Online since 2006, the Henley Passport Index is a website that lists the global ranking of countries according to the travel freedom for their respective citizens. The site provides a ranking of the 199 passports (countries and territories) of the world according to the number of countries their respective citizens can travel to, either visa-free or visa-on-arrival. Each country’s “score” in the report is how many countries and territories a citizen from any given country can enter without a visa. That number is fluid from report to report; the most recent high score for 2020 is 191 (WTG, Japan!).
According to the Henley Passport Index rating on July 7, 2020, the United States is in a tie for 7th place, with a “score” of 185. When we wrote about our ranking back in January, we were in 8th place, with a score of 184.
However, when you take the 2019 Novel Coronavirus into consideration, our ranking becomes much, much worse.
As of this writing, there are 31 countries (all 27 EU members bar Ireland, and four who are members of Schengen but not the EU: Iceland, Lichtenstein, Norway and Switzerland) that have specifically said they currently won’t allow those with U.S. passports to enter; we’re banned. If you include those, we sink down to a “score” of only 154, which puts us in 28th place.
“The U.S.’s dramatic decline in passport power means that Americans find themselves with a similar level of travel freedom usually available to citizens of Mexico,” said Henley & Partners, the citizenship firm that compiles the ranking.
Of course, many countries are in the same boat as us. With the exception of Japan (#1), South Korea (#3) and Uruguay (#28), none of which have moved in the ranking, almost every citizen worldwide has some sort of restriction in where they can travel, in comparison to pre-COVID times.
“We see an emergence of a new global hierarchy in terms of mobility, with countries that have effectively managed the pandemic taking the lead, and countries that have handled it poorly falling behind,” says Christian Kaelin, chairman of Henley & Partners.
Hopefully, we will all be able to get a better handle on coronavirus more sooner than later, so our travels can continue.
The Henley Passport Index is based on data that’s provided by the International Air Transport Authority (IATA). It covers 199 passports and 227 travel destinations. The Index is continually updated in real-time throughout the year, as and when visa policy changes come into effect. Click here to see the current ranking, which does not include COVID influence.
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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary