Japanese Passport Tops 2018 Visa-Free Travel Index

Japan has the strongest passport in the world according to new Henley & Partners ranking

What's a passport for if you can't lord it over other countries as a physical statement of superiority?

It is updated in real-time, as and when visa-policy changes come into effect, according to Henley and Partners.

Japan edged ahead of Singapore after gaining visa-free access to Myanmar earlier this month.

Germany now shares 3rd place with South Korea and France.

Both countries benefited from a visa-exemption from Uzbekistan helping them beat France and Germany.

For each travel destination, if no visa is required for passport holders from a country or territory, then a score with value = 1 is created for that passport.

Ireland, in comparison, places joint sixth on the list with access to 185 destinations.

The UK passport grants citizens visa-free access to 189 countries.

In this year's ranking, both United Kingdom and U.S. have slipped the charts with 186 destinations.

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VISA-FREE TRAVEL? The Philippines, unfortunately, isn't as lucky as its Asian neighbors.

Iraq and Afghanistan share the position of the weakest passport in the world.

Thailand ranked 68th, with visa-free or visa-on-arrival access to 77 countries.

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

Somalia and Syria are only slightly improved with access to 32 countries.

That is down 17 places since 2008. UAE citizens have access to 161 destinations.

British Passport through the years Sun, March 25, 2018 The evolution of the British passport through wonderful vintage pictures.

"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".

Dr. Christian H. Kälin, Group Chairman of Henley & Partners, commented on these developments: "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".

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