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

11 October 2018
Far from powerful: PH passport places 75th in power index

Lebanese passport holders gain admission to 41 countries without restriction, according to the recently released 2018 Henley & Partners rating of countries based on the degree of global travel afforded to their respective citizens.

The Henley Pssport Index said Japan's passport is the most powerful in the world with visa-free/visa-on-arrival access to 190 destinations.

"Japan and Singapore have been neck and neck on the index since they both climbed to first place in February - following a visa-exemption from Uzbekistan - and pushed Germany down to second for the first time since 2014", the statement said.

South Korea gained visa-free access to Myanmar on October 1, while Paraguay removed visa requirements for Singaporean passport holders in 2017.

Germany, which began 2018 in the top spot, is now in third place with 188 destinations, tied with France and South Korea.

This year, UAE citizens have gained visa-free access to several new countries including Ireland, Canada and China and overall it has secured more new visa waivers this year than any other country.

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.

Russia received a boost in September when Taiwan announced a visa-waiver for Russian nationals, placing it at No. 47.

A score with value = 1 is also applied if passport holders can obtain a visa on arrival, a visitor's permit, or an electronic travel authority (ETA) when entering the destination.

The UAE, meanwhile, is now the strongest in the Middle East, jumping from 62nd place in 2006 to 21st in the 2018 index.

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.

Dr. Christian H. Kälin, Group Chairman of Henley & Partners, says countries with citizenship-by-investment programs all fall within the top 50 of the index. Newcomer Moldova, due to launch its CBI program in November, climbed 20 places since 2008.