China & HKSAR Passport Rise in Global Ranking
China gains visa-free access to 10 more countries
China has ranked 75th in the 2018 Henley Passport Index, moving up from 85th in the previous year and becoming the 3rd biggest climber globally. Chinese passport holders now enjoy visa-free access to a total of 60 countries. Germany holds on to the 1st place for the 5th year running in the 2018 edition of the index — previously known as the Henley & Partners Visa Restrictions Index.
Hong Kong SAR moves up one place in the latest edition of the index. With its passport holders enjoying visa-free access to 155 countries in total, Hong Kong SAR passport ranks 21st globally. Japan shares 3rd place with Denmark, Finland, France, Italy, Norway, Sweden, and the UK, providing visa-free access to 175 countries. Ranking jointly 4th on the index, Austria, Belgium, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Switzerland, and Spain all provide visa-free access to 174 countries. South Korea ranks 5th worldwide, offering visa-free access to 173 countries.
Jennifer Lai, Managing Partner of Henley & Partners Hong Kong, says people are more interdependent and mobile than ever before, and the concept of borders is changing. “While 2017 has witnessed several major geopolitical events impacting global connectivity and mobility, the concept of the global citizen and the increasing demand for greater travel freedom are alive and well,” she says.
Countries in Southeast Asia have remained stable. Offering visa-free travel to 176 countries, and ranked 2nd globally, Singapore remains the best-performing country in the region, achieving its highest ranking on the index in 10 years. Malaysia ranks 2nd in the region, and 12th globally, with Malaysian nationals enjoying visa-free access to 166 countries. Indonesia moved up the ranking by seven places and is now ranked 72nd globally, having signed visa agreements with countries such as Qatar and St. Kitts and Nevis in 2017.