Saint Lucia has again improved its worldwide ranking regarding visa-free access for its citizens, according to the 2018 edition of the Henley Passport Index, which was released on Tuesday, Jan. 9 by Henley & Partners, a global citizenship and residence advisory firm headquartered in Jersey.
The country is ranked 34th in the world and sixth in the Caribbean, with St. Lucian citizens now enjoying visa-free access to a total of 130 countries — up from 127 countries in 2017, and 125 countries in 2016.
In comparison, Germany holds first place — for the fifth year running — with its citizens being able to access 177 countries visa-free.
Of the 199 countries featured on the index, 143 (including Saint Lucia) improved their rank over the past year.
Barbados is ranked number one in the Caribbean region and 24th in the world with its citizens accessing 146 countries without the need for a visa.
The Bahamas is rated second in the region and 26th worldwide with its citizens enjying visa-free access to 142 countries, and St. Kitts and Nevis ranking third and 28th worldwide with access to 139 countries.
According to Henley & Partners, “St. Lucia, St. Kitts and Nevis, and Grenada added three additional countries to their 2017 visa-free lists, St. Kitts and Nevis also climbed two places in the 2018 edition of the index, and the Dominican Republic was the highest regional climber, ascending seven places on the 2018 Henley Passport Index to secure the 73rd position on the global ranking.”
The company said all countries in the region excepting Antigua and Barbuda and Trinidad and Tobago improved or maintained their visa-free score year-on-year.
The company pointed out that 14 countries — Cyprus, Trinidad and Tobago, Sweden, Spain, Greece, Lithuania, Taiwan, Iran, Bangladesh, Nepal, Yemen, Antigua and Barbuda, North Korea and Syria — “fared equally poorly in terms of downward movement on the index, all losing one place year-on-year”.
Meanwhile, the other ranking results from the Caribbean region are as follows:
4th – Antigua and Barbuda | 2018 global rank: 31st | Visa-free access to 135 countries
5th – Trinidad and Tobago | 2018 global rank: 33rd | Visa-free access to 133 countries
6th – St. Lucia | 2018 global rank: 34th | Visa-free access to 130 countries
7th – St. Vincent and the Grenadines | 2018 global rank: 35th | Visa-free access to 129 countries
8th – Grenada | 2018 global rank: 36th | Visa-free access to 127 countries
9th – Dominica | 2018 global rank: 38th | Visa-free access to 122 countries
10th – Jamaica | 2018 global rank: 60th | Visa-free access to 79 countries
11th – Cuba | 2018 global rank: 72nd | Visa-free access to 63 countries
12th – Dominican Republic | 2018 Global rank: 73rd | Visa-free access to 62 countries
13th – Haiti | 2018 global rank: 82nd | Visa-free access to 53 countries
Some of our friendly neighbours also featured in the index.
Belize is ranked 54th worlwide with visa-free access to 96 countries, Guyana 57th (84); Jamaica 60th (79), Suriname 63rd (75), Cuba 72nd (63), Dominican Republic 73rd (62) and Haiti 82nd (53).
According to a Henley & Partners press release, Singapore ranks second globally with visa-free access to 176 countries, while eight countries — Denmark, Finland, France, Italy, Japan, Norway, Sweden, and the UK — share third place, offering passport-holders access to 175 countries.
Ranking jointly fourth on the index, Austria, Belgium, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Switzerland, and Spain all provide visa-free access to 174 countries. The U.S.A holds fifth place on the 2018 edition of the index, improving its visa-free score from 172 in 2017 to 173 in 2018.
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