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Japanese, Singaporeans now hold world’s most powerful passport

/ 03:26 PM July 12, 2018

Image: angeloNZ/IStock.com via AFP Relaxnews

Japan and Singapore have overtaken Germany to share the title of the world’s most powerful passport.

In the latest edition of the Henley Passport Index, the Asian countries knocked Germany down a rung to second place, for enjoying visa-free access to the greatest number of countries, 189.

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The index is updated in real-time and ranks the world’s passports based on the number of destinations holders can access without applying for a visa. The ranking uses data from the International Air Transport Association (IATA).

Overall, nationals of European Union member states saw no improvement in their global access since last year, mainly because their inbound policies are so restrictive, said Florian Trauner, a professor at the Institute for European Studies at the Free University of Brussels.

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“The current political climate in the EU is not conducive to more liberal admission policies” and “in the wake of the Brexit vote, the UK has been trying to install a stricter immigration regime vis-à-vis both EU and non-EU citizens.”

Despite United States President Donald Trump’s controversial travel bans, experts said the U.S. passport’s standing will likely remain unaffected, as weak economies can’t afford to shut out bigger countries that send large inflows of tourists.

And while Russia waived visa requirements for the World Cup this year, it wasn’t able to earn reciprocal access to new destinations, the report adds, gaining just one spot on the index to 46th position.

The Philippines is currently in 72nd place overall, with visa-free access to 66 destinations, and ranks 7th among 11 countries in the Southeast Asian list. The Philippines dropped two spots overall from the May update, when the country was at 70th place.

Here are the country standings:

1. Japan, Singapore
2. Germany
3. Denmark, Finland, France, Italy, Sweden, Spain, South Korea
4. Norway, United Kingdom, Austria, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Portugal, USA
5. Belgium, Switzerland, Ireland, Canada
6. Australia, Greece
7. New Zealand, Czech Republic, Malta
8. Iceland
9. Hungary, Slovenia, Malaysia
10. Slovakia, Latvia, Lithuania
JB

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TAGS: Henley Passport Index, Japan, Passports, Singapore, World's Most Powerful Passports
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