Henley & Partners Global Index rating 2018: German passport no longer world's most powerful

 A new index has revealed the long-term record holder, Germany, no longer has the most powerful passport in the world.

Instead, the world's most powerful passports belong to Japan and Singapore, tied for first place with access to 180 countries, visa-free.

Germany has dropped to having the second most powerful passport, with visa-free access to 179 countries.

London based consulting firm Henley & Partners, who created the index, released the initial figures for the annual passport rankings in early January. However, the consulting firm has updated the site in real-time as visa policy changes come into effect.

The firm take into account how many countries each nationality can visit without applying for a visa.

The culprit country that caused the ratings upset is Uzbekistan, who removed visa requirements for Singapore and Japan in an effort to increase tourism.

The changes also meant Australia jumped up a place to sixth most powerful passport in the world. We can now visit 174 countries visa-free, up from 171.

While having an Australian passport puts you among the world's most powerful travellers, it's also one of the world's most expensive. A recent study found that Australian passports, which increased in price by $5 to $282 on January 1 this year, are the world's second-most expensive. Only war-torn Syria had a pricier passport, costing $500.

The new, improved Henley Passport Index website provides comprehensive lists of the countries you can access visa-free, with an e-visa, with visa on arrival or with a regular visa.

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The new site also allows users explore visa requirements for any country in the world, and compare them with you own, allowing you to calculate how you travel freedom could be improved with an alternative passport.

The current list of world's most powerful passports

1. Japan, Singapore (180 countries)

2. Germany (179 countries)

3. Denmark, Finland, France, Italy, Sweden, Spain, South Korea (178 countries)

4. Norway, United Kingdom, Austria, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Portugal (177 countries)

5. Switzerland, Ireland, United States, Canada (176 countries)

6. Belgium, Australia, Greece (174 countries)

7. New Zealand, Czech Republic, Malta (173 countries)

8. Iceland (172 countries)

See also: The world's most expensive passports

See also: The surprising reason behind the colour of your passport

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