The results are in and Japan has overtaken Singapore to claim the top spot on the 2018 Henley Passport Index.
This triumph comes as a result of Japan gaining visa-free access to Myanmar earlier this month, meaning Japan now enjoys visa-free/visa-on-arrival access to 190 destinations. Beating out Singapore by just one destination, the two have been neck and neck on the index since February when they both climbed to first place, pushing Germany into second for the first time since 2014.
Germany has fallen into third place this quarter with a score of 188, sharing the spot with France and South Korea. The bottom spot (106th) continues to be held by Iraq and Afghanistan with a score of 30. With 186 destinations, both the US and the UK have slid from fourth to fifth place on the index. The most remarkable ascent on the Henley Passport Index in recent years has been the UAE, who went from 62nd place in 2006 to 21st place in 2018. They now hold the number one passport in the Middle East region. In addition to this ascent, the UAE have further strengthened their position by signing a visa-waiver with Russia in July, due to come into effect in the coming months.
According to the Group Chairman of Henley & Partners, Dr. Christian H. Kalin, “The Henley Passport Index, which is based on exclusive data from the International Air Transport Association (IATA), 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.”
Looking ahead, it appears the most dramatic climb on the index may come from Kosovo, which is in discussions with the European Council after officially meeting all the criteria for visa-liberalisation with the EU in July.
For more information visit the Henley Passport Index website.