Ranking the World’s Passports: Why Having the Right Passport is Important for Visa-Free Travel

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Passport control stations at London Heathrow

Passport control stations at London Heathrow

Visaless citizens of some countries are simply unwelcome in a good part of the world.   The bottom five countries are Syria, Somalia, Iraq, Pakistan, and Afghanistan, with their citizens having the ability to visit 32, 31, 30, 29, and 25 countries respectively.

The list includes 219 destination countries and the maximum any country could score would be 218 as a visa is not required to return home. The number of passport countries that were scored was 199 and include the 93 Member States of the United Nations plus Hong Kong, Kosovo, Macao, Palestinian Territory, Taiwan, and Vatican City.

Henley & Partners, which helps individuals with citizenship and residence planning, has published the index for the past 11 years and says that the only change to the Top 10 (which is really the Top 28) is the addition of Hungary (tied for tenth) and the loss of Malaysia, which dropped to the number 12 position.

“No country dropped more than three positions, indicating that overall, visa-free access is improving around the world,” the company said in a statement. Several countries did, however, see their standing improve dramatically. Palau moved ahead 20 spots, Colombia climbed 25, and Timor-Leste, also known as East Timor, moved from 89th last year to 57th for 2016.

(Photos: Accura Media Group)

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