Canada ranks 18th in the world for visa-free access for citizens

Business In Vancouver

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Global citizenship consultancy Henley & Partners’ new ranking of the world’s passports has Canada behind 17 other countries when it comes to the number of countries that its citizens can visit visa-free.

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Canadians can visit 184 countries, down one from 2018, because the Sultanate of Oman in February slapped a new visa requirement on a wide range of countries, Henley & Partners spokeswoman Sarah Nicklin told Business in Vancouver March 29.

Oman’s new directive is that visitors need to apply at least one week before arrival for an e-visa, which must be used within one month of being issued.

Henley & Partners released its official 2019 rankings on March 26, which was a week after Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro announced that Canadian citizens, along with Americans, would no longer be required to have a visa to visit his country. That call prompted Canadian tourism officials to urge the federal government to reciprocate and eliminate visa requirements for Brazilians.

Bonsonaro’s lifting of that visa requirement for Canadians to visit Brazil does not go into effect until June 17, however, Nicklin noted. Once the policy officially goes into effect, Henley & Partners will adjust its rankings, she said.

Japan, Singapore and South Korea topped the 2019 rankings, with those countries’ citizens able to visit 189 countries without visas.

Germany ranked next, with its citizens able to visit 188 countries.

Henley & Partners’ ranking system officially ranks Germany as being “second,” because it has the second highest number of countries to which its citizens can travel even though there are three countries ahead of it in the world.

Tying for fifth, or what Henley & Partners ranks as being third is a logjam of five countries: Denmark, Finland, France, Italy and Sweden, with their citizens able to visit 187 countries without visas.

Citizens of Luxembourg and Spain are able to visit 186 countries without a visa.

That is followed by Austria, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Switzerland and the United Kingdom, where citizens are able to visit 185 countries.

Canada tied for 18th spot with Belgium, Greece, Ireland and the U.S. because its citizens are able to visit 184 countries without a visa.

Henley & Partners officially calls that a tie for fifth spot.

The two countries that tied for last spot in the survey of 199 countries were Afghanistan and Iraq, where citizens are only able to visit 30 countries visa-free. At least one of those countries has ranked at the bottom of the rankings in each of the 14 years that Henley & Partners has conducted the study.

To view the full list of countries, click here.

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