Today, the 2018 Henley Passport Index has been released and the Philippines sits at 75 with visa-free access to 63 countries.
Singapore and Japan share the top spot after knocking off Germany. Citizens of these two Asian countries are now enjoying visa-free access to a record 180 destinations. The German passport is now the second most powerful globally, providing its citizens with access to 179 destinations worldwide.
Both Singapore and Japan rose to the top of the index after, among other developments, Uzbekistan lifted visa requirements for Singaporean and Japanese nationals in early February. Uzbekistan’s efforts to increase tourist inflows saw a number of other countries in Asia and the Middle East (including Turkey, Indonesia, and Israel) gaining access. In general, the Asian and Middle East regions have in recent months seen high levels of visa-policy activity compared with their European and American counterparts, where the signing of new cross-border agreements on short-term travel has been far less frequent.
As a result of these shifts, the UK has dropped down one rank to 4th place overall, but the country still provides its citizens with visa-free access to 177 destinations. The US continues to hold the 5th place on the index, offering its passport holders access to 176 destinations. The Russian Federation, meanwhile, has climbed three places to claim 45th position. Partly as a result of China’s recent visa-waiver agreement with the UAE, the North Asian nation has shown the most growth in its region over the past year, moving up 11 places compared with 2017 and now
ranking 74th globally.
Dominic Volek, Managing Partner of Henley & Partners Singapore and Head of Southeast Asia, says that the recent movements in ranking now positions the region as a major global player. “The improvement in ranking for both Singapore and Japan highlight that the region has become recognized as a dominant player and that traditional power has shifted. The uncertainty of the EU market may encourage more focus on countries such as Singapore and Japan, given their increasing economic stability and global mobility,” he says.
For the Philippines, the 63 countries that granted visa-free access are:
- Hong Kong
- Macao (SAR China)
- Sri Lanka
- Cape Verde Islands
- Comores Islands
- Cote d’Ivoire (Ivory Coast)
- St. Lucia
- St. Vincent and the Grenadines
- Trinidad and Tobago
- Costa Rica
- Cook Islands
- Marshall Islands
- Palau Islands
- Papua New Guinea
Syria, Iraq, and Afghanistan sit at the bottom of the Henley Passport Index, each still only able to access 30 or fewer destinations 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.
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