Japan overtakes Singapore as world's most powerful passport

11 October, 2018, 03:15 | Author: Wade Massey
  • Japan overtakes Singapore as world's most powerful passport

"The total score for each passport is equal to the number of destinations for which no visa is required".

For South Africans, that number is a steady 102, while other countries have been improving the freedom of movement of their citizens with bilateral agreements.

The UAE, meanwhile, is now the strongest in the Middle East, jumping from 62nd place in 2006 to 21st in the 2018 index.

The 2018 Henley Passport Index, an annual ranking which links the world's passports according to how many countries their holders can gain visa-free access to, has shown that those with UAE passports can now travel unimpeded to 161 countries around the world.

After having gained visa-free access to Myanmar this month, Japanese citizens cemented their place as holders of the world's most powerful passport.

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Russian Federation received a boost in September when Taiwan announced a visa-waiver, but the country has nonetheless fallen from 46th to 47th place due to movements higher up the ranking.

China recently obtained access to St. Lucia and Myanmar and is now in 71st place, having climbed 14 places since the start of 2017. "South Africa is now on the right path in terms of its approach to immigration and inbound travel, and as a firm of global citizens, we commend the current leadership". The law firm says it updates the index in real-time, as and when visa-policy changes come into effect.

However, their progress might be outstripped by Kosovo which officially met all the criteria for visa-liberalization with the EU in July and is now in discussions with the European Council. "Relaxing visa rules may be criticized as being lenient on migration control - a criticism few want to risk in a time when right-wing populist parties are on the rise".

Iraq and Afghanistan continue to sit at the bottom of the Index.

MANILA, Philippines - Ever dreamed about being going to nearly every country you please without having to worry about visa requirements and the dreaded visa fee? The views expressed therein are not necessarily those of stlucianewsonline.com, its sponsors or advertisers.

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