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Surprise, surprise: the UK has slipped down the passport power rankings

The Henley Passport Index ranks how far you can travel without a visa

Sophie Dickinson
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Sophie Dickinson

What the hell is a ‘powerful passport’? Basically, it’s one that’ll get you into a whole load of places. Ideally, you won’t have to get a visa before you go – you’ll simply be able to hop on a flight and go.

Every year, the Henley Passport Index ranks how far your documents will get you. It takes data from the International Air Transport Association, ranking passports based on the number of countries they can be used to visit without a visa at all, or where you can obtain a visa or visitor pass on arrival. The researchers looked at 227 countries and territories overall, so it’s a pretty thorough job.

And so how did the UK do? Well, not as good as it usually does. It’s in joint sixth place (behind 12 other nationalities), which doesn’t sound too bad, but that’s a place lower than last year. Holders of UK passports can visit 187 destinations without a prior visa, but must obtain documents for countries including China, Japan, India, Nigeria, Algeria and Cuba

In at the top spot? That’s Japan, with 193 visa-free destinations. This year it was closely followed by 
Singapore and South Korea, both of which have access to 192 destinations. The USA fares slightly worse than the UK with 186 destinations, while Australian passports allow you to enter 185.

Here’s the top ten in full, along with the number of visa-free destinations each passport will get you into:

  1. Japan – 193
  2. Singapore, South Korea – 192
  3. Germany, Spain – 190
  4. Finland, Italy, Luxembourg – 189
  5. Austria, Denmark, Netherlands, Sweden – 188
  6. France, Ireland, Portugal, United Kingdom – 187
  7. Belgium, New Zealand, Norway, Switzerland, United States – 186
  8. Australia, Canada, Czech Republic, Greece, Malta – 185
  9. Hungary – 183
  10. Poland, Lithuania, Slovakia – 182

ICYMI: this UK city has just been named the ugliest in the world.

Plus: could there be another 40C heatwave on the way in the August?

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