Henley Passport Index

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The Henley & Partners Visa Restrictions Index (HVRI)[1] was a global ranking of countries according to the travel freedom that their citizens enjoyed.[2][3]

It was modified and renamed to the Henley Passport Index (HPI) on 9 January 2018[4] and continues to provide 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 analyzed 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 holder 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]

2018 results[edit]

Offering its citizens visa-free or visa-on-arrival access to a record total of 189 destinations, as of 22 May 2018 Japan takes the top spot in the Henley Passport Index. Germany and Singapore come in joint second place while third place is shared by six countries: South Korea, Finland, France, Italy, Spain, and Sweden.[10]

Iraq and Afghanistan have once again been labelled by the index as the worst passports in the world.[6][11] However, there are several other countries not included in the Henley Passport Index that offer even less travel freedom; these are mostly unrecognised countries such as Somaliland.

Rank Citizenship Score
1  Japan 189
2  Germany  Singapore 188
3  Denmark  Finland  France  Italy  Sweden  Spain  South Korea 187
4  Norway  United Kingdom  Austria  Luxembourg  Netherlands  Portugal  United States 186
5  Belgium   Switzerland  Ireland  Canada 185
6  Australia  Greece 183
7  New Zealand  Czech Republic  Malta 182
8  Iceland 181
9  Hungary  Slovenia  Malaysia 180
10  Slovakia  Latvia  Lithuania 179
11  Liechtenstein  Estonia 178
12  Poland 175
13  Monaco  Chile 174
14  Cyprus 171
15  Argentina  Brazil 170
16  Croatia  Hong Kong  Bulgaria  Romania 169
17  Andorra  San Marino 168
18  Brunei 165
19  Israel 161
20  Barbados 160
21  Mexico 158
22  Bahamas 155
23  Uruguay  UAE 154
24  Seychelles  St. Kitts and Nevis 151
25  Costa Rica  Antigua and Barbuda 149
26   Vatican City  Taiwan 148
27  Trinidad and Tobago 147
28  Mauritius  St. Vincent and the Grenadines 145
29  Paraguay  Macao 143
30  St. Lucia 142
31  Panama  Grenada 141
32  Venezuela  Honduras 138
33  Guatemala 137
34  Dominica  El Salvador 136
35  Peru 135
36  Serbia  Solomon Islands 130
37  Samoa  Vanuatu 129
38  Nicaragua  Ukraine 128
39  Colombia 127
40  Tuvalu 126
41  Macedonia 125
42  Marshall Islands  Tonga 124
43  Kiribati  Montenegro 123
44  Micronesia 122
45  Moldova 121
46  Palau 119
47  Russia  Bosnia and Herzegovina 118
48  Albania 114
49  Turkey  Georgia 111
50  South Africa 102
51  Belize 101
52  East Timor 98
53  Ecuador  Kuwait 93
54  Fiji 90
55  Guyana 88
56  Maldives 87
57  Nauru  Qatar 85
58  Jamaica 84
59  Papua New Guinea 83
60  Botswana  Bahrain 81
61  Suriname 80
62  Bolivia 79
63  Oman 78
64  Namibia  Thailand  Kazakhstan  Belarus 76
65  Saudi Arabia 75
66  Lesotho 74
67  Swaziland  Kenya  Malawi  Indonesia 71
68  China 70
69  Gambia  Tanzania  Zambia 68
70  Tunisia  Azerbaijan  Philippines  Dominican Republic 66
71  Cuba 65
72  Cape Verde  Uganda 64
73  Ghana  Zimbabwe  Kyrgyzstan 63
74  Sierra Leone  Armenia 62
75  Benin  Morocco  Mongolia 61
76  Uzbekistan  India 59
77  Sao Tome  Mauritania  Mozambique  Tajikistan 58
78  Burkina Faso 57
79  Senegal  Ivory Coast  Guinea 56
80  Mali  Gabon  Bhutan 55
81  Togo  Niger  Haiti  Cambodia 54
82  Chad  Madagascar  Guinea-Bissau  Turkmenistan 53
83  Comoros  Rwanda  Equatorial Guinea  Laos 52
84  Vietnam 51
85  Algeria  Egypt  Jordan 50
86  Central African Republic  Angola 49
87  Cameroon  Myanmar 48
88  Liberia  Nigeria  Republic of Congo 47
89  Burundi 46
90  Djibouti 45
91  Kosovo 44
92  DRC  North Korea  Iran 43
93  Sri Lanka  Ethiopia 42
94  South Sudan  Bangladesh  Lebanon  Libya 41
95    Nepal 40
96  Sudan  Eritrea  Palestine 39
97  Yemen 37
98  Pakistan 33
99  Somalia  Syria 32
100  Iraq  Afghanistan 30
101  Palestine (Partially unrecognised) 13
102  Abkhazia (Mostly unrecognised) 5
103  Artsakh (Mostly unrecognised) 3
104  South Ossetia (Mostly unrecognised)  Transnistria (Mostly unrecognized) 2
105  Northern Cyprus (Mostly unrecognised) 1
106  Somaliland (Mostly unrecognised)  Western Sahara (Mostly unrecognised) 0


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).


  1. ^ "Visa Restriction Index 2006 to 2016 2018". visaindex.com. Retrieved 28 April 2016. 
  2. ^ Andrejevic, Mark and Volcic, Zala (2016). Commercial Nationalism: Selling the Nation and Nationalizing the Sell. Palgrave Macmillian, New York. ISBN 9781137500984
  3. ^ Smith, Oliver (29 February 2016). "The world's most powerful passports". The Telegraph. 
  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. 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. 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: The most powerful passports in a time of global travel access growth". www.bizcommunity.com. Retrieved 2018-07-07. 
  11. ^ Taylor, Adam (25 February 2016). "This is the least useful passport to carry around the world". Washington Post. 

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