2019 Global Passport Index is out: How powerful is your passport?
Karen de Man
Want to know how powerful your passport is in terms of the number of countries or territories you can visit without having to get a visa ahead of time? Well, you’re in luck, as the Henley Passport Index (HPI) for this year has now been published.How does the HPI work?The Henley Passport Index is an extremely authoritative source, with data spanning 14 years. Data for the Index is provided by the International Air Transport Authority (IATA) and supplemented with in-house research and open-source online data.The ranking includes 199 different passports and 227 travel destinations. Passports receive a +1 score for each of the 227 travel destinations if no visa is required for entrance, or if a visa, visitor’s permit or electronic travel authority can be obtained on arrival. A score of 0 is given if a visa or pre-departure government approval for a visa upon entry is required.Asian countries take top spots in passport freedomThis year, Asian countries dominate the top spots of the HPI in terms of visa-free access to other countries and territories. Japan takes first place, as it did last year, with its citizens able to travel to 190 destinations visa-free. Singapore and South Korea fill joint second place with access to 189 destinations, South Korea moving up one place compared to last year.What is interesting is that in 2015, the UK and USA occupied first place. However, they now continue to fall and both are in sixth place this year, dropping two and one places respectively. Also in sixth place are the Netherlands, Austria, Norway, Portugal and Switzerland. These countries can visit 185 destinations visa-free. Third, fourth and fifth position are monopolised by European countries.At the bottom of the ranking, and with the least passport power, are Afghanistan and Iraq. These countries rank in 104th place and only have visa-free access to 30 destinations.Henley Passport Index top 10Many countries share positions in the top 10. Here is the list of the top 10 and how many destinations they can access visa-free.Japan (190)Singapore, South Korea (189)France, Germany (188)Denmark, Finland, Italy, Sweden (187)Luxembourg, Spain (186)Austria, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Switzerland, United Kingdom, United States (185)Belgium, Canada, Greece, Ireland (184)Czech Republic (183)Malta (182)Australia, Iceland, New Zealand (181)For more information, please see the Henley Passport Index website.Source: Iamexpat