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Vietnamese passport moves up in global power ranking

16:36 | 11/07/2020

The Vietnamese passport has moved up six places to 89th in the Henley & Partners ranking updated for the third quarter of 2020. 

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vietnam passport ranks 90th on global power list Vietnam passport ranks 90th on global power list

Those holding a Vietnamese passport are able to access 54 countries and territories with visa free, according to the Henley Passport Index 2020, the British global citizenship and residence advisory firm released this week.

vietnamese passport moves up in global power ranking
A Vietnamese passport. Photo: Shutterstock/Andy Tran.

In Southeast Asia, Vietnamese passport is slightly more powerful than those of Laos (93) and Myanmar (96), with visa-free access to 50 and 47 destinations, respectively.

Singapore and Malaysia hold the most powerful passports in Southeast Asia with the former ranking 2nd enjoying visa-exempt to 190 destinations and the latter 14th, exempted from 178.

Japan tops 2020 list of world's most powerful passports

Japan is top of the leaderboard, offering visa-free or visa-on-arrival access to 191 destinations all over the world. South Korea shared the third position with Germany, with visa-free access to 189 destinations.

vietnamese passport moves up in global power ranking

Japan tops 2020 list of world's most powerful passports Photo: CNN

The standard ranking, however, does not take temporary bans into account -- and that, says Henley & Partners in a release, is where the juiciest details lie: "It is eye-opening to consider what travel freedom currently looks like for the holders of once-prestigious passports."

According to CNN, the United States is currently placed seventh in the official index, but under the current EU ban, Americans have around the same level of travel freedom as citizens of Mexico (No. 25 on Henley Passport Index, with a score of 159) and Uruguay (No. 28, with a score of 153).

Likewise, Brazil's absence from the list of countries welcomed by the European Union means that, while its official Henley ranking is No. 19, the current reality is that it ranks somewhere closer to Paraguay (36th on the index, with a score of 142).

"As we have already seen, the pandemic's impact on travel freedom has been more drastic and long-lasting than initially anticipated. The latest EU's new border rules indicate that there is more upheaval to come.", said Christian H. Kaelin, chair of Henley & Partners and the inventor of the passport index concept. 

The best passports to hold in 2020 are:

1. Japan (191 destinations)

2. Singapore (190)

3. South Korea, Germany (189)

4. Italy, Finland, Spain, Luxembourg (188)

5. Denmark, Austria (187)

6. Sweden, France, Portugal, Netherlands, Ireland (186)

7. Switzerland, United States, United Kingdom, Norway, Belgium (185)

8. Greece, New Zealand, Malta, Czech Republic (184)

9. Canada, Australia (183)

10. Hungary (181)

Henley & Partner's list is one of several indexes 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, said CNN.

vietnamese passport up two places in power ranking Vietnamese passport up two places in power ranking

The Vietnamese passport climbed up two places to 73rd out of 94 positions occupied by 199 countries and territories but remains in the bottom rung.

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

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Malie Nguyen