It is around this time of year when interested international travelers take a peek at the latest findings of Henley & Partners in determining which country’s passport is the most powerful in the world. As a refresher, the passport power rating of the Henley Passport Index (HPI) remains the number of other nations that would allow the passport’s holder to enter without need of a travel visa. Having the strongest passports on hand is always a status symbol to the well-traveled globetrotter, and Henley has just released its latest HPI report at the beginning of this month. Here it is.
As CNN has it, the October 1, 2019 revision of the Henley & Partners Passport Index indicates that two countries share the top honor for having the most visa-free destinations for their respective passports. They are both Asian nations, if one might recall our previous coverage on the HPI, and in fact they used to be Number 1 and 2. Indeed, Japan and Singapore have proven their mettle for passport power with their 190 visa-free travel destinations. Bear in mind that there are just almost 200 globally recognized sovereign countries in the world, so Japanese and Singaporean passport-holders are close to saying that the world is theirs to travel to.
The HPI is a constantly shifting report seeing as countries tend to add or deduct other nations requiring visa access on their passports year after year. With regards to the Philippines, it actually lost one visa-free country for its passport, leaving it with just 65. As a result, its last ranking of 75th has slipped further into 77th, alongside Cuba in the Caribbean and Ghana in Africa. It is a shame, considering it climbed to 72nd place in the HPI early on in 2018, but that is how it is.
One more tidbit that the latest HPI report shares is the fact that the top 10 most powerful password slots are getting a tad crowded. That is because all but one space in the top ten has more than one country sharing the spots, the sole exception being New Zealand at 8th place. Here are the rest of the countries:
- Japan, Singapore (190)
- Finland, Germany, South Korea (188)
- Denmark, Italy, Luxembourg (187)
- France, Spain, Sweden (186)
- Austria, Netherlands, Portugal (185)
- Belgium, Canada, Greece, Ireland, Norway, Switzerland, United Kingdom, United States (184)
- Czech Republic, Malta (183)
- New Zealand (182)
- Australia, Lithuania, Slovakia (181)
- Hungary, Iceland, Latvia, Slovenia (180)
With regards to trends, despite the looming shadow of Brexit the UK remains on the Top 10. The United Arab Emirates continues adding more visa-free destinations, warranting its climb from 20th to 15th place. And again, Afghanistan is at rock-bottom with only 25 visa-free countries to its passport.
Image from The Straits Times