Green Mamba slithers further down the global rankings

Green Mamba slithers further down the global rankings

The ranking, by global citizenship advisory group Henley & Partners, measures the power of passports by the number of countries the holder can access either visa-free, or with a visa obtainable on arrival.

Holders of the new top passport in the rankings, Japan, can now travel to 190 countries and territories without making any prior visa arrangements.

Japan and Singapore have been neck and neck on the index since they both climbed to 1st place in February - following a visa-exemption from Uzbekistan - and pushed Germany down to 2nd place for the first time since 2014.

Previously, both Singapore and Japan had access to 189 countries and shared top place.

France and Germany came in tied third place with South Korea with a score of 188.

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. With stagnant outbound visa activity compared to Asian high-performers, it seems unlikely they will regain the number 1 spot they jointly held in 2015 any time soon.

It includes 199 different passports and 227 different travel destinations.

China also climbed by 14 positions to 71, with access to 74 destinations since 2017.

Last year, a ranking of passports by worldwide global financial advisory firm Arton Capital showed that the Philippine passport is moderately weak, with its holders having visa-free access to only 61 countries.

Henley highlighted at least two countries that didn't rank high but saw tremendous leaps in rankings through the years - China and the UAE.

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is one of the biggest climbers on the 2018 Henley Passport Index.

The South African passport dropped another two rungs in an update to the authoritative Henley Passport Index published on Tuesday, continuing a long slide in the global rankings since 2008.

"Mauritius and the Seychelles both have very welcoming visa policies, and as a result of this openness, other countries reciprocate and make travel easier for Seychellois and Mauritian citizens".

"CBI programs offer access to some of the world's strongest and most promising passports", says Dr. Kälin, "and the merit of these passports is a reflection of the underlying stability and attractiveness of the countries themselves".

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