Which Country’s Passport is the Strongest?

Japanese passport enables access to 190 destinations

passport stamped with visa stamps

Japan has overtaken Singapore to claim the top spot on the 2018 Henley Passport Index. 

Japanese passports now enable visa-free/visa-on-arrival access to 190 destinations, according to a Henley Passport Index press release.   

Japan and Singapore (189) have been neck and neck on the index since they both climbed into 1st place in February 2018. 

The Henley Index now ranks Germany, South Korea, and France in a tie for 3rd place. 

Both the USA and the United Kindom, with 186 destinations, are ranked in 5th place. 

Dr. Christian H. Kälin, Group Chairman of Henley & Partners, commented on the 2018 ranking, “The Henley Passport Index is an important tool for measuring not only the relative strength of the world’s passports but also the extraordinary results that states can achieve when they work hand in hand with their global peers to build a more interconnected and collaborative world.” 

“China and the UAE exemplify this kind of progress, with both states among the highest overall index climbers during 2018.” 

Countries with citizenship-by-investment (CBI) programs in place fall within the top 50 of the Henley Passport Index and are continually rising up the ranking. 

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An example is a newcomer to the Index, Moldova, which launched its CBI program in the second half of 2018, has climbed 20 places in the Index since 2008.   

“Every CBI program country has improved its visa-free/visa-on-arrival score since the start of the year,” said Dr. Kalin. 

“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.” 

“The travel freedom that comes with a second passport is significant for individuals, while the economic and societal value that CBI programs generate for host countries can be transformative.” 

The 2018 Henley Passport Index is based on historical data spanning 13 years and is updated in real-time, as and when visa-policy changes come into effect. For further Index information, please contact Sarah Nicklin, [email protected], or +27 21 850 0524. 

Americans seeking passport or visa information should visit this US State Department website.   

And, international travelers can easily schedule pre-departure travel vaccination counseling sessions at Vax-Before-Travel.