Henley Passport Index

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The Henley Passport Index (HPI) is a global ranking of countries according to the travel freedom for their citizens.[1] It started in 2006 as Henley & Partners Visa Restrictions Index (HVRI)[2] and was modified and renamed in January 2018.[3][4] The site provides a ranking of the 199 passports of the world according to the number of countries their holders can travel to visa-free. The number of countries that a specific passport can access becomes its visa-free 'score'. In collaboration with the International Air Transport Association (IATA), and based on official data from their global database[5] Henley & Partners has analysed the visa regulations of all the countries and territories in the world since 2006.[6]

2020 Henley Passport IndexEdit

2020 rank[7] Country Visa-free destinations
1   Japan 191
2   Singapore 190
3   Germany 189
=   South Korea 189
4   Finland 188
=   Italy 188
5   Denmark 187
=   Luxembourg 187
=   Spain 187
6   France 186
=   Sweden 186
7   Austria 185
=   Ireland 185
=   Netherlands 185
=   Portugal 185
=    Switzerland 185
8   Belgium 184
=   Greece 184
=   Norway 184
=   United Kingdom 184
=   United States 184
9   Australia 183
=   Canada 183
=   Czech Republic 183
=   Malta 183
=   New Zealand 183
10   Hungary 181
=   Lithuania 181
=   Slovakia 181
11   Iceland 180
=   Latvia 180
=   Slovenia 180
12   Estonia 179
13   Liechtenstein 178
=   Malaysia 178
14   Poland 176
15   Monaco 175
16   Chile 174
=   Cyprus 174
17   Romania 172
18   Bulgaria 171
=   United Arab Emirates 171
19   Argentina 170
=   Brazil 170
20   Croatia 169
=   Hong Kong 169
21   San Marino 168
22   Andorra 167
23   Brunei 166
24   Barbados 160
25   Israel 159
26   Mexico 158
27   Bahamas 154
=   Saint Kitts and Nevis 154
28   Uruguay 153
29   Seychelles 151
30   Antigua and Barbuda 150

Definition of the IndexEdit

The HPI consists of a ranking of passports according to how many other territories can be reached 'visa-free' (defined below). All distinct destination countries and territories in the IATA database are considered. However, since not all territories issue passports, there are far fewer passports to be ranked than destinations against which queries are made.[8]


To determine the score for each country or territory,[9] the IATA database is queried in the following way:

1. Each of the 199 passports for which the score is to be determined, is checked against every one of the 227 possible travel destinations for which travel restriction information exists in the IATA database. These interrogations continue throughout the year so scores will continuously change.

2. Each query is made with the following conditions:

  • passports are issued in the country of nationality
  • passport holders are an adult citizen of the country which issued the passport and a lone traveller rather than in a tourist group
  • entry is sought for tourism or business
  • the stay is at least three days

3. Further conditions include:

  • queries are made only for holders of normal passports rather than diplomatic, service, emergency, or temporary passports and other travel documents are disregarded
  • passport holders do not meet any complex requirements for entry (for example, possessing a government-issued letter, translations, or empty pages)
  • passport holders have all necessary vaccinations and certificates;
  • passport holders are arriving at and departing from the same airport
  • passport holders are seeking a short stay rather than a transit
  • the port of entry is a major city or capital, in cases where this is required
  • requirements by the destination country or territory regarding a particular length of validity of passports are disregarded
  • passport holders meet all basic requirements for entry (for example, holding a hotel reservation or having proof of sufficient funds or return tickets)
  • advance passenger information and advance approval to board are not considered to be a visa requirement or travel restriction, neither is the requirement to pay airport tax

It is assumed that the visa policies of Greenland and the Faroe Islands are identical to Denmark.

4. If no visa is required for passport holders from a particular country or territory to enter the destination, then that passport scores 1. [The passport also scores 1 if a visa on arrival, a visitor's permit, or an electronic travel authority (ETA) can be obtained because they do not require pre-departure government approval, perhaps because of specific visa-waiver programs in place.]

5. Where visas are needed, or where passport holders have to get government-approved electronic visas (e-Visas) before departure, a score of 0 is given. If passport holders must get government approval before leaving in order to obtain a visa on arrival, this also scores 0.

