How Australian passport ranks among world’s most powerful

January 12, 2018
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IF YOU hold a German passport, you’re in possession of the most enviable travel document on Earth.

For the fifth year running, the country has claimed first place on the Henley Passport Index, which records the number of countries a passport can take its owner visa-free.

German passport owners have visa-free access to 177 countries in total, up from 176 last year.

Singapore ranks second globally on the 2018 edition of the index, with visa-free access to 176 countries.

Eight countries — Denmark, Finland, France, Italy, Japan, Norway, Sweden and the UK — share third place, offering passport-holders access to 175 countries.

Ranking jointly fourth on the index, Austria, Belgium, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Switzerland, and Spain all provide visa-free access to 174 countries.

Meanwhile, Australia rated at seventh spot along with Greece and New Zealand, with visa-free access to 171 countries.

For the second year in a row, Pakistan, Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan sit at the bottom of the Henley Passport Index.

Holders of these passports are able to access 30 or fewer countries visa-free.

The Henley Passport Index is based on exclusive data from the International Air Transport Association (IATA), which maintains the world’s largest and most accurate database of travel information.

The biggest movers in this year’s index were Georgia and Ukraine, which completed the visa-liberalisation process with the EU in 2017 and gained access to 30 and 32 new countries, respectively.

Meanwhile, 14 countries — Cyprus, Trinidad and Tobago, Sweden, Spain, Greece, Lithuania, Taiwan, Iran, Bangladesh, Nepal, Yemen, Antigua and Barbuda, North Korea and Syria — fared equally poorly in terms of downward movement on the index, all losing one place year-on-year.

North Korea and Syria both lost visa-free access to a single country.

Dr. Christian H. Kälin, Group Chairman of Henley & Partners, said: “There is no denying that a global mobility divide exists.

“We are also seeing a growing tendency towards a more isolationist, immigration-hostile policy among traditional migrant-receiving countries such as the US, and 2018 will bring further uncertainty, with the UK still in the grip of ongoing Brexit negotiations.”

This story appeared on The Sun and has been republished with permission.

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