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The Henley Passport Index (HPI) is a global ranking of countries according to the travel freedom for their citizens. It started in 2005 as Henley & Partners Visa Restrictions Index (HVRI) and was modified and renamed in January 2018. The site provides a ranking of the 199 passports of the world according to the number of countries their holders can travel to visa-free. The number of countries that a specific passport can access becomes its visa-free 'score'. In collaboration with the International Air Transport Association (IATA), and based on official data from their global database Henley & Partners has analysed the visa regulations of all the countries and territories in the world since 2006.
Definition of the Index
The HPI consists of a ranking of passports according to how many other territories can be reached 'visa-free' (defined below). All distinct destination countries and territories in the IATA database are considered. However, since not all territories issue passports, there are far fewer passports to be ranked than destinations against which queries are made.
To determine the score for each country or territory, the IATA database is queried in the following way:
1. Each of the 199 passports for which the score is to be determined, is checked against every one of the 227 possible travel destinations for which travel restriction information exists in the IATA database. These interrogations continue throughout the year so scores will continuously change.
2. Each query is made with the following conditions:
- passports are issued in the country of nationality
- passport holders are an adult citizen of the country which issued the passport and a lone traveller rather than in a tourist group
- entry is sought for tourism or business
- the stay is at least three days
3. Further conditions include:
- queries are made only for holders of normal passports rather than diplomatic, service, emergency, or temporary passports and other travel documents are disregarded
- passport holders do not meet any complex requirements for entry (for example, possessing a government-issued letter, translations or empty pages)
- passport holders have all necessary vaccinations and certificates;
- passport holders are arriving at and departing from the same airport
- passport holders are seeking a short stay rather than a transit
- the port of entry is a major city or capital, in cases where this is required
- requirements by the destination country or territory regarding a particular length of validity of passports are disregarded
- passport holders meet all basic requirements for entry (for example, holding a hotel reservation or having proof of sufficient funds or return tickets)
- advance passenger information and advance approval to board are not considered to be a visa requirement or travel restriction, neither is the requirement to pay airport tax
It is assumed that the visa policies of Greenland and the Faroe Islands are identical to Denmark.
4. If no visa is required for passport holders from a particular country or territory to enter the destination, then that passport scores 1. [The passport also scores 1 if a visa on arrival, a visitor's permit, or an electronic travel authority (ETA) can be obtained because they do not require pre-departure government approval, perhaps because of specific visa-waiver programs in place.]
5. Where visas are needed, or where passport holders have to get government-approved electronic visas (e-Visas) before departure, a score of 0 is given. If passport holders must get government approval before leaving in order to obtain a visa on arrival, this also scores 0.
6. The total score for a particular passport is then assigned according to the conditions defined above.
March 2019 results
As of 29 March 2019,[update] Singapore takes the top spot in the Henley Passport Index in conjunction with Japan and South Korea, offering its citizens visa-free or visa-on-arrival access to a record total of 189 destinations.
European countries are notable for their stability over the past decade, and Belgium, France, Italy, Luxembourg, Spain and Sweden all remain in exactly the same position as 10 years before. The 'Top 10s' were almost identical, with 30 countries in 2015, compared to 26 a decade before. While Liechtenstein dropped, the Czech Republic, Finland, Hungary, Malta, Slovakia and South Korea all made it into the top 10.
Taiwan, Albania, the United Arab Emirates, Bosnia and Serbia all moved up more than 20 places in the Henley & Partners Visa Restrictions Index over the period, while the biggest drops were experienced by Guinea (−32), Liberia (−33), Sierra Leone (−35) and Bolivia (−37).
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The index and its contents are based on data provided by the International Air Transport Authority (IATA) and supplemented, enhanced, and updated using extensive in-house research and open-source online data. The index includes 199 different passports and 227 different travel destinations. Updated in real-time throughout the year, as and when visa-policy changes come into effect...On a fixed date each year, Henley & Partners receives exclusive data from the International Air Transport Authority (IATA), which forms the basis of the Henley Passport Index. In order to maintain the accuracy of the data provided by IATA in the face of constant updates to visa policy, and in order to create detailed visa lists for all 199 passports in our database, the Henley & Partners research team uses publicly available and reliable online sources to cross-check each passport against all 227 possible travel destinations. This research process is ongoing throughout the year. It is coupled with a rigorous monitoring system to pick up relevant visa-policy shifts.
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