Published: Thu, October 11, 2018

Japan has the world's 'strongest' passport, according to this index

Japan has the world's 'strongest' passport, according to this index

There's a new leader on the global passport index.

The index, by Henley & Partners, a citizenship and planning firm, showed Japan to have the most powerful passport on the planet.

Months after Japan beat out Singapore for the title of world's most popular passport, a refreshed ranking reveals the country to have defended its #1 title, despite the large number of visa-free agreements inked by both countries this year.

Singapore featured at No.2 with 189 visa waivers, while Germany lost the top spot to end up at No.3 together with France and South Korea at 188 visa waivers. France moved up a place Friday when it gained visa-free access to Uzbekistan.

It is updated in real-time, as and when visa-policy changes come into effect, according to Henley and Partners.

Henley highlighted at least two countries that didn't rank high but saw tremendous leaps in rankings through the years - China and the UAE.

The US and the United Kingdom, both with 186 destinations, have slid down yet another spot - from 4th to 5th place - with neither having gained access to any new jurisdictions since the start of 2018.


Russian Federation received a boost in September when Taiwan announced a visa-waiver, but the country nonetheless fell from 46th to 47th place due to movements higher up the ranking.

The ranking determines how many countries the holder can enter either without a visa or be issued one upon entry.

The index measures passport power by the number of destinations the holder can visit without arranging a visa first.

China also climbed by 14 positions to 71, with access to 74 destinations since 2017. Every CBI program country has improved its visa-free/visa-on-arrival score since the start of the year.

At the other end of the scale are Afghanistan and Iraq, with visa-free or visa-on-arrival access to just 30 jurisdictions.

"CBI programs offer access to some of the world's strongest and most promising passports", says Dr. Kälin, "and the merit of these passports is a reflection of the underlying stability and attractiveness of the countries themselves".

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