03 February 2006

Denmark, Finland, United States free to travel without visas

Citizens of Denmark, Finland and the United States enjoy the greatest freedom to travel without needing visa, according to a study published Thursday. The report, compiled by the Zurich-based firm Henley & Partners AG, found that Danes, Finns and Americans can travel to 130 countries or territories a visa.

These three are followed by mainly European countries, including Germany, Ireland and Sweden whose citizens can visit 129 countries without a visa then Britain, France, Italy and Japan on 128.

"In today's globalized world, visa restrictions play an important role in controlling the movement of foreign nationals across borders," said Henley & Partners, which advises private and business clients on international tax and real estate issues. "Almost all countries now require visas from certain non-nationals who wish to enter their territory."

At the end of the list, Afghanistan came in last place, with its citizens allowed free travel to just 12 countries. Internationally isolated Iran was next at 14, followed by Iraq, Myanmar and Somalia at 15. "Not surprisingly, Iran, Iraq and Afghanistan score lowest," the company added.

Henley & Partners which compiled the results by assessing some 40,000 combinations of countries and territories said it was the first global ranking showing international freedom of travel.

"Visa requirements are also an expression of the relationships between individual nations, and generally reflect the relations and status of a country within the international community," the company added, reports the AP.

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