Belgian passport among the world’s most powerful passports in 2018

Henley & Partners, which offers consultancy services in global residence and citizenship planning, published an annual scoreboard called the “Henley Passport Index”. On the basis of information supplied by the International Air Transport Association (IATA), the list establishes which is the most powerful passport in the world. Belgium is ranked 5th in 2018. 

Evolution from 2006 to 2018
Belgium’s evolution from 2006 to 2018

The Belgian passport fell two places compared to 2017. In 2018, Belgians are allowed to enter in 184 countries without a visa.

The world’s most powerful passports

  1. Japan – 190 countries
  2. Singapore – 189 countries
  3. France, Germany, and South Korea – 188 countries
  4. Denmark, Finland, Italy, Spain, and Sweden – 187 countries
  5. Austria, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, United Kingdom, and the United States – 186 countries
  6. Belgium, Canada, Ireland, and Switzerland – 184 countries

Main changes

Japan has overtaken Singapore to claim the top spot on the 2018 Henley Passport Index, having gained visa-free access to Myanmar earlier this month. Japan now enjoys visa-free/visa-on-arrival access to 190 destinations, compared to Singapore’s total of 189. Japan and Singapore have been neck and neck on the index since they both climbed to 1st place in February — following a visa-exemption from Uzbekistan — and pushed Germany down to the 2nd place for the first time since 2014.

Russia received a boost in September when Taiwan announced a visa-waiver for Russian nationals (valid until July 2019), but the country has nonetheless fallen from 46th to 47th place compared to Q3, because of movements higher up in the ranking. The same is true of China: Chinese nationals obtained access to two new jurisdictions (St. Lucia and Myanmar), but the Chinese passport fell two places this quarter, to 71st overall. This is still an impressive 14-place improvement over the position that China held at the start of 2017.