Move over, Singapore - Japanese passport opens the most doors now

How powerful is Indian passport? Check 2018 Henley Passport Index ranking here

How powerful is Indian passport? Check 2018 Henley Passport Index ranking here

South Korea gained visa-free access to Myanmar on October 1, while Paraguay removed visa requirements for Singaporean passport holders in 2017.

Seychelles residents can now travel to 152 destinations without a visa, and Mauritius residents to 146, both up a single destination since the last quarterly update to the rankings.

France was able to climb to third spot after gaining visa-free access to Uzbekistan last week.

Criteria on the list include which countries you can access with which type of visa, how your passport has changed over the past 13 years, how it compares to other such passports, why it has the level of access that it does and which additional passports would improve your global movements.

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.

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The two had been neck-and-neck since they both climbed to first place in February, said the release.

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 Henley Passport Index's ranking "is 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", said the Henley & Partners' website. "Russia's agreement with the UAE in particular is part of a foreign policy push to attract foreign investment into the country, especially from Emirati businesses and businesspeople". The discussion within the Council will remain hard, however. "Relaxing visa rules may be criticized as being lenient on migration control - a criticism few want to risk in a time when right-wing populist parties are on the rise".

The UAE has made the most remarkable ascent on the Henley Passport Index, from 62nd place in 2006 to 21st place worldwide now. The three countries offer visa-free or visa-on-arrival travel to 188 countries.

As a result, while SA is ranked at 52, there are actually 95 countries with stronger-rated passports on the index. The views expressed therein are not necessarily those of stlucianewsonline.com, its sponsors or advertisers.

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