Meanwhile, Russia ranks 47th in the index with visa-free access to 119 countries, Moldova is 46th (122 countries), Belarus is 68th (77 countries). The citizens of Ukraine may still visit 128 countries without a visa, a record for the country, whereas as early as the beginning of 2018, Ukrainians could travel to 114 countries without visas. The law firm says it updates the index in real-time, as and when visa-policy changes come into effect.
According to its website, Henley Passport Index ranks all passports in the world based on the number of countries its holders can visit visa-free.
Germany, which began 2018 in the top spot, is now in third place with 188 destinations, tied with France and South Korea.
The US and the United Kingdom, both with 186 destinations, have slid down yet another spot - from fourth to fifth place - with neither having gained access to any new jurisdictions since the start of 2018.
Kosovo, ranked 97, might see a dramatic rise in the index in future, after it met the criteria for visa liberalisation with the European Union, meaning the relatively new nation might be able to travel visa-free across the EU soon.More news: Will Smith reveals first post for Disney's 'Aladdin'
The ranking determines how many countries the holder can enter either without a visa or be issued one upon entry.
But that discussion will remain hard, according to Professor Florian Trauner from the Institute for European Studies at the Free University of Brussels. The discussion within the Council will remain hard, however.
Countries with citizenship-by-investment (CBI) programs in place all fall within the top 50 of the Henley Passport Index and are continually rising up the ranking. Every CBI program country has improved its visa-free/visa-on-arrival score since the start of the year.
Dr Anwar Gargash, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, has said he wants the UAE passport to be among the world's top five by 2021.
However, Asian governments have signed up to 40 visa waivers in 2018, dramatically increasing visa-free travel for Asian countries. The views expressed therein are not necessarily those of stlucianewsonline.com, its sponsors or advertisers.