Germany Is Top 1 On The 2018 Henley Passport Index: UK, China, Russia, UAE and the Philippines Move Places Higher
This 2018, Germany is again on the top spot for five consecutive years on the Henley Passport Index. The citizens of the country can enjoy visa-free visits to 177 countries in total from 176 countries in 2017. Singapore comes in number 2 to gain visa-free access to 176 countries taking the place of Sweden. Eight countries share the third place. These countries are Denmark, Finland, France, Italy, Japan, Norway, Sweden and the United Kingdom. Austria, Belgium, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Switzerland, and Spain all take 4th spot gaining 174 visa-free access countries.
On the 5th spot of the 2018 edition is the United States which increased their visa-free access to 173 countries from 172 while Russian Federation made it to 48th spot crawling up three places. China is doing remarkably well this year for climbing up ten places from 65th spot; they are now on the 75th spot. It’s sad news for Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan and Syria; the four countries are at the bottom of the index for the second time where they only get 30 or fewer visa-free access countries.
After the EU visa liberalization, these former Soviet Bloc nations moved higher on the index.
After the visa-liberalization process with the EU last 2017, Georgia and Ukraine can now access 30 and 32 countries. The two moved 15 and 14 places higher respectively. This is a big individual move for Georgia. China, Guinea, Indonesia, Sierra Leone and the Dominican Republic each moved up 7 places this year.
If there are countries moving up the ladder, there are also some who lost their spots like Antigua and Barbuda, Bangladesh, Cyprus, Greece, Iran, Lithuania, Nepal, North Korea, Spain, Syria, Taiwan, Tobago, Trinidad and Yemen are all moving further down the index losing one spot each year. New Zealand is considered to go down the most but only by 2 spots.
There are 199 countries on the index; 143 of those climbed up a spot or two while 41 are consistent in holding their position. Seven countries lost access the past year. Antigua and Barbuda, Algeria, Azerbaijan, Laos, New Zealand, North Korea and Syria are the countries which lost their access to one particular country. There are 18 countries that enjoy the same amount of access every year and the rest of the countries all had remarkable development this year than last.
Africa falls many places down on the index while going strong for North Asian, Southeast Asian and Caribbean countries
Africa needs to up their game; 19 of their countries account for the 27 of the most decline over the last decade. Only Seychelles and Mauritius have moved up. Seychelles is on the 27th spot from 29th last year while Mauritius moved from 33rd spot to 32nd spot. Mauritius has visa free-access to 134 countries. On the global index, South Africa has secured 52nd spot where they have access to 100 countries while ranking 3rd in their overall region. Somalia remains consistent in 100th spot. UAE made remarkable climb over the past ten years on the index, moving up 28 places. It’s on the 33rd spot in 2018 and they have visa-free access to 133 countries from 121 countries last 2017. If Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan and Syria are on the four bottom spots, Iran has regularly moved up the index over the past decade.
Singapore remains proud at the 2nd spot with 176 countries that are visa-free. It’s their highest in the global index in ten years while Malaysia ranks 12th globally and 2nd in the region with 166 visa-free countries.
Philippines is another Southeast Asian country that moved up. It moved 3 places up the global rank at 72nd from 75th spot and is tied with Indonesia who has signed with countries like Qatar and St. Kitts and Nevis for visa agreements in 2017.
The 2018 Henley passport Index also recorded North Asian countries Japan and South Korea maintain their spots in the top 10 index. Japan has visa-free access to 175 countries which allowed them to move up to top 3 on the global index; this position is shared with Denmark, Finland, France, Italy, Norway, Sweden and the UK. South Korea is now occupying the 5th spot from no.7 on the global index with 173 visa-free countries. The biggest mover for the region is China which moved 10 places higher from 85th to 75th this year.
The Russian Federation is at the 48th position at the global scale. The Russian Federation is sharing the position with Moldova in the Commonwealth of Independent States where they fall on 2nd place and losing to Ukraine which is now the top 1 in their region and 44th on the global index with visa-free access to 114 countries. The country with the most climb is Georgia which moved 15 places and is now on the 53rd spot on the global scale. Turkmenistan is ranked as the lowest nation in the Commonwealth of Independent States with only 50 visa-free access countries; they are ranked 85th on the global index.
Caribbean nations also showed progress with St.Lucia, St. Kitts and Nevis and Grenada adding three countries to their lists. St.Kitt and Nevis is now on the 28th spot globally while being 4th in their region. The most outstanding country in the region is The Dominican Republic which is now on the 73rd position on the index climbing seven places. All of the countries in the Caribbean except for Antigua and Barbuda and Trinidad and Tobago kept their good records each year.
About the 2018 Henley Passport Index
The Henley Passport Index is the most credible and the original passport index with 13 years of historical data since 2005. They are the only index whose data comes from the International Air Transport Association (IATA). IATA is the most extensive collection of travel information.
It shows the ranks of the number of countries that each passport holder of a country is allowed to travel visa-free. They update their data every year and records 219 countries and territories which make them the most accurate index. It is considered a global reference standard together with Henley & Partners-Kochenov Quality of Nationality Index.