World's most powerful passport revealed as United Kingdom slips down the rankings

Pakistani passport ranked lower than Yemen and Palestine in visa access list- Japan enjoys top spot

Pakistani passport ranked lower than Yemen and Palestine in visa access list- Japan enjoys top spot

That's the view of the Henley Passport Index, which periodically measures the access that each country's travel document affords.

Dr Christian H. Kälin, Group Chairman of Henley & Partners and the inventor of the Passport Index concept, said the 2019 ranking shows, despite rising isolationist sentiment in some parts of the world, many countries remain committed to collaboration. As the country heads to the exit, possibly without a deal, their ability to travel visa-free to European Union countries could be compromised.

South Korea edged up the ranking from October's index to join Singapore, offering access to 189 jurisdictions, thanks to a new visa-on-arrival agreement with India.

The US and United Kingdom now sit in joint sixth place, with access to 185 destinations. Experts explain a significant drop from the top spot in 2015 by the policy of "closed doors" waged by both countries.

Denmark, Finland, Italy, and Sweden now hold joint fourth place, while Spain and Luxembourg are in 5th.

The South Korean passport was third in the previous index, released in October a year ago, and rose a place in the ranking due to a new visa-on-arrival agreement with India.

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Smit said, "The Henley Passport Index is an important tool for measuring not only the relative strength of the world's passports but also the extraordinary results that states can achieve when they work hand in hand with their global peers to build a more interconnected and collaborative world".

The ranking is based on data from the International Air Transport Association, which maintains the world's largest and database of travel information, and it is enhanced by extensive, ongoing research by the Henley & Partners Research Department.

Elsewhere, the United Kingdom drops from 4th place to 6th place, while the U.S. drops from 5th place to 6th place, with visa-free or visa-on-arrival access to 185 destinations.

The index remarked that there has been a general rise in the number of visa free travel destinations, . with the average citizen able to travel to about 107 countries without prior clearance in 2018, . compared to some 58 destinations in 2006. Now, Ukrainians are allowed visa-free travel to 128 countries, whereas a year ago the number was 114.

Afghanistan and Iraq continue to hold joint last place, with a visa-free/visa-on-arrival score of just 30.

China's steady ascent up the rankings is a clear demonstration of this.

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