6. The total score for a particular passport is then assigned according to the conditions defined above.[10]

January 2020 resultsEdit

As of 2020, a Japanese passport offers its holders visa-free or visa-on-arrival access to a total of 191 countries, a Singapore passport offers its holders 190 countries, and South Korean passport and German passports each offer 189 visa-free or visa-on-arrival countries to their holders.[11] An Afghan passport has once again been labelled by the index as the least powerful passport in the world, with its nationals only able to visit 26 destinations visa-free.[12]


European countries are notable for their stability over the past decade, and Belgium, France, Italy, Luxembourg, Spain, and Sweden all remain in exactly the same position as 10 years before. The 'Top 10s' were almost identical, with 30 countries in 2015, compared to 26 a decade before. While Liechtenstein dropped, the Czech Republic, Finland, Hungary, Malta, Slovakia, and South Korea all made it into the top 10.

Taiwan, Albania, the United Arab Emirates, Bosnia, and Serbia all moved up more than 20 places in the Henley & Partners Visa Restrictions Index over the period, while the biggest drops were experienced by Guinea (−32), Liberia (−33), Sierra Leone (−35), and Bolivia (−37).

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Smith, Oliver (29 February 2016). "The world's most powerful passports". The Telegraph. Archived from the original on 23 February 2017. Retrieved 21 July 2018.
  2. ^ "Visa Restriction Index 2006 to 2016 2018". visaindex.com. Archived from the original on 25 April 2016. Retrieved 28 April 2016.
  3. ^ Andrejevic, Mark and Volcic, Zala (2016). Commercial Nationalism: Selling the Nation and Nationalizing the Sell. Palgrave Macmillan, New York. ISBN 9781137500984
  4. ^ "Rights of Passage — Henley Passport Index 2018". Henley & Partners Passport Index. Henley & Partners Holdings Ltd. 3 April 2018. Retrieved 7 July 2018. ...what are the political factors governing the strength of your passport? Perhaps more importantly, if your passport is not serving you, what can you do to enhance it? The 2018 Henley Passport Index was designed with these questions in mind. Launched 9 January, and replacing the Henley Visa Restrictions Index, the Henley Passport Index provides a ranking
  5. ^ Abrahamian, Atossa Araxia (2015). The Cosmopolites: The Coming of the Global Citizen, pp. 70–93. Colombia Global Reports, New York. ISBN 9780990976363
  6. ^ "The Henley & Partners Visa Restrictions Index 2016" (PDF). henleyglobal.com. Henley & Partners. Archived from the original (PDF) on 12 March 2016. Retrieved 2 August 2016.
  7. ^ "2020 Henley Passport Index - Results" (PDF). henleypassportindex.com. 2020. Retrieved 7 January 2020.
  8. ^ Kalin, Christian H. Global Residence and Citizenship Handbook (5 ed.). Ideos Publications. pp. 147–148. ISBN 978-3-9524052-7-7.
  9. ^ Kalin, Christian H. Global Residence and Citizenship Handbook (5 ed.). Ideos Publications. pp. 148–149. ISBN 978-3-9524052-7-7.
  10. ^ "Henley Passport Index 2006 to 2018". Henley & Partners Passport Index. Henley & Partners Holdings Ltd. Archived from the original on 9 July 2018. Retrieved 7 July 2018. The index and its contents are based on data provided by the International Air Transport Authority (IATA) and supplemented, enhanced, and updated using extensive in-house research and open-source online data. The index includes 199 different passports and 227 different travel destinations. Updated in real-time throughout the year, as and when visa-policy changes come into effect...On a fixed date each year, Henley & Partners receives exclusive data from the International Air Transport Authority (IATA), which forms the basis of the Henley Passport Index. In order to maintain the accuracy of the data provided by IATA in the face of constant updates to visa policy, and in order to create detailed visa lists for all 199 passports in our database, the Henley & Partners research team uses publicly available and reliable online sources to cross-check each passport against all 227 possible travel destinations. This research process is ongoing throughout the year. It is coupled with a rigorous monitoring system to pick up relevant visa-policy shifts.
  11. ^ "Henley Index: Japan tops 2020 list of world's most powerful passports". www.cnn.com. Retrieved 11 January 2020.
  12. ^ Madden, Duncan (10 January 2020). "The Most Powerful Passports In The World In 2020". www.forbes.com. Retrieved 11 January 2020.

External linksEdit