Friday, 19 October, 2018

Far from powerful: PH passport places 75th in power index

Japan has the strongest passport in the world according to new Henley & Partners ranking Move over, Singapore – Japanese passport opens the most doors now
Deanna Wagner | 10 October, 2018, 15:59

The Philippines ranked 75th in the world's most powerful passport list, allowing visa free travel to only 66 destinations, according to the 2018 Henley Passport Index.

Holders of the new top passport in the rankings, Japan, can now travel to 190 countries and territories without making any prior visa arrangements.

Singapore had been the top dog, but thanks to a new arrangement with Myanmar, Japan now leads with 190 visa-free countries.

"With stagnant outbound visa activity compared to Asian high-performers such as Japan, Singapore, and South Korea, it seems increasingly unlikely that the United States and the United Kingdom will regain the number one spot they jointly held in 2015", the statement said. We're ranked at 75th alongside Azerbaijan, the Dominican Republic, and Tunisia - meaning we have access only to 66 countries visa-free or visa-on-arrival. With stagnant outbound visa activity compared to Asian high-performers, it seems unlikely they will regain the number 1 spot they jointly held in 2015 any time soon.

Seychelles residents can now travel to 152 destinations without a visa, and Mauritius residents to 146, both up a single destination since the last quarterly update to the rankings. The same is true of China: Chinese nationals obtained access to two new jurisdictions (St. Lucia and Myanmar), but the Chinese passport fell two places this quarter, to 71st overall.

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The index measures passport power by the number of destinations the holder can visit without arranging a visa first.

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.

Iraq and Afghanistan share the position of the weakest passport in the world.

The index, by Henley & Partners, a citizenship and planning firm, showed Japan to have the most powerful passport on the planet. Japan ranked fifth in last year's survey with visa-free access to 172 nations.

Henley highlighted at least two countries that didn't rank high but saw tremendous leaps in rankings through the years - China and the UAE. Newcomer Moldova, for example, which launched its CBI program in the second half of this year, has climbed 20 places since 2008.