Lebanon Remains at the Bottom of Visa Free Travel Index

Henley and Partners (H&P), a global legal firm that deals with immigration, have released their 2012 Visa Restriction Index with no major surprises. The Lebanese passport remains at bottom 10, tied with Nepal. In terms of Arab countries, here is the list of passports to have for a visa-free travel (the number in parentheses represent their global ranking while the final number depicts the number of countries a passport holder can visit without visa restrictions):

  1. Kuwait (62) – 72 countries
  2. United Arab Emirates (64) – 70 countries
  3. Qatar (67) – 67 countries
  4. Bahrain (68) – 66 countries
  5. Tunisia (71) – 62 countries
  6. Oman (72) – 61countries
  7. Saudi Arabia (74) – 59 countries
  8. Mauritania (79) – 54 countries
  9. Morocco (82) – 51 countries
  10. Algeria (88) – 45 countries
  11. Egypt (89) – 44 countries
  12. Jordan (90) – 43 countries
  13. Yemen (92) – 41 countries
  14. Libya (94) – 39 countries
  15. Djibouti (96) – 37 countries
  16. Syria (96) – 37 countries
  17. Sudan (97) – 36 countries
  18. Lebanon (98) – 35 countries
  19. Palestine (100) – 32 countries
  20. Iraq (101) – 30 countries
  21. Somalia (102) – 28 countries

I’ve checked WIkipedia and there seems to be an update of the countries Lebanese passport holders can travel to. Here’s the list with the updates highlighted:

  • Africa
    • Cape Verde
    • Comoros
    • Djibouti
    • Madagascar
    • Mauritius
    • Mozambique
    • Seychelles
    • Togo
    • Uganda
  • Americas
    • Bolivia
    • Dominica
    • Ecuador
    • Haiti
    • Nicaragua
    • Saint Kitts and Nevis
    • Panama
  • Asia
    • Armenia
    • Azerbaijan
    • Bangladesh
    • Cambodia
    • Georgia
    • Jordan
    • Iran
    • Laos
    • Macau
    • Malaysia
    • Maldives
    • Nepal
    • Oman
    • Syria
    • Timor-Leste
  • Europe
    • Kosovo
    • Turkey
  • Oceania
    • Cook Islands
    • Federal States of Micronesia
    • Niue
    • Palau
    • Samoa
    • Tuvalu
Beirut Airport

Beirut Airport

Over the past two years (since I first blogged about the H&P Visa Restriction Index and the list of countries Lebanese can visit), I have received numerous emails and comments which follow the same line: “I contacted XYZ embassy and they said that I need a visa; your information is wrong”. Let me repeat, H&P collect their information from the IATA Travel Center. The list of countries Lebanese can visit is pulled from WIkipedia where each entry is linked to an article or webpage that confirms the visa-free travel information. Visa information, especially for low-ranking passport holders like Lebanon, is notorious inconsistent and can change overnight without notice. Similarly countries may announce visa-free travel to certain nationalities but never implement it on the ground.

[important]This post is supposed to be taken at face value – please do not plan your trips based on what you read here but rather contact the embassy of the country you plan to travel to in order to get the most accurate information. The focus of this post is the big picture of where a Lebanese passport stands in rankings, not the actual specifics.[/important]

14 Comments
    • Of course not. Wasn’t expecting a change since nothing happened this past year to warrant a change. Now if the security situation remains as precarious as it currently is, we could very well see a downgrade next year. My two cents.

  1. Update: I got in contact with the Bolivian consulate here in Beirut and they said that Lebanese require a pre-approved visa from Beirut before entering Bolivia. The information on Wikipedia needs updating. Regards

  2. I have been actually following the visa’s issues since some time and yes things seem to be getting worst for holders of Lebanese passports.
    I am actually in a country in Asia, and i am applying for a visa to go to Thailand. I’ve done it 2 years ago and it was a piece of cake: Fill the application + picture, Passport + photocopy + letter from the company i work at. A day later i can picked it up. This time when i called the consulate (as any Lebanese would do), they told me i need to have an interview. I was so surprised and said to myself she’s talking nonsense.
    Anyway yesterday (took half a day off from work) i went to give the documents, i had to wait in line for more than an hour, and then they tell me i need to print out all my passport (yes from first till last page). I lowered my head in desperation and well went back today with the copies. And finally as i was in the counter, they gave me back my passport and told me i need to wait for the visa. I was like “Yea ok but why you don’t give me the receipt?”, and then came the clarification of the answer: “We will study your documents and will call you to let you know IF YOU CAN APPLY FOR A VISA in our consulate”.
    How to react to something like that? i have kept myself from crying and went back to work. Fact is, now it is not just a story of getting a visa, it is also a story of getting an approval if or not we can apply to get the visa :S. Tunisians had a revolution and they applied with me without problems, but i guess for us we had been downgraded.
    So yes the outlook is negative on every level: Security, economy, etc. The Number of countries we can visit may be increasing by 1 or 2 every year, but it is not for the countries where it matters. We are destined to spend our days in the waiting lines to apply for basically countries crappier than ours…

    Anyway, I do not belong to any political side, but i guess that when things like in the link below happens, it makes it harder for us to travel anywhere:
    http://www.naharnet.com/stories/en/27221

  3. Hello all,

    Well I sympathise with you all, I have been suffering from this problem all my life, desperately trying to obtain a foreign passport with no avail. I am in italy now on a schengen tourist visa (which they only gave for 35 days) and is not renewable. I was wondering if anyone knows if I can fly to kosovo from rome without a visa.

    Best regards to all,

    Sami

  4. You might add Jeju Island in South Korea. We don’t need a visa like most of other nationalities. But it’s only the Island, for the mainland we definitely need a visa.

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