Japan and Singapore have held onto their position as the world’s most travel-friendly passports, with South Korea dropping into second place.
That’s the view of the Henley Passport Index, which periodically measures the access each country’s travel document affords. CNN reports that Singapore and Japan’s passports have topped the rankings thanks to both documents offering access to 189 countries each.
South Korea is at par with Finland and Germany in the second tier, with citizens of all three countries able to access 187 jurisdictions around the world without a prior visa. Finland has benefited from recent changes to Pakistan’s formerly highly restrictive visa policy.
The European countries of Denmark, Italy and Luxembourg hold third place in the index, with visa-free/visa-on-arrival access to 186 countries, while France, Spain and Sweden are in the fourth slot, with a score of 185.
1. Japan, Singapore (189 destinations)
2. Finland, Germany, South Korea (187)
3. Denmark, Italy, Luxembourg (186)
4. France, Spain, Sweden (185)
5. Austria, Netherlands, Portugal, Switzerland (184)
6. Belgium, Canada, Greece, Ireland, Norway, United Kingdom, United States (183)
7. Malta (182)
8. Czech Republic (181)
9. Australia, Iceland, Lithuania, New Zealand (180)
10. Latvia, Slovakia, Slovenia (179)
Five years ago, the United States and the UK topped the rankings in 2014 — but both countries have now slipped down to sixth place, the lowest position either has held since 2010.
While the Brexit process has yet to directly impact on the UK’s ranking, the Henley Passport Index press release observes, “with its exit from the EU now imminent, and coupled with ongoing confusion about the terms of its departure, the UK’s once-strong position looks increasingly uncertain
The worst passports are the following:
101. Bangladesh, Eritrea, Iran, Lebanon, North Korea (39 destinations)
102. Nepal (38)
103. Libya, Palestinian Territory, Sudan (37)
104. Yemen (33)
105. Somalia (31)
106. Pakistan (30)
107. Syria (29)
108. Iraq (27)
109. Afghanistan (25)
Another Index, the Arton Capital’s Passport Index, puts the UAE on top with a “visa-free score” of 173, followed by Finland, Luxembourg and Spain with 168, and, — in joint third place with scores of 167 — Denmark, Italy, Germany, Netherlands, Austria, Portugal, Switzerland, Japan, South Korea, Ireland and the United States