New Zealand has the seventh most powerful passport in the world for 2018, according to an annual ranking system.

A recent study by Henley & Partners, a London-based consulting firm that specialises in citizenship services, rates world passports based on how much visa-free travel they entitle their owner to.

People carrying a New Zealand passport can easily enter 173 countries, along with Malta and the Czech Republic

New Zealand has the seventh most powerful passport in the world for 2018, according to annual ranking system. Photo / Mark Mitchell
New Zealand has the seventh most powerful passport in the world for 2018, according to annual ranking system. Photo / Mark Mitchell

Last year, New Zealand was also ranked seventh, with people being allowed to enter 153 countries, the same as Australia and Greece's passports.

Advertisement

In the 2018 index, Australian passports ranked just above New Zealand, which held sixth place, with Greece and Belgium, whose passport holders can enter 174 countries.

Singaporean and Japanese passports have been determined the most powerful in the world for 2018.

The two countries overtook Germany from their 2017 rankings of fourth and fifth respectively to claim the number-one position.

The British passport has remained joint fourth, while the USA has remained fifth on the list.

The rankings are published every year and are based on the number of countries a passport gives a person access to without the need for a visa.

The Singapore and Japanese passports give their citizens the chance of visa-free travel to a total of 180 countries around the globe.

In second place is the German passport which has dropped down from the top spot, now allowing travel to 179 countries without a visa.

Coming in third are the passports of France, Italy, Spain, Denmark, Finland, Sweden and South Korea. They all have visa-free access to 178 countries.

Advertisement

The British passport is fourth, with UK citizens able to visit 177 countries without the need for additional documentation. Last year they could visit 173 countries.

The full list of passport power for 105 countries. The index is updated in real-time as and when visa-policy changes come into effect.
The full list of passport power for 105 countries. The index is updated in real-time as and when visa-policy changes come into effect.

It shares the spot with Portugal, Austria, Norway, Luxembourg and the Netherlands.

Ranking jointly fifth on the index is the United States, Canada Switzerland and Ireland, all providing visa-free access to 176 countries.

At the other end of the table, the least powerful passport was that of Afghanistan, which allowed visa-free access to only 24 countries.

For the second year in a row, Pakistan, Syria and Iraq are also near the bottom of the index, with each able to access 30 or fewer countries visa-free.

One of the biggest movers up the list was the United Arab Emirates, which has climbed a total of 34 places over the past 10 years.

It now provides its citizens with visa-free access to 140 destinations worldwide. The UAE climbed to 27th place on the index after gaining entry to China and Ireland earlier this year.

Also moving up significantly are Ukraine and Georgia, now taking 42nd place and 54th place following their visa liberalisation with the EU.

Meanwhile 30 countries lost ground compared to last year, while 53 countries showed no movement at all.

The rankings, by the Henley Passport Index, is based on exclusive data provided by the International Air Transport Association.

The index is updated in real-time, as and when visa-policy changes come into effect.

Hugh Morshead, member of the executive committee of Henley & Partners, said: "Global citizenship is on the rise, with more and more individuals seeking opportunities and experiences beyond their countries of origin.

"Borders in certain key parts of the world may be tightening, but elsewhere access is evolving.

"In terms of visa policies and regulations, every week we are witnessing a growing number of countries — especially outside of the West — opening up their borders to strategic partners as they seek to deepen diplomatic relationships and tap into the immense economic value that tourism, international commerce, and migration can bring."

WHAT ARE THE WORLD'S MOST POWERFUL PASSPORTS?

1 - Japan, Singapore

2 - Germany

3 - Denmark, Finland, France, Italy, Spain, Sweden, South Korea

4 - Portugal, Austria, United Kingdom, Norway, Luxembourg, Netherlands

5 - Canada, Switzerland, Ireland, United States

6 - Australia, Greece, Belgium

7 - Malta, New Zealand, Czech Republic

8 - Iceland

9 - Hungary

10 - Latvia

11 - Liechtenstein, Malaysia

12 - Slovakia, Slovenia

13 - Poland, Lithuania

14 - Monaco, Estonia

15 - Cyprus

16 - Hong Kong, Chile

17 - Brazil

18 - Argentina

19 - Romania, Andorra, San Marino

20 - Bulgaria, Croatia

21 - Brunei

22 - Israel

23 - Barbados

24 - Seychelles, Mexico

25 - Bahamas

26 - St Kitts and Nevis

27 - Antigua and Barbuda, United Arab Emirates

28 - Taiwan, Uruguay

29 - Trinidad and Tobago

30 - Vatican City

31 - Costa Rica

32 - St Vincent and the Grenadines, Mauritius

33 - Macao, St Lucia

34 - Grenada

35 - Paraguay, Venezuela

36 - Panama

37 - Dominica

38 - Guatemala, Honduras

39 - El Salvador

40 - Peru

41 - Serbia

42 - Ukraine

43 - Solomon Islands

44 - Vanuatu, Samoa

45 - Russia,Nicaragua

46 - Tonga

47 - Colombia, Montenegro, Macedonia, Tuvalu, Marshall Islands

48 - Kiribati

49 - Moldova, Turkey

50 - Palau Islands

51 - Micronesia

52 - Bosnia and Herzegovina

53 - South Africa

54 - Georgia, Albania

55 - Beliza

56 - Ecuador

57 - Timor Leste

58 - Fiji, Guyana,

59 - Maldives, Kuwait

60 - Nauru

61 - Qatar

62 - Papua New Guinea, Jamaica

63 - Botswana

64 - Bolivia

65 - Namibia, Thailand, Suriname, Bahrain

66 - Kazakhstan

67 - Kenya, Oman

68 -Belarus

69 - Swaziland, Indonesia

70 - Lesotho, Malawi, Saudi Arabia

71 - Gambia, Tanzania

72 - Tunisia

73 - Zambia

74 - China, Uganda

75 - Cuba, Philippines, Cape Verde Islands, Azerbaijan

76 - Sierra Leone, Dominican Republic, Ghana

77 - Benin, Kyrgyzstan, Morocco, Zimbabwe

78 - Armenia

79 - Sao Tome and Principe, Burkina Faso

80 - Mauritania, Mozambique

81 - India, Cote D'Ivoire, Senegal, Togo

82 - Mongolia

83 - Guinea, Mali, Niger, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan

84 - Haiti

85 - Comores Islands, Gabon, Madagascar, Bhutan, Chad, Rwanda

86 - Guinea-Bissau

87 - Egypt, Turkmenistan

88 - Vietnam, Central African Republic, Cambodia

89 - Angola

90 - Liberia, Equitorial Guinea, Algeria, Laos

91 - Congo, Nigeria

92 - Jordan, Djibouti, Burundi, Cameroon

93 - Congo (Dem. Rep)

94 - Sri Lanka, Myanmar

95 - North Korea, Sudan

96 - Palestinian Territory, Ethiopia, South Sudan,

97 - Lebanon, Iran, Kosovo, Bangladesh

98 - Eritrea

99 - Libya, Nepal

100 - Yemen

101 - Somalia

102 -Pakistan

103 - Syria

104 - Iraq

105 - Afghanistan