Mr Le Nevez said in addition to Australia, a number of other countries had been affected by the recent changes to Turkey and Ukraine's visa policy shift.
As they have done for much of the index's 14-year history, Iraq and Afghanistan remain at the bottom of the ranking, with access to just 30 visa-free destinations. The runner-up is South Korea, which for three months added India to the list of visa-free countries and climbed one position in the Index.
Columbia and Tuvalu equally made an impressive move by five spots to their new ranking of 42nd place, allowing visa-free access to 127 destinations.
Sri Lanka is in 95th position and Bangladesh on 97th with access to visa-free/visa-on-arrival to 41 countries.
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Singapore and South Korea now sit in joint 2nd place, with access to 189 destinations around the globe.
Global citizenship and residence advisory firm Henley & Partners this week revealed their passport index which showed Australians can now freely visit 181 countries in 2019 - two fewer than a year ago.
The US and United Kingdom now sit in joint sixth place, with access to 185 destinations. Yep, I didn't know this was a thing either but apparently countries are now ranked by how useful their travel documents are.
The Henley Passport Index ranking "is based on exclusive data from the International Air Transport Association (IATA), which maintains the world's largest and most accurate database of travel information, and it is enhanced by extensive, ongoing research by the Henley & Partners Research Department".
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Fourth place saw Denmark, Finland, Italy and Sweden have access to 187 countries.
The "continued dominance" of Asian countries in the passport index reflects the "extraordinary effect that global mobility and migration has had on the region", said Henley & Partners, a citizenship advisory firm.
"In 2006, a citizen, on average, could travel to 58 destinations without needing a visa from the host nation; by the end of 2018, this number had almost doubled to 107".
This is a significant fall from the 1st place position that these countries held in 2015, and while a big question mark remains over the ultimate impact of Brexit, it is unlikely that either country will reclaim the top spot anytime soon.
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"South Korea and the United Arab Emirates' recent ascent in the rankings are further examples of what happens when countries take a proactive foreign affairs approach, an attitude which significantly benefits their citizens as well as the global community". Going into 2019, China now sits in 69th place, with access to 74 countries around the world.