International Visa Restrictions

The Henley & Partners Visa Restrictions Index 2017

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The Henley & Partners Visa Restrictions Index is a global ranking of countries according to the travel freedom that their citizens enjoy. For more than a decade, Henley & Partners has analyzed global visa regulations to present an index ranking each country and territory in the world by the number of countries that their citizens can travel to visa-free. The Index is produced in cooperation with the International Air Transport Association (IATA), which maintains the world’s largest database of travel information, and is published annually.

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Visa Restrictions

Visa restrictions are imposed by countries to control the crossing of their borders. Almost all countries now require visas from certain non-citizens who wish to enter (or leave) their territory.

A visa does not guarantee entry, however. It merely indicates that your passport and visa application have been reviewed by a consular officer at an embassy or consulate of the country you wish to enter, and that the officer has determined that you are generally eligible to enter the country for a specific purpose.

A visa allows you to travel to the destination country’s port of entry (airport, seaport or land border crossing) and ask the immigration officer to allow you to enter the country. In most countries the immigration officer has the authority to permit you to enter. He or she usually also decides how long you can stay for any particular visit.

Visa Requirements

It is important to find out whether you need a visa to enter your destination or transit country before traveling.

While visa restrictions are primarily based on citizenship, the holding of a residence permit may also be of importance. For example, if you are resident in any EU country that is part of Europe’s Schengen area, you may travel visa-free throughout that zone.

To establish whether you require a visa to enter a specific country or region, you can search the IATA Timatic database, which you can access here.

The following is an overview of selected countries taken from the Henley & Partners Visa Restrictions Index - Global Ranking 2017: 

Rank Score*
Rank Score*
22Hong Kong152
30Antigua and Barbuda136
30St. Kitts and Nevis136
36St. Lucia127

*Number of countries and territories which can be entered without a visa by a citizen of the respective country


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