Henley Passport Index

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The Henley Passport Index (HPI) is a global ranking of countries according to the travel freedom for their citizens.[1] It started in 2005 as Henley & Partners Visa Restrictions Index (HVRI)[2] and was modified and renamed in January 2018.[3][4] The site provides a ranking of the 199 passports of the world according to the number of countries their holders can travel to visa-free. The number of countries that a specific passport can access becomes its visa-free 'score'. In collaboration with the International Air Transport Association (IATA), and based on official data from their global database[5] Henley & Partners has analysed the visa regulations of all the countries and territories in the world since 2006.[6]

Definition of the Index[edit]

The HPI consists of a ranking of passports according to how many other territories can be reached 'visa-free' (defined below). All distinct destination countries and territories in the IATA database are considered. However, since not all territories issue passports, there are far fewer passports to be ranked than destinations against which queries are made.[7]


To determine the score for each country or territory,[8] the IATA database is queried in the following way:

1. Each of the 199 passports for which the score is to be determined, is checked against every one of the 227 possible travel destinations for which travel restriction information exists in the IATA database. These interrogations continue throughout the year so scores will continuously change.

2. Each query is made with the following conditions:

  • passports are issued in the country of nationality
  • passport holders are an adult citizen of the country which issued the passport and a lone traveller rather than in a tourist group
  • entry is sought for tourism or business
  • the stay is at least three days

3. Further conditions include:

  • queries are made only for holders of normal passports rather than diplomatic, service, emergency, or temporary passports and other travel documents are disregarded
  • passport holders do not meet any complex requirements for entry (for example, possessing a government-issued letter, translations or empty pages)
  • passport holders have all necessary vaccinations and certificates;
  • passport holders are arriving at and departing from the same airport
  • passport holders are seeking a short stay rather than a transit
  • the port of entry is a major city or capital, in cases where this is required
  • requirements by the destination country or territory regarding a particular length of validity of passports are disregarded
  • passport holders meet all basic requirements for entry (for example, holding a hotel reservation or having proof of sufficient funds or return tickets)
  • advance passenger information and advance approval to board are not considered to be a visa requirement or travel restriction, neither is the requirement to pay airport tax

It is assumed that the visa policies of Greenland and the Faroe Islands are identical to Denmark.

4. If no visa is required for passport holders from a particular country or territory to enter the destination, then that passport scores 1. [The passport also scores 1 if a visa on arrival, a visitor's permit, or an electronic travel authority (ETA) can be obtained because they do not require pre-departure government approval, perhaps because of specific visa-waiver programs in place.]

5. Where visas are needed, or where passport holders have to get government-approved electronic visas (e-Visas) before departure, a score of 0 is given. If passport holders must get government approval before leaving in order to obtain a visa on arrival, this also scores 0.

6. The total score for a particular passport is then assigned according to the conditions defined above.[9]

January 2019 results[edit]

Offering its citizens visa-free or visa-on-arrival access to a record total of 190 destinations, as of 8 January 2019 Japan takes the top spot in the Henley Passport Index. Singapore and South Korea come in joint second place while third place is shared by France and Germany.[10]

Iraq and Afghanistan have once again been labelled by the index as the least powerful passports in the world.[6][11]

Rank Citizenship Score
1 Japan Japan 190
2 Singapore Singapore South Korea South Korea 189
3 Germany Germany France France 188
4 Denmark Denmark Finland Finland Italy Italy Sweden Sweden 187
5 Luxembourg Luxembourg Spain Spain 186
6 Austria Austria Netherlands Netherlands Norway Norway Portugal Portugal Switzerland Switzerland United Kingdom United Kingdom United States United States 185
7 Belgium Belgium Canada Canada Greece Greece Republic of Ireland Ireland 184
8 Czech Republic Czech Republic 183
9 Malta Malta 182
10 Australia Australia Iceland Iceland New Zealand New Zealand 181
11 Latvia Latvia Lithuania Lithuania Slovakia Slovakia Slovenia Slovenia Hungary Hungary 180
12 Estonia Estonia Malaysia Malaysia 179
13 Liechtenstein Liechtenstein 178
14 Chile Chile 175
15 Monaco Monaco Poland Poland 174
16 Cyprus Cyprus 173
17 Brazil Brazil 171
18 Argentina Argentina 170
19 Bulgaria Bulgaria Hong Kong Hong Kong Romania Romania 169
20 Andorra Andorra Croatia Croatia San Marino San Marino 168
21 Brunei Brunei 165
22 United Arab Emirates United Arab Emirates 164
23 Israel Israel 161
24 Barbados Barbados 159
25 Mexico Mexico 158
26 The Bahamas Bahamas Uruguay Uruguay 154
27 Seychelles Seychelles Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Kitts and Nevis 151
28 Antigua and Barbuda Antigua and Barbuda 150
29 Costa Rica Costa Rica Taiwan Taiwan 149
30 Trinidad and Tobago Trinidad and Tobago Vatican City Vatican City 148
31  Mauritius  St. Lucia 145
32  Macao  St. Vincent and the Grenadines 144
33  Grenada  Paraguay 143
34  Panama 141
35  Venezuela 138
36  Dominica  El Salvador  Honduras 137
37  Guatemala 136
38  Peru 134
39  Solomon Islands 130
40  Serbia  Vanuatu 129
41  Nicaragua  Samoa  Ukraine 128
42  Colombia  Tuvalu 127
43  North Macedonia 125
44  Marshall Islands  Tonga 124
45  Kiribati  Montenegro 123
46  Moldova 122
47  Micronesia 121
48  Russia 119
49  Bosnia and Herzegovina  Palau 118
50  Albania 115
51  Georgia 114
52  Turkey 111
53  Belize  South Africa 101
54  East Timor 97
55  Ecuador 93
56  Kuwait 91
57  Fiji 89
58  Guyana 88
59  Maldives  Nauru 86
60  Qatar 85
61  Jamaica  Papua New Guinea 83
62  Botswana 82
63  Bahrain 81
64  Bolivia  Thailand 80
65  Suriname  Belarus 79
66  Indonesia 78
67  Kazakhstan  Oman 76
68  Namibia 75
69  China  Lesotho 74
70  Saudi Arabia 73
71  Swaziland 72
72  Kenya  Malawi 71
73  Armenia  Gambia  Tanzania  Zambia 68
74  Azerbaijan  Philippines  Tunisia 66
75  Dominican Republic  Cape Verde  Cuba 65
76  Kyrgyzstan  Uganda  Zimbabwe 64
77  Ghana 63
78  Sierra Leone 62
79  Benin  India  Mongolia  Morocco 61
80  Mauritania  Mozambique  Sao Tome  Tajikistan  Uzbekistan 58
81  Burkina Faso 57
82  Guinea  Ivory Coast  Senegal 56
83  Bhutan  Gabon  Mali  Togo 55
84  Cambodia  Niger  Rwanda 54
85  Guinea-Bissau  Madagascar  Chad  Turkmenistan 53
86  Comoros  Laos 52
87  Equatorial Guinea  Haiti  Vietnam 51
88  Algeria  Jordan 50
89  Angola  Egypt  Central African Republic 49
90  Cameroon  Myanmar 48
91  Republic of Congo  Liberia  Nigeria 47
92  Burundi 46
93  Djibouti 45
94  Kosovo 44
95  Democratic Republic of the Congo  Sri Lanka 43
96  Ethiopia  North Korea  Iran 42
97  Bangladesh  Lebanon  Libya  South Sudan 41
98    Nepal 40
99  Palestine  Sudan 39
100  Eritrea 38
101  Yemen 37
102  Pakistan 33
103  Somalia  Syria 32
104  Afghanistan  Iraq 30


