The Hong Kong SAR passport has moved up a place to 21st in the latest global index on visa-free entry requirements.
Holders of the passport enjoy visa-free access to 155 countries, according to the 2018 Henley Passport Index. It shares the same position as Croatia.
Officially, the Hong Kong government said 159 countries and territories have granted visa-free access or visas-on-arrival to Hong Kong SAR passport holders, after visa-free access for holders to Barbados was announced in October last year.
The index does not measure the power of the British National (Overseas) passport, as held by more than three million Hong Kong people. Holders enjoy visa-free access or visas-on-arrival to 189 countries and territories.
For instance, Hong Kong SAR passport holders enjoy visa-free access to Russia and Ukraine, whilst BN(O) holders do not. However, BN(O) holders can travel to Bolivia and Paraguay without a visa, a privilege not shared by Hong Kong SAR passport holders.
The index is based on data from the International Air Transport Association (IATA) and has been compiled by the Henley & Partners company since 2006. It was formerly known as the Henley & Partners Visa Restrictions Index.
The German passport is the top-ranked travel document – for the fifth year in a row – with visa-free access to 177 countries.
China ranked 75th, rising from the 85th in the previous year. The index said Chinese passport holders now enjoy visa-free access to a total of 60 countries.
Singapore – Hong Kong’s regional rival – maintained its top-ranking position, rising from fourth place to second.
Japan and South Korea, at third and fifth places respectively, also ranked highly. The others in the top five were European countries and the US.