South Korea was ranked second in the world’s most powerful passport in the third quarter of 2019 with visa-free or visa-on-arrival access to 187 destinations around the world, according to the Henley Passport Index.
Australian was ranked ninth on the list along with countries such as Iceland, Lithuania and New Zealand, with access to 180 countries.
Japan and Singapore were ranked first on the list, with access to 189 countries.
South Korea was joined by Finland and Germany as they took the second place.
“With a few notable exceptions, the latest rankings from the Henley Passport Index show that countries around the world increasingly view visa-openness as crucial to economic and social progress,” Chairman of Henley & Partners and the creator of the passport index concept, Dr Christian H. Kaelin said.
“Discussions of passport power and global mobility tend to focus on the benefits for the countries with the strongest passports. However, this latest unique research appears to confirm something that many of us already knew intuitively: that increased visa-openness benefits the entire global community and not just the strongest countries,” Dr Kaelin added.
Significant shifts in rankings were seen in countries such as the United States and the UK as they once possessed the most powerful passport in 2014. However, both countries have been ranked down to sixth place with Belgium, Canada, Greece, Ireland and Norway with access to 183 countries.
The Henley Passport Index press release said the UK’s drop may be due to "its exit from the EU now imminent, and coupled with ongoing confusion about the terms of its departure, the UK's once-strong position looks increasingly uncertain.”
The world’s weakest passports were Afghanistan with access to 25 countries and Iraq with 27 countries.
The Henley Passport Index ranking is based on exclusive data from International Air Transport Associated (IATA), and includes 199 different passports over 227 different travel destinations.
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