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The Henley Passport Index

The Henley Passport Index is the original, authoritative ranking of all the world’s passports according to the number of destinations their holders can access without a prior visa. The index is based on exclusive data from the International Air Transport Association (IATA) – the largest, most accurate travel information database – and enhanced by Henley & Partners’ research team. Expert insights regarding the latest ranking are available in the Global Mobility Report 2024.

The Henley Passport Index


The Henley Passport Index is the original and most authoritative passport index, with historical data spanning 18 years.

The index and its contents are based on data provided by the International Air Transport Authority (IATA) and supplemented, enhanced, and updated using extensive in-house research and open-source online data. The index includes 199 different passports and 227 different travel destinations. Updated monthly, the Henley Passport Index is the most robust and reliable index of its kind.

Global ranking and visa lists

Henley & Partners receives exclusive data from the International Air Transport Authority (IATA), which forms the basis of the Henley Passport Index. In order to maintain the accuracy of the data provided by IATA in the face of constant updates to visa policy, and in order to create detailed visa lists for all 199 passports in our database, the Henley & Partners research team uses publicly available and reliable online sources to cross-check each passport against all 227 possible travel destinations. This research process is ongoing throughout the year. It is coupled with a rigorous monitoring system to pick up relevant visa-policy shifts.

Conditions and criteria

For each travel destination, if no visa is required for passport holders from a country or territory, then a score with value = 1 is created for that passport. A score with value = 1 is also applied if passport holders can obtain a visa on arrival, a visitor’s permit, or an electronic travel authority (ETA) when entering the destination. These visa-types require no pre-departure government approval, because of the specific visa-waiver programs in place.

Where a visa is required, or where a passport holder has to obtain a government-approved electronic visa (e-Visa) before departure, a score with value = 0 is assigned. A score with value = 0 is also assigned if passport holders need 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 defined above.

The index assumes the following:

  • The passport is valid.
  • The passport is ‘normal’ rather than diplomatic, emergency, or temporary.
  • The passport holder is an adult citizen of the issuing country, traveling alone rather than in a tourist group.
  • The passport holder meets all the basic requirements for entry (for example, holding a hotel reservation or having proof of sufficient funds).
  • The passport holder does not meet any complex requirements for entry (for example, possessing a government-issued letter).
  • The passport holder has had all the necessary inoculations or vaccination.
  • The passport holder is arriving at and departing from the same airport.
  • The passport holder is seeking a short stay rather than a transit stay in the destination country or territory.
  • The duration of the short stay is between three days and several months.
  • The port of entry is a major city or capital, in cases where this is required.
  • Entry to the destination country is for tourist or business purposes.

The visa policy of Greenland and the Faroe Islands is taken to be the same as that of Denmark.

ETAs and e-Visas

With the European Union and the UK both introducing new electronic travel authorisations (ETAs) soon, there has been some uncertainty about whether they constitute visa requirements.

The Henley Passport Index treats ETAs as visa-free, as opposed to electronic visas (e-Visas), which it considers as a form of visa requirement.

The first level on which this distinction can be understood is with respect to how various leading ETA programs define themselves. The European Union’s ETIAS and the UK’s ETA, like the USA’s ESTA and Canada’s ETA, explicitly clarify that their ETAs are not visas and are only for visitors who are visa exempt. By this logic, it is clear that an ETA is not a visa requirement.

However, some countries do use the language interchangeably. For example, Australia describes its ETA program as a type of visa. Therefore, to substantively distinguish between ETAs and e-Visas, the Henley Passport Index additionally takes the following criteria into consideration:

  • ETAs tend to be processed automatically and within minutes or hours whereas e-Visas tend to be reviewed manually by government officials and processed within days or weeks.
  • ETAs tend to require minimal information and no supporting documentation, whereas e-Visas tend to require extensive information as well as supporting documentation.

Fundamentally, the Henley Passport Index considers how much effort a traveler must make prior to departure in order to be authorized to travel. While both ETAs and e-Visas do require action prior to departure, ETAs are fairly straightforward, quick and easy to complete, they are processed in a short time and almost always approved, whereas e-Visas tend to be similarly onerous to ordinary visa applications at embassies, taking longer to process and having a greater chance of being denied.

As there is no guarantee of uniformity in the language used by different countries to define their programs, the Henley Passport Index will rely on the above criteria when determining whether a requirement is considered to be an ETA or an e-Visa, and correspondingly, whether it is scored as visa-free or visa required.

Regional groupings

For each passport, the visa lists were broken down into regions, for ease of reference. These regional groupings were created using a combination of official United Nations geographic categories and Henley & Partners business categories.


The information provided in the index is not intended to be binding, and visa information must be verified with a travel agent or embassy representative before travel arrangements are made.

Full disclaimer and important legal information:


  • Visa-free: You do not need a visa to enter these destinations
  • Visa on arrival: You need a visa to enter these destinations, but you can apply for and receive the visa upon arrival at the airport (no pre-departure approval necessary)
  • e-Visa: You need a visa to enter these destinations, but you can apply for it online, and the visa you receive is electronic (pre-departure approval necessary)
  • Visa required: You need a traditional visa to enter these destinations, and you need to apply for it in person
  • Visa-free score: The total number of destinations for which you do not require a visa
  • Visa list: The list of destinations that a specific passport can access visa-free, with an electronic visa (e-Visa), with a visa on arrival, or with a traditional visa

Contact us today

Henley & Partners assists international clients in obtaining residence and citizenship under the respective programs. Contact us to arrange an initial private consultation.


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