Published: Thu, January 11, 2018
Global News | By Stacy Ballard

The world's most powerful passport for 2018 is…

The world's most powerful passport for 2018 is…

It reveals that German passport holders can travel to 177 out of a possible 218 countries, while the British passport - whether it's black or blue - only grants access to 175. By this indicator we rank at the prestigious 20th place in the world, bypassing most of our neighbors.

A poll released by Henley & Partners and the International Air Transport Association (IATA), the "Visa Restrictions Index", names the Taiwan passport as the 32 most powerful in the world, reports CNA. The Americans are fifth. Of the 199 countries featured on the index, 143 (including the US) improved their rank over the past year and 41 countries (the Russian Federation among them) maintained their position. Ranking jointly fourth on the index are Austria, Belgium, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Switzerland, and Spain which provide visa-free access to 174 countries.

The past year has seen Belarus offer British citizens visa-free entry, Kazakhstan and Vietnam renew their visa-free arrangements with the United Kingdom, and Ethiopia offer a new e-visa option, helping boost the UK's overall position.

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It added, "Malaysia ranks second in the region, and twelfth globally, with Malaysian nationals enjoying visa-free access to 166 countries". The Republic of Macedonia is 46th (112 countries), Montenegro is 48/110 countries, Bosnia and Herzegovina is 51/105 countries, Albania is 52/100 countries.

While countries in Southeast Asia remain stable, according to the index Indonesia was the region's highest individual climber.

The index does not measure the power of the British National (Overseas) passport, as held by more than three million Hong Kong people. "The Henley Passport Index is relevant to anyone seeking to strengthen their level of worldwide access, as well as to governments trying to understand their passport offering in a global context", Barnes concludes. Its visa-free travel now extends to 60 countries, up from last year's 51.

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"There is no denying that a global mobility divide exists". Its passport holders can only enter 24, 27 and 28 countries, respectively, without a visa. Individuals who have multiple passports benefit from each country's best practices and are less vulnerable to its risks and shortcomings.

A total of 200 countries and territories were analyzed in 2018.

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