European countries are notable for their stability over the past decade, and Belgium, France, Italy, Luxembourg, Spain and Sweden all remain in exactly the same position as 10 years before. The 'Top 10s' were almost identical, with 30 countries in 2015, compared to 26 a decade before. While Liechtenstein dropped, the Czech Republic, Finland, Hungary, Malta, Slovakia and South Korea all made it into the top 10.

Taiwan, Albania, the United Arab Emirates, Bosnia and Serbia all moved up more than 20 places in the Henley & Partners Visa Restrictions Index over the period, while the biggest drops were experienced by Guinea (−32), Liberia (−33), Sierra Leone (−35) and Bolivia (−37).

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Smith, Oliver (29 February 2016). "The world's most powerful passports". The Telegraph. Archived from the original on 23 February 2017. Retrieved 21 July 2018.
  2. ^ "Visa Restriction Index 2006 to 2016 2018". visaindex.com. Archived from the original on 25 April 2016. Retrieved 28 April 2016.
  3. ^ Andrejevic, Mark and Volcic, Zala (2016). Commercial Nationalism: Selling the Nation and Nationalizing the Sell. Palgrave Macmillan, New York. ISBN 9781137500984
  4. ^ "Rights of Passage — Henley Passport Index 2018". Henley & Partners Passport Index. Henley & Partners Holdings Ltd. 3 April 2018. Retrieved 7 July 2018. ...what are the political factors governing the strength of your passport? Perhaps more importantly, if your passport is not serving you, what can you do to enhance it? The 2018 Henley Passport Index was designed with these questions in mind. Launched 9 January, and replacing the Henley Visa Restrictions Index, the Henley Passport Index provides a ranking
  5. ^ Abrahamian, Atossa Araxia (2015). The Cosmopolites: The Coming of the Global Citizen, pp. 70–93. Colombia Global Reports, New York. ISBN 9780990976363
  6. ^ a b "The Henley & Partners Visa Restrictions Index 2016" (PDF). henleyglobal.com. Henley & Partners. Archived (PDF) from the original on 12 March 2016. Retrieved 2 August 2016.
  7. ^ Kalin, Christian H. Global Residence and Citizenship Handbook (5 ed.). Ideos Publications. pp. 147–148. ISBN 978-3-9524052-7-7.
  8. ^ Kalin, Christian H. Global Residence and Citizenship Handbook (5 ed.). Ideos Publications. pp. 148–149. ISBN 978-3-9524052-7-7.
  9. ^ "Henley Passport Index 2006 to 2018". Henley & Partners Passport Index. Henley & Partners Holdings Ltd. Archived from the original on 9 July 2018. Retrieved 7 July 2018. The index and its contents are based on data provided by the International Air Transport Authority (IATA) and supplemented, enhanced, and updated using extensive in-house research and open-source online data. The index includes 199 different passports and 227 different travel destinations. Updated in real-time throughout the year, as and when visa-policy changes come into effect...On a fixed date each year, Henley & Partners receives exclusive data from the International Air Transport Authority (IATA), which forms the basis of the Henley Passport Index. In order to maintain the accuracy of the data provided by IATA in the face of constant updates to visa policy, and in order to create detailed visa lists for all 199 passports in our database, the Henley & Partners research team uses publicly available and reliable online sources to cross-check each passport against all 227 possible travel destinations. This research process is ongoing throughout the year. It is coupled with a rigorous monitoring system to pick up relevant visa-policy shifts.
  10. ^ "Henley Passport Index" (PDF). www.henleypassportindex.com. Retrieved 2019-01-08.
  11. ^ Taylor, Adam (25 February 2016). "This is the least useful passport to carry around the world". Washington Post. Archived from the original on 29 February 2016. Retrieved 15 April 2016.

External links[edit]