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.

Germany shares third spot with South Korea and France, which all have visa-free access to 188 countries.

Both the USA and United Kingdom fell in the global rankings to fifth place, with visa-free access to 186 countries.

Criteria on the list include which countries you can access with which type of visa, how your passport has changed over the past 13 years, how it compares to other such passports, why it has the level of access that it does and which additional passports would improve your global movements.

It's not just global travel, though; a South African passport is not great for getting into other African countries either.

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China recently obtained access to St. Lucia and Myanmar and is now in 71st place, having climbed 14 places since the start of 2017. The UAE now holds the number 1 passport in the Middle East region.

It's also recently signed a visa-waiver agreement with Russian Federation, due to come into effect in the coming months.

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

The two countries were previously tied for the top spot.

But that discussion will remain hard, according to Professor Florian Trauner from the Institute for European Studies at the Free University of Brussels. Newcomer Moldova, due to launch its CBI program in November, climbed 20 places since 2008.

Thailand ranked 68th, with visa-free or visa-on-arrival access to 77 countries.

Dr Anwar Gargash, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, has said he wants the UAE passport to be among the world's top five by 2021.

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