Vietnamese passport slips in power ranking

By Nguyen Quy   April 5, 2019 | 01:54 am PT
Vietnamese passport slips in power ranking
People holding a Vietnamese passport have free access to 51 countries and territories. Photo by Shutterstock/trananhuy
The Vietnamese passport has been ranked one rung lower in the global ranking; that of South Korea and Singapore have moved up.

On the Henley Passport Index 2019 published on March 28, the Vietnamese passport has slipped a notch against the previous ranking released in early January this year to 88th out of 104 positions.

The Henley Passport Index ranks passports of 199 countries and territories in the world based on data from the International Air Transport Association, which maintains the world’s largest and most comprehensive database of travel information.

People holding a Vietnamese passport have free access to 51 countries and territories.

In Southeast Asia, the Vietnamese passport is only more powerful than Myanmar.

Enjoying visa-free access to 189 destinations, Singapore and South Korea have moved up from second spot in the previous ranking to become the world’s most powerful passports, alongside Japan.

Five countries - Denmark, Finland, France, Italy and Sweden shared the third place, with their citizens able to visit 187 countries and territories without applying for a visa. Luxembourg and Spain came in fourth.

The U.K. and the U.S. came in fifth and sixth, respectively. Both countries once had the strongest passports in the world in 2015.

The American passport has lagged behind Asian countries such as Singapore, South Korea and China ever since the Donald Trump administration began pursuing a hardline immigration policy.

The world’s weakest passports come from poor countries mired in conflict like Syria, Somalia, Iraq, Pakistan and Afghanistan. Passport holders from these nations can only visit between 32 and 39 other countries without visas.

"The latest ranking shows that despite rising isolationist sentiment in some parts of the world, many countries remain committed to collaboration," Christian H. Kälin, group chairman of Henley & Partners, said in a statement.

He said the growing trend towards visa openness is unlikely to slow down. Overall, 2019 looks set to hold "some surprises in the travel freedom space as more countries and citizens embrace the benefits of global mobility," he said.

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