New Zealand passport ranked the 8th 'most powerful' in the world

11 October, 2018, 03:15 | Author: Carlos George
  • Japan has the strongest passport in the world according to new Henley & Partners ranking

South Africa's passport power is ranked at number 52 in the world, down from 50 in the previous quarter.

Japan has overtaken Singapore as the world's strongest passport, claiming top spot on the 2018 Henley Passport Index, Henley & Partners, a residence and citizenship advisory firm, announced in a press release on Tuesday (Oct 9).

In the latest edition of the ranking, Germany is in third place with South Korea and France.

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.

The US and the United Kingdom both give access to 186 destinations with their passports, but neither have gained access to any new jurisdictions since the start of 2018.

It includes 199 different passports and 227 different travel destinations.

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Previously, both Singapore and Japan had access to 189 countries and shared top place.

"The ranking is based on exclusive data from the International Air Transport Association (IATA), which maintains the world's largest and most comprehensive database of travel information, and is enhanced by extensive in-house research".

Since past year South Africa has added four new visa-free destinations. This is still an impressive 14-place improvement over the position that China held at the start of 2017. Thailand ended up at No.68 and China at No.71, with at the bottom Afghanistan and Iraq, with only 30 visa waivers each, the Liberty Times reported.

The biggest mover since 2006 is the UAE, from 62nd place to 21st place. Their nationals enjoy visa-free access to 188 countries.

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.

"CBI programs offer access to some of the world's strongest and most promising passports", says Dr. Kälin, "and the merit of these passports is a reflection of the underlying stability and attractiveness of the countries themselves". Newcomer Moldova, which is due to launch its CBI programme in November, has climbed 20 places since 2008.

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