As chart above shows (via Henley & Partners website), passport holders of Scandinavian countries Denmark, Sweden and Finland have the greatest freedom to travel among citizens of the world. This is according to the Henley Visa Restrictions Index which ranks countries according to the travel freedom their citizens enjoy.”Score” represents the number of countries they can go to without the need of a visa.
In Asia, getting the highest scores were the Japanese (visa-free travel to 170 countries), Singapore (164 countries), South Korea (163 countries) and Malaysia (158).
Thailand lags behind with visa free travel to 63 countries. As of my last count, the Philippines had a score of 59 while Vietnam is catching up with a score of 43. Ironically, the citizens of China, the most populous country, only had a Henley ranking of 40.
Sometime in 2009, I already listed in this blog post the (partial list) of countries Filipinos can go to without applying for a visa. For most of us who’s “been there and done that,” you know how nerve-wracking the process can be. We always have to show the burden of proof that we won’t aspire to be an illegal alien (like some of ’em) and will actually return to the homeland.
In an age when air travel is getting cheaper by the day, visa restrictions can be a big obstacle. Filipinos then have no choice but to aspire to be residents of more advanced countries or pray to the heavens that they would be granted a visa to the countries they dream about of visiting 🙂
For instance it’s a good thing that Filipinos don’t need a visa to neighboring Hong Kong, Macau and countries belonging to ASEAN. We also don’t need a visa issued prior to arrival in exotic parts like Seychelles, Morocco, Kenya, Madagascar (!!). Same with Maldives and faraway South American countries like Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador and Peru.
For the full list of countries, this Wikipedia link on visa free travel for Filipinos is helpful