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Just in. Ranking of Most Powerful Passport 2018
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Just in. Ranking of Most Powerful Passport 2018

In October 2017, a separate list, the Global Passport Power Rank produced by advisory firm Arton Capital, named Singapore as the most powerful passport in the world. However, Germany has since reclaimed the top spot in this ranking also, meaning its passport truly is the most valuable. 

Well, it did not last very long.

Germany is officially the country with the most powerful passport in the world, according to the 2018 Henley Passport Index.  It’s the fifth year in a row that the European country has topped Henley’s list, which takes into account the number of countries a passport holder can visit without a visa. 

The ranking is based on data from the International Air Transport Association (IATA), which maintains the world’s largest and most comprehensive database of travel information. The index is based on how many countries various passport holders can travel to without a visa. 

German passport | fortune.com
German passport | fortune.com

German citizens can now visit 177 countries, up one from 2017, according to the report.  Seated comfortably at #2, Singapore passport holders can travel to 176 countries without a visa, up from 173 countries, according to Henley's 2016 Visa Restrictions Index.

Third place on the list is shared among Denmark, Finland, France, Italy, Japan, Norway, Sweden and the UK. Passport holders from these countries enjoy visa-free travel to 175 countries. 

Here are world’s top 15 most powerful passports, and the number of countries their holders can visit visa-free:

1. Germany 177

2. Singapore 176

3. Denmark, Finland, France, Italy, Japan, Norway, Sweden, UK 175

4. Austria, Belgium, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Spain, Switzerland 174

5. Ireland, South Korea, Portugal, US 173

6. Canada 172

7. Australia, Greece, New Zealand 171

8. Czech Republic, Iceland 170

9. Malta 169

10. Hungary 168

11. Liechtenstein, Slovakia, Slovenia 167

12. Latvia, Lithuania, Malaysia 166

13. Estonia 165

14. Poland 163

15. Monaco 162

Ranking jointly fourth on the index are Austria, Belgium, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Switzerland, and Spain, which have visa-free access to 174 countries.

The United States and South Korea came in fifth as their passports allow visa-free travel to 173 countries.

Within Southeast Asia, the rankings have "remained stable", according to the index, with Singapore remaining the "best-performing country in the region". 

Singapore passport | channelnewsasia
Singapore passport | channelnewsasia

Malaysia ranks second in the region, and 12th on the global scale as their passport holders can travel without visas to 166 countries. Indonesia moved up seven places to rank 72nd globally after signing visa agreements with countries like Qatar in 2017.

Southeast Asia ranking

SEA ranking

Global Ranking

Country

Access for Visa-free countries

1

2

Singapore

176

2

12

Malaysia

166

3

22

Brunei Darussalam

153

4

56

Timor Leste

85

5

64

Thailand

73

6

72

Indonesia

63

7

72

Philippines

63

8

86

Cambodia

49

9

88

Laos

47

10

88

Vietnam

47

11

92

Myanmar

42



In other parts of the region, China ranks 75th globally, climbing up the most in North Asia according to the index. Its visa-free travel now extends to 60 countries, up from last year's 51.

Pakistan, Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan sit at the bottom of the list for a second year in a row, allowing visa-free access to 30 or fewer countries. 

"The need for visa-free travel access is greater than ever", said group chairman of Henley & Partners Christian H Kalin.

"Across the economic spectrum, individuals want to transcend the constraints imposed on them by their country of origin and access business, financial, career, and lifestyle opportunities on a global scale. 

The Henley Passport Index shows individuals where they lie on the spectrum of global mobility, revealing the strength that their passport has in relation to other passports,” he added.

Dr Kalin stated that most countries on the index either improved or maintained their access compared to 2017's results.

"These findings reflect the fact that, while certain countries are tightening their borders, most are in fact becoming more open, as they seek to tap into the immense economic value that tourism, international commerce and migration can bring.”

Source : Business Insider | Channel NewsAsia | Henley Passport Index

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