Travel

The world’s most powerful passports

How much clout does your passport have? The Henley Passport Index ranks nations according to the number of destinations passport holders can visit without a visa. Here are its latest findings Monday, 8 April

By National Geographic Traveller (UK)

WORLD’S MOST POWERFUL PASSPORTS

No.1: Japan
190 countries welcome Japanese citizens without a prearranged visa.

No.2: Singapore and South Korea
Access to 189 destinations visa-free or visa-on-arrival.

No.3: Germany and France
Access to 188 destinations visa-free or visa-on-arrival.

LAST PLACE

Afghanistan and Iraq hold the joint-last place for the third year in a row. Holders of these passports can visit just 30 countries visa-free/visa-on-arrival.

ON THE RISE

Both China and the United Arab Emirates jumped up 16 places in the past two years — China up from 85th to 69th; UAE up from 38th to 22nd.

LOSING RANK

The UK has been continually falling in ranking, losing two places from 2015 to 2016 and, from then on, one place every year. Overall, it slipped from first place in 2015 to sixth in 2019.  

IN NUMBERS

185
The number of visa-free/visa-on-arrival countries UK passport holders can travel to in 2019, down from 186 in 2018, after Turkey introduced e-visas. 

126
The number of visa-free/visa-on-arrival countries UK passport holders could travel to in 2006, when the index began.

72.8 million
Number of outbound UK journeys in 2017 — the highest since the index began.

€7 (£6.10)
In the event of a no-deal Brexit, this is the suggested cost of the travel permit that would be required by UK citizens to visit mainland Europe (according to the European Commission). This would be a similar system to the US Esta visa-waiver.

GLOBAL MOBILITY: ON THE UP

58
Number of countries an average passport holder could travel to without a visa in 2006.

107
Number of countries an average passport holder could travel to without a visa in 2018.

AFRICAN NATIONS: GOING DOWN

Sierra Leone, Nigeria, Gambia and South Africa have all dropped at least 18 places since 2009

Source: *GFZ GeoForschungsZentrum Potsdam, Helmholtz Centre.

 

Published in the April 2019 issue of National Geographic Traveller (UK)

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