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Henley Global Mobility Report

The Henley Global Mobility Report is a unique publication featuring commentary by leading scholars and experts on major trends influencing mobility patterns. Grounded in geopolitical analysis and focusing on the realities shaping our world — from border openness and how it enhances economic opportunities, to sustainable travel and the rise of medical tourism — the report offers exclusive insights into what we can expect in the months to come.

Henley Global Mobility Report

Visa-Free Travel and Openness: A Complex Dynamic

Our exclusive new research explores the relationship between a country’s openness to foreigners — how many nations it allows to cross its borders visa-free — and its own citizens’ travel freedom, gauged using the Henley Passport Index. The new Henley Openness Index ranks all 199 countries and territories worldwide according to the number of nationalities they permit entry to without a prior visa. By comparing the two indexes, the data reveals that the relationship between travel freedom (Henley Passport Index score) and openness (Henley Openness Index score) is not straightforward but manifests in a complex, non-linear manner. Read more

Methodology

The Henley Openness Index (HOI) is the authoritative ranking of all 199 countries/territories in the world according to the number of nationalities each allows to cross its borders without a prior visa, providing valuable insights into a country’s global openness and its ability to attract international visitors for tourism and trade.

The HOI is a reverse calculation of the Henley Passport Index (HPI), which ranks all the world’s passports according to the number of destinations their holders can access without a prior visa. The HPI 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. The methodology is available here.  

Conditions and criteria for Openness Rank and Score

Visa-Free Access

For each country/territory, if passport holders from a particular country/territory can enter without requiring a visa in advance, a score of 1 is assigned. This includes cases where passport holders are granted visa-free access upon arrival, are issued a visitor's permit, or can obtain an electronic travel authority (ETA) without needing pre-departure government approval. These visa types fall under specific visa-waiver programs implemented by the destination country.

Visa Requirement

If a visa is necessary for passport holders to enter a country/territory or if they must obtain a government-approved electronic visa (e-Visa) before departure, a score of 0 is assigned. Similarly, if passport holders need pre-departure government approval for a visa on arrival, this is considered as not meeting the criteria for “visa-free” and a score of 0 is assigned.

The total Openness Score for each country/territory is equal to the number of countries/territories with visa-free access, based on the conditions mentioned above (score = 1).

This scoring methodology ensures that the HOI accurately reflects the number of countries/territories whose passport holders enjoy visa-free access to each country/territory, taking into account various visa types and requirements. It provides a comprehensive measure of global openness, facilitating comparisons between countries/territories.

Calculating Openness percentage

The Openness percentage is calculated by dividing the Openness Score of a country/territory by 198, namely, the total number of countries/territories considered (excluding the country/territory itself), which represents the maximum score possible in the index. This normalization allows for a standardized comparison across different countries, providing a percentage value that represents the relative openness of a country/territory.

Calculating HPI percentage 

The HPI calculates the global mobility power of a passport by considering the number of destinations to which a passport holder can travel without requiring a visa in advance. The HPI score is based on a total of 226 destinations, excluding the country itself.

The HPI percentage is calculated by dividing the HPI Score of a passport by 226 (the total number of destinations considered in the index) and then multiplying by 100 to obtain the percentage value. However, since the HPI in percentage aims to represent all 227 jurisdictions, including the country itself, the formula is slightly adjusted. The HPI score is added by 1 and then divided by 227 (total jurisdictions), which gives the percentage of passport holders’ visa-free access in relation to all jurisdictions.

The resulting HPI percentage provides a convenient representation of a passport’s global reach, indicating the proportion of jurisdictions worldwide where passport holders can travel without having to obtain a visa before they depart.

Regional groupings

For each country/territory, the region is indicated for ease of reference, using a combination of official United Nations geographic categories and Henley & Partners business categories.

Disclaimer

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: www.henleyglobal.com/disclaimer


The Henley Global Mobility Report 2023 Q3 was published on 18 July 2023.

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