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10 October 2018, 03:56 | Glen Norman
Taiwan's passport No.29 in the world according to Henley & Partners
The Henley Passport Index ranking is based on exclusive data from the International Air Transport Association, which has the world's largest database of travel information.
Japan edged ahead of Singapore after gaining visa-free access to Myanmar earlier this month. The countries both climbed to 1st place in February, pushing Germany down to 2nd place for the first time since 2014.
Criteria on the list include which countries you can access with which type of visa, how your passport has changed over the past 13 years, how it compares to other such passports, why it has the level of access that it does and which additional passports would improve your global movements.
France, Germany, and South Korea follow at third with visa-free or visa-on-arrival access to 188 destinations.
Since past year South Africa has added four new visa-free destinations.
The ranking determines how many countries the holder can enter either without a visa or be issued one upon entry.
However, South Africa still ranks 3rd in Africa, after the Seychelles (25th strongest passport in the world, with 152 destinations) and Mauritius (31st strongest passport in the world, with 146 destinations).
"With stagnant outbound visa activity compared to Asian high-performers such as Japan, Singapore, and South Korea, it seems increasingly unlikely" that the USA and the United Kingdom will regain the No. 1 spot they jointly held in 2015, the firm said in a statement.
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What has been most remarkable in recent years is the UAE's stunning ascent on the Henley Passport Index, from 62nd place in 2006 to 21st place worldwide now.
The index, by Henley & Partners, a citizenship and planning firm, showed Japan to have the most powerful passport on the planet.
South Korea gained visa-free access to Myanmar on October 1, while Paraguay removed visa requirements for Singaporean passport holders in 2017. The most recent Henley Passport Index ranks the South African passport at number 52 - out of a possible 106 - which is a drop of 17 positions in ten years.
"CBI programs offer access to some of the world's strongest and most promising passports", says Dr. Kälin, "and the merit of these passports is a reflection of the underlying stability and attractiveness of the countries themselves".
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