| Danial Norjidi |
WITH visa-free access to 153 countries, Brunei Darussalam’s passport ranked 22nd globally in the 2018 Henley Passport Index, up one place from 23rd in 2017. In the regional ranking of Southeast Asian countries, Brunei ranked third.
The Henley Passport Index is a ranking of all the passports of the world according to the number of countries their holders can travel to visa-free. The index is published by Henley & Partners, a residence and citizenship advisory firm.
The ranking is based on exclusive data from the International Air Transport Association (IATA), which maintains the world’s largest and most comprehensive database of travel information, and is enhanced by extensive in-house research.
“Countries in Southeast Asia have remained stable,” Henley & Partners said in a press statement.
Singapore remained the best-performing country in the region. Malaysia ranked second in the region and 12th globally, with visa-free access to 166 countries. Indonesia moved up the ranking by seven places and is now ranked 72nd globally.
Germany ranked first in the Henley Passport Index for the fifth year running, with its citizens enjoying visa-free access to 177 countries in total, while Singapore ranked second globally with visa-free access to 176 countries.
Eight countries – Denmark, Finland, France, Italy, Japan, Norway, Sweden and the UK – share third place, offering passport-holders access to 175 countries, while Austria, Belgium, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Switzerland and Spain all ranked jointly fourth, providing visa-free access to 174 countries.
“The Henley Passport Index shows individuals where they lie on the spectrum of global mobility, revealing the strength that their passport has in relation to other passports,” Group Chairman of Henley & Partners Dr Christian H Kälin was quoted as saying in the statement.