As a result, citizens of some regions find it easier than others to travel wherever they want due to the strength of their international passports.
The value of passports varies globally, so every passport in the world has a different statistical value.
Global citizenship and residency consulting company Henley & Partners is well aware of this fact and for the past 18 years has distributed the Henley Passport Index, a one-of-a-kind passport ranking based on exclusive data from the International Air Transport Authority (IATA).
As the company notes, the index includes 199 different passports and 227 different travel destinations. It is updated quarterly and is considered a standard reference tool for global citizens and sovereign states when assessing where a passport lies on the global mobility spectrum.
This year, the company launched its first Passport Index with the addition of 109 regions. Japan has the most powerful passport, as it allows its holders visa-free entry to 193 countries. The latter countries include Singapore, South Korea, Germany and Spain.
With 42 of the 109 regions being African, Seychelles has the most powerful passport on the continent.
The index is derived using a carefully formulated method according to Henley and Partners. According to the company the procedure is as follows; For each travel destination, if no visa is required for a passport holder from a country or territory, a value = 1 score is generated for that passport.
A score with value = 1 is applied if the passport holder can obtain a visa on arrival, visitor’s permit or electronic travel authorization (ETA) when entering the destination. These visa-types do not require pre-departure government approval due to specific visa-waiver programs. Where a visa is required, or the passport holder must obtain a government-approved electronic visa (e-Visa) before departure, a score is assigned with value = 0.
A score with value = 0 is also assigned if passport holders require pre-departure government approval for a visa on arrival, a scenario we do not consider ‘visa-free’. The total score for each passport is equal to the number of destinations for which no visa is required (value = 1) under the conditions described above.
Below are the top ten African passports based on the above metric system.