Japan holds the world's most powerful passport for 2019

The British passport has dropped to sixth place this year. Credit PA

The British passport has dropped to sixth place this year. Credit PA

The Ghanaian passport has been ranked 77th strongest in a world ranking of passports which was dominated by Asian countries.

The Japanese passport remains the most powerful in the world, retaining the top spot in the Henley Passport Index's first update for 2019.

Nigeria was 94 in 2018 but has risen by three spots as its passport can take its holder into 47 countries without a visa.

Unlike past year, the Henley Passport Index 2019 revealed Singapore to be sharing second place with South Korea, which has visa-free access to 189 countries.

European countries also performed favourably, with European Union member states (along with Norway and the US) filling in the places behind the top three nations - although the United Kingdom continues to drop down the rankings, along with the US. The island nation doesn't share the top spot with any other countries. It analyses how many countries a passport holder can enter visa-free or on a visa-on-arrival basis.

Denmark, Finland, Italy and Sweden were named in fourth place, with 187 countries, followed by Luxembourg and Spain in fifth on 186.

The rank is close to an earlier ranking from a similar passport index by Arton Capitol, which placed the Taiwan Passport as the 28th most powerful in the world, alongside the Ukrainian passport.

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) was one of the biggest climbers on the 2018 Henley Passport Index.

Dr. Christian H. Kälin, group chairman of Henley & Partners, says despite rising isolationist sentiment in some parts of the world, most countries remain committed to collaboration and mutually beneficial agreements.

The German and French passports remain in third place going into 2019 with a visa-free score of 188.

Its 2019 index put Saudi Arabia on top with a "visa-free score" of 167, followed by Germany on 166 and Singapore, Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Luxembourg, France, Italy, Netherlands, Spain, Norway, South Korea and the USA ranked third-equal with a score of 165.

At the bottom of the 2019 ranking is Iraq and Afghanistan (104th), with access to just 30 visa-free destinations each.

He said: "Historical data from the Henley Passport Index over the past 14 years shows an overwhelming global tendency towards visa-openness".

Henley and Partners, in particular, pointed to South Korea's progress over the years, . lauding its "proactive foreign affairs approach" and an "attitude that significantly benefits their citizens as well as the global community".

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