Ukraine climbs another three spots in Passport Index

Both the United States and United Kingdom have fallen according to the index produced by Henley and Partners. More

Both the United States and United Kingdom have fallen according to the index produced by Henley and Partners. More

The Henley Passport Index ranks Taiwan's passport as the 29th strongest in the world, a ranking shared by Costa Rica.

According to the Henley Passport Index, which periodically measures the access each country's travel document affords, Japan retained its top spot as the world's most travel-friendly passport due to the document's access to 190 countries, CNN reported on Wednesday. Malaysian travelers can enter 179 countries, while citizens of Hong Kong can visit 169 without a visa, and Brunei, 165.

United States and United Kingdom passports both dropped in the rankings dropping from fifth in 2018 to a joint sixth place - which Henley described as a "significant fall" from the first place position these countries held in 2015.

Notable movers in the latest ranking include South Korea, which reached a new high in second spot, while the USA and United Kingdom jointly share sixth spot - a significant fall from grace, given they jointly held the top spot in 2015. It acquired visa-free access to Myanmar, helping it beat passport rival Singapore.

That the top countries in the list are all Asian - along with other significant movers from the region - shows that many Asia nations are "sustaining a high comfort level with mutually beneficial economic migration", Parag Khanna, the founder and managing partner of FutureMap in Singapore, told Henley & Partners.

Japan, for the second time in a row, has topped a global index for the world's most powerful passport in 2019, while India ranked at the 79th position.

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Denmark, Finland, Italy and Sweden were named in fourth place, with 187 countries, followed by Luxembourg and Spain in fifth on 186. Germany and France remain in third place going into 2019, with a visa-free/visa-on-arrival score of 188.

The Group Chairman for Henley and Partners, Christian Kalin, says that despite some trends towards isolationism, most countries in the world remain committed to collaboration and supporting a proactive approach to foreign affairs, which includes investing in "international mobility". Now, Ukrainians are allowed visa-free travel to 128 countries, whereas a year ago the number was 114.

The league table is produced by the Henley Passport Index, using data from the International Air Transport Association (IATA), which looks at how many countries a passport can provide visa-free access to.

The least powerful passports in the world for 2019 were Iraq and Afghanistan which came in 104th place with access to just 30 countries.

China's steady ascent up the rankings is a clear demonstration of this.

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