For each travel destination, if no visa is required for passport holders from a country or territory, then a score with value = 1 is created for that passport. A score with value = 1 is also applied if passport holders can obtain a visa on arrival, a visitor’s permit, or an electronic travel authority (ETA) when entering the destination. These visa-types require no pre-departure government approval, because of the specific visa-waiver programs in place.
Where a visa is required, or where a passport holder has to obtain a government-approved electronic visa (e-Visa) before departure, a score with value = 0 is assigned. A score with value = 0 is also assigned if passport holders need pre-departure government approval for a visa on arrival, a scenario we do not consider ‘visa-free’.
Japan’s passport continues to hold the top spot on the Henley Passport Index. The current stringent travel restrictions mean that most non-essential travel for Japanese nationals is heavily curtailed. This is true for almost every country of course, as more travel bans are implemented daily, and ever-more stringent coronavirus lockdown regulations are imposed by governments worldwide.
With 3.5 billion people, nearly half the global population, presently living in voluntary or mandatory confinement, the latest results from the index — which is based on exclusive data from the International Air Transport Association (IATA) — raise challenging questions about what travel freedom and global mobility really mean, both currently and in a deeply uncertain post-pandemic future.
Another Asian nation, Singapore, is in second place with 190 destinations. South Korea follows with visa-free travel to 189 jurisdictions. French, German, Finnish, Luxembourg and Italian passports all follow for access to 188 countries without a prearranged visa.
Canada shares the ninth spot alongside Australia with access to 183 countries, and Hungary takes the tenth spot with visa-free access to 182 countries.
The United Arab Emirates takes the 18th spot, Saudi Arabia 67th, and India takes the 85th spot.
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