Published: Fri, October 12, 2018
Worldwide | By Myra Stephens

Iraq, Afghanistan the worst passports for travel, Japan the best: Index

Iraq, Afghanistan the worst passports for travel, Japan the best: Index

Both countries benefited from a visa-exemption from Uzbekistan helping them beat France and Germany.

In the latest edition of the ranking, Germany is in third place with South Korea and France.

The latest report also showed that USA and the United Kingdom passports, both with 186 visa-free destinations, fell one spot from fourth to the fifth place after failing to gain access to new destinations. With neither having gained entry to any new jurisdictions this year, it seems unlikely that either will soon reclaim the No.1 spot they held in 2015.

But in territories or countries where visas are required, or where passport holders have to obtain a government-approved electronic visa (e-Visa) before departure, a score of 0 is assigned.

The statistics of the Henley Passport Index are based on exclusive data from the International Air Transport Association (IATA), which maintains the world's largest and most accurate database of travel information, and is enhanced by extensive in-house research. "South Africa is now on the right path in terms of its approach to immigration and inbound travel, and as a firm of global citizens, we commend the current leadership".

The index also identified the countries with the greatest improvement in visa-free travel for citizens, including China and the UAE - which secured the most visa-waiver agreements out of all the countries this year, CNN reported.

Specifically, this latest agreement with Russian Federation will help the UAE "lower its dependence on its hydrocarbon sector and continue its robust economic growth trajectory" by stimulating tourism and trade. Their nationals enjoy visa-free access to 188 countries. Several member states are reluctant to grant visa-liberalization.

"Relaxing visa rules may be criticised as being lenient on migration control - a criticism few want to risk in a time when right-wing populist parties are on the rise", he said. Newcomer Moldova, which is due to launch its CBI programme in November, has climbed 20 places since 2008.

Japan recently acquired visa-free access to Myanmar, helping it beat passport rival Singapore.

In the last quarter, the passport was ranked 50 in the world.

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