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Japan Claims World’s ‘Most Powerful’ Passport As UK And USA Slip To Fifth Place In Global Rankings And Australia Comes Seventh


Japan has overtaken Singapore to claim the title of world’s ‘most powerful’ passport.

Its citizens now get visa-free or visa-on-arrival access to 190 countries, one more than Singapore, which sits on 189.

The US and the UK, which jointly occupied the top spot in 2015, have since slid to 5th place – with Germany, China and Russia also dropping down the list.

Australia, which provides access to 183 countries, comes in seventh.

Japan has overtaken Singapore to acquire the world’s ‘most powerful’ passport, allowing via-free or visa-on-arrival access to 190 countries.


Japan has overtaken Singapore to acquire the world’s ‘most powerful’ passport, allowing via-free or visa-on-arrival access to 190 countries.

Germany, another country to hold the top spot in previous years, is now in third place alongside South Korea and France.

The Henley Passport Index ranks passports according to their travel power using data from the International Air Transport Association.

Iraq and Afghanistan continue to sit at the bottom of the Index.
The US and the UK both give access to 186 destinations with their passports, but neither have gained access to any new jurisdictions since the start of 2018.

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

However, their progress might be outstripped by Kosovo which officially met all the criteria for visa-liberalization with the EU in July and is now in discussions with the European Council.

The UK, which previously occupied the top spot in the rankings, has slipped to 5th, having gained access to no new jurisdictions so far this year

The US also sits in fifth place having stagnated in the rankings, while Australia comes two places below, in seventh

Russia 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 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 programs all fall within the top 50 of the index.

Newcomer Moldova, which is due to launch its CBI program in November, has climbed 20 places since 2008.

‘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,’ says Dr. Kälin.

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