Henley Passport Index it does not take into account the time restrictions. Therefore, apart from temporary restrictions, top-of-the-list passport holders – Japanese and Singaporean – they can theoretically travel to 192 countries without a visa.
Afghan citizens they can only get to 26 other countries without a visa and thus find themselves at the end of the list.
South Korea and Germany ranked on the second place (190 countries), followed by Finland, Italy, Luxembourg and Spain (189). France, the Netherlands, Austria and Denmark are fourth (188). Ireland and Portugal are next (187). The United States and the United Kingdom moved up one place to sixth place (186), along with Switzerland, Norway, Belgium and New Zealand. The next place (185) is taken by Australia, Canada, the Czech Republic, Greece and Malta.
They are eighth together Hungary and Poland (183), followed by Lithuania and Slovakia (182). Estonia, Latvia and Slovenia came in tenth (181). The European Union countries dominated the top ten of the ranking.
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The rich can do more
Leaving aside epidemic considerations, the overall level of freedom to travel has increased significantly over the past few decades. The Henley Passport Index showed in 2006 that, on average, a person can visit 57 countries without first obtaining a visa. Today that number is almost twice as high and amounts to 107.
According to the report, however, these freedoms are still enjoyed mainly by the countries of Europe, North America and richer Asian countries. For example, passport holders from countries such as Angola, Cameroon or Laos can enter only about 50 other countries without a visa.
COVID-19 and “travel apartheid”
The latest report noted that the arrival of the Omikron variant of the coronavirus late last year shed light on the growing divide in international mobility between richer and poorer countries. According to the authors, this is indicated by the strict restrictions introduced mainly against movement from African countries, which UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres compared to “traveling apartheid”.
Henley & Partners CEO and Passport Ranking concept creator Christian H. Kaelin believes that opening up the channels of travel will be key to economic recovery after the COVID-19 epidemic ends.
“Passports and visas are one of the most important instruments in the world to influence social inequalities around the world as they determine the possibilities of global movement,” commented Kaelin.
“The boundaries in which we were born and the documents we are entitled to possess are no less arbitrary than the color of our skin. Wealthier countries should encourage a positive influx of migrants to help redistribute and balance human and material resources worldwide, ”added the head of Henley & Partners.
Henley Passport Index conducted since 2006, it is one of several rankings prepared by financial companies in order to classify passports according to the freedom of travel of their holders. There are 199 passports on the Henley list. It is updated in real time throughout the year if changes to the visa policy come into effect. The ranking is based on data provided by the International Air Transport Association (IATA).