The Henley Passport Index (HPI) is a global ranking of countries according to the travel freedom of holders of their ordinary – as opposed to diplomatic – passport holders. It started in 2006 as Henley & Partners Visa Restrictions Index (HVRI) and was modified and renamed in January 2018. The site provides a ranking for 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 Henley & Partners has analysed the visa regulations of the vast majority of the countries and territories in the world since 2006.
The Henley Passport index (HPI) ranks passports according to how many destinations can be reached using a particular country's ordinary passport without requiring a visa ('visa-free'). All distinct destination countries and territories in the IATA database are considered. However, since not all territories issue passports, there are far fewer passports ranked than destinations against which queries are made.
To determine the score for each country or territory, its passport is checked against the IATA database in several steps:
1. Each of the 199 passports on the list, is checked against all 227 possible travel destinations for which travel restriction information exists in the IATA database. The score is updated throughout the year as conditions change.
2. Each query must satisfy certain conditions:
- passport is issued in the country of nationality
- passport holder is an adult citizen of the country which issued the passport and a lone traveller, not part of a tourist group
- entry is sought for tourism or business
- the stay is a minimum of 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 score for each particular passport is then totalled by adding up its scores for all destinations.
As of 2021, a Japanese passport offers its holders visa-free or visa-on-arrival access to a total of 193 countries, a Singapore passport offers its holders 192 countries, and South Korean passport and German passports each offer 191 visa-free or visa-on-arrival countries to their holders. 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.
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 Herzegovina, 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).
In the table below, the "access" columns denote the number of visa-free destinations for holders of that passport.
Unless indicated otherwise, the data in this table is taken from these sources.
- ^ 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.
- ^ "Visa Restriction Index 2006 to 2016 2018". visaindex.com. Archived from the original on 25 April 2016. Retrieved 28 April 2016.
- ^ Andrejevic, Mark and Volcic, Zala (2016). Commercial Nationalism: Selling the Nation and Nationalizing the Sell. Palgrave Macmillan, New York. ISBN 9781137500984
- ^ "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
- ^ Abrahamian, Atossa Araxia (2015). The Cosmopolites: The Coming of the Global Citizen, pp. 70–93. Colombia Global Reports, New York. ISBN 9780990976363
- ^ "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.
- ^ a b "Henley Passport Index". Henley Passport Index. Retrieved 23 July 2021.
- ^ Kalin, Christian H. Global Residence and Citizenship Handbook (5 ed.). Ideos Publications. pp. 147–148. ISBN 978-3-9524052-7-7.
- ^ Kalin, Christian H. Global Residence and Citizenship Handbook (5 ed.). Ideos Publications. pp. 148–149. ISBN 978-3-9524052-7-7.
- ^ "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.
- ^ "Henley Index: Japan tops 2020 list of world's most powerful passports". www.cnn.com. Retrieved 11 January 2020.
- ^ Madden, Duncan (10 January 2020). "The Most Powerful Passports In The World In 2020". www.forbes.com. Retrieved 11 January 2020.
- ^ "Henley Passport Global Ranking". Henley Passport Index. Retrieved 2 December 2020.