Global citizenship and residence advisory company Henley & Partners have released the passport ranking which they have done for the past 18 years.
The value of passports globally differs. It’s power and authority is not equal to any other. Some passports may be stronger than others while others are weaker. This gives almost every passport a different statistical value.
The passport ranking is based on exclusive data from the International Air Transport Authority (IATA). The index covers 199 different passports and 227 different travel destinations. It is updated quarterly, and is considered the standard reference tool for global citizens and sovereign states when assessing where a passport ranks on the global mobility spectrum.
In the release of the first quarter’s ranking Japan has the most powerful passport in the world. This is because it allows its wielders visa-free access to 193 countries. The countries that followed include Singapore, South Korea, Germany and Spain.
Out of the 109 countries ranked, 42 are African countries. Seychelles leads in Africa as the most powerful passport on the continent.
The least powerful African passport is that of Somalia, which ranks 104th with 35 points. Seven points more than the least powerful passport in the world, of Afghanistan in 109th place.
The ranking is based on proprietary data from the International Air Transport Association (IATA), which maintains the travel information database.
A score is gained based on the total number of destinations a country’s passport holder can access without a visa. For each travel destination, if no visa is required, a score of 1 is assigned to that passport. This also applies if passport holders can obtain a visa on arrival, a visit permit or an electronic travel authorization (eTA) on entry.
If a visa is required, or the passport holder must apply for a government-approved electronic visa (e-Visa) prior to departure, a score of 0 is assigned. The same applies if the holder needs to obtain pre-departure approval for a visa on arrival.
Below are ten of the top African passports based on the metric system above.