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Philippine passport recovers from global rankings with 66 visa-free destinations

By PINKY S. ICAMEN Published Jan 14, 2022 1:53 pm Updated Jan 14, 2022 6:28 pm

In the recently released Q1 2022 Henley Passport Index—the global ranking of all passports in the world based on the number of countries its holders can visit visa-free—the Philippines ranked 77th (tied with Cape Verde islands) out of the 199 countries in the list, which is updated quarterly.

The Philippines’ rank climbed six notches from last year’s dismal 83rd spot, which is the country’s lowest ranking since 2006. The country’s highest rank peaked at 62nd in 2007, 2008 and 2009.

The ranking is based on data from the International Air Transport Association (IATA) as gathered by the Henley & Partners research department.

Each passport is scored in a total number of destinations that a holder can access visa-free. For each travel destination where no visa is required, a score of one is given for that passport. The scoring is the same if the passport holders can obtain a visa on arrival, visitor’s permit, or an electronic travel authority upon entry.

The Philippine passport recovers in the global rankings as it snags 77th spot from its dismal 83rd place in 2021.

Where a visa is required, or where a passport-holder must apply for a government-approved electronic visa before departure, a score of zero is given. The same applies if they need pre-departure approval for a visa on arrival.

“The latest results from the Henley Passport Index show record-breaking levels of travel freedom for top-ranking nations Japan and Singapore, but also the widest recorded global mobility gap since the index’s inception 17 years ago,” said the London-based firm, referencing the deepening divide in international mobility between wealthier countries and poorer ones which was sent to the fore with the arrival of the highly transmissible Omicron COVID-19 variant.

66 visa-free countries for Philippine passport holders

According to Henley, the Philippines remains to have a total of 66 visa-free destinations with countries mostly from Asia, a few in South America, Africa, the Caribbean and the Middle East.

European countries have once again dominated the ranking’s Top 10, but Asian countries snagged the Top 2 spots—Japan and Singapore, tied at No.1 with 192 visa-free score; and South Korea (tied with Germany) at No.2 with 190 visa-free score.

Here are the countries that make the Top 10 ranking of Henley’s Q1 Passport Index:

  1. Japan, Singapore (192 countries)
  2. Germany, South Korea (190)
  3. Finland, Italy, Luxembourg, Spain (189)
  4. Austria, Denmark, France, Netherlands, Sweden (188)
  5. Ireland, Portugal (187)
  6. Belgium, New Zealand, Norway, Switzerland, United Kingdom, United States (186) 
  7. Australia, Canada, Czech Republic, Greece, Malta (185)
  8. Hungary, Poland (183)
  9. Lithuania, Slovakia (182)
  10. Estonia, Latvia, Slovenia (181)

Meanwhile, Afghanistan sits at the bottom of the index with only 26 visa-free countries its passport holders can go to. It is followed by the following:

  • Iraq (28 countries)
  • Syria (29)
  • Pakistan (31)
  • Yemen (33)
  • Somalia (34)
  • Nepal, Palestinian Territory (37)
  • North Korea (39)
  • Bangladesh, Kosovo, Libya (40)
  • Lebanon, Sri Lanka, Sudan (41)

According to the Henley Passport Index, an individual could, on average, visit 107 countries in 2022 without needing to acquire a visa in advance. Though this number was up more than 50% from what it was in 2006 (57 countries), it further shows the growing disparity between countries because for example, nationals from Sweden and the US are able to visit more than 180 destinations visa-free, while those from Angola, Cameroon, and Laos are only able to enter in 50.

Click here for the complete Q1 2022 Henley Passport Index rankings.