Henley & Partners, the global leader in residence and citizenship planning, has published the annual Visa Restrictions Index for the last decade, and now launches the latest 2016 edition. This year’s Index, along with the unique cumulative data from the last 11 years, gives an unprecedented and inimitable insight into the development of visa policies over this time.
This year, Germany retained its position in the top spot, with visa-free access to 177 countries out of a total of 218, while Sweden remained in second place with a ranking of 176. A larger group of countries sit in third place, with Finland, France, Italy, Spain and the UK all having visa-free access to 175 countries.
Generally, there was significant movement across the board with only 21 of the 199 countries listed remaining in the same rank. No country however, dropped more than three positions, indicating that overall, visa-free access is improving around the world. Four countries in particular made huge gains; Tonga rising 16 spots, Palau by 20, Colombia by 25 and Timor-Leste being the highest climber with an increase of 33 ranks.
Malta, the EU member country which runs the world’s most successful citizenship-by-investment program has gained visa-free access to another two countries since 2015, making it the 8th most powerful passport in the world. The leading country in the Caribbean, Antigua and Barbuda, meanwhile ranked 30th and its passport-holders may now travel to 134 countries visa-free.
Portugal, which holds the most attractive residence-by-investment program through its Golden Visa Program, has taken 6th position in the 2016 Index, gaining two countries to total 172 countries its citizens may travel to visa-free.
The global progress in travel freedom looks set to continue for citizens of all countries. Read more >