Japan tops 2019 list of world’s most powerful passport

According to the 2019 Henley Passport Index, the world’s most powerful passport in 2019 is Japan.
May 13, 2019 | 07:54

According to the 2019 Henley Passport Index, the world’s most powerful passport in 2019 is Japan.

Japan tops 2019 list of world’s most powerful passport

Japan passport. Photo: CNT

It’s the second time in a row that Japan has come out on top in the index which is revised quarterly. That’s the view of the Henley Passport Index which periodically measures the access each country’s travel document affords. The Japanese passport offers visa – free travel to 190 destinations, beating out Singapore and South Korea which tied in second place and France and Germany which ranked third.

South Korea edged up the ranking from October’s index to join Singapore, offering access to 189 destinations, thanks to a new visa – on – arrival agreement with India.

The fact that the top countries in the list are all from Asia shows that many Asian countries are sustaining a high comfort level with mutually beneficial economic migration. China jumped almost 15 places in just two years from 85th in 2017 to 69th this year.

European countries also performed well with European Union members states, along with Norway, occupying the places behind the top three nations. Although, the UK continues to drop down the rankings along with the US, Denmark, Finland, Italy and Sweden are on 4th place while Spain and Luxembourg ranked 5th.

US and UK passports are currently in 6th position with up to 185 destinations requiring no visa.

Vietnam ranks 87th on the list, with 51 countries and territories requiring no visa. Meanwhile, Cambodia and Laos ranked 84th and 86th respectively with 54 and 52 countries and territories of visa exemption for citizens.

Japan tops 2019 list of world’s most powerful passport

USD 850,000 is the amount of money needed to pay for a Malta passport. Photo: AP.

“The general spread of open-door policies has the potential to contribute billions to the global economy, as well as create significant employment opportunities around the world. South Korea and the United Arab Emirates’ recent ascent in the rankings are further examples of what happens when countries take a proactive foreign affairs approach, an attitude which significantly benefits their citizens as well as the international community”, says Henley & Partners’ Group Chairman Christian Kalin founder of Passport Index.

Here is the list of 10 best passports to hold at the beginning of 2019

1. Japan (190 countries)

2. Singapore, South Korea (189)

3. France, Germany (188)

4. Denmark, Finland, Italy, Sweden (187)

5. Luxembourg, Spain (186)

6. Australia, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Switzerland, United Kingdom, United States (185)

7. Belgium, Canada, Greece, Ireland (184)

8. Czech Republic (183)

9. Malta (182)

10. Australia, Iceland, New Zealand (181)

On the other extreme of the ranking are countries whose passport offer visa-free or visa – on – arrival access to fewer than 40 territories. These include:

99. Palestinian Territory, Sudan (39 countries)

100. Eritrea (38)

101. Yemen (37)

102. Pakistan (33)

103. Somalia, Syria (32)

104. Afghanistan, Iraq (30)

Henley and Partner’s list is one of several indices created by financial firms to rank global passports according to the access they provide to their citizens. The Henley Passport Index is based on data provided by the International Air Transport Authority (IATA) and covers 199 passports and 227 travel destinations. It is updated in real time throughout the year, as and when visa policy changes come into effect.

Another index, Arton Capital’s Passport Index takes into consideration the passports of 193 United Nations member countries and six territories – ROC Taiwan, Macau (SAR China), Hong Kong (SAR China), Kosovo, Palestinian Territory and the Vatican. Territories annexed to other countries are excluded.

Its 2019 index put the UAE on the top with a “visa – free score” of 167, followed by Germany, having 2nd rank with a score of 166 and Singapore, Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Luxembourg, France, Italy, Netherlands, Spain, Norway, South Korea and the US ranked third – equal to a score of 165.

( Translated by N.Minh )

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