A report issued by the British citizenship and residence advisory firm Henley & Partners revealed that for the fifth year in a row, Japan has the most powerful passport in the world, with Canada topping the list.
Based on data from the International Air Transport Association (ITATA), it ranks the world’s 199 passports according to the number of destinations their holders can access without a prior visa.
According to the Henley Index, Japanese citizens can now visit 193 destinations without a visa, ahead of South Koreans and Singaporeans, who can enjoy visa-free entry to 192 destinations.
After the first three, Germany and Spain are in third place, tied with 190 destinations. Finland, Italy and Luxembourg are fourth, with a score of 189.
Austria, Denmark, the Netherlands and Sweden ranked fifth with their citizens able to access 188 destinations without a visa, followed by France, Ireland, Portugal and the United Kingdom in sixth.
Belgium, the Czech Republic, New Zealand, Norway, Switzerland and the United States rank seventh with 186 destinations, while Australia, Canada, Greece and Malta rank eighth with 185 visa-free destinations.
Hungary and Poland, with 184 visa-free destinations, rank ninth, while Lithuania and Slovakia, with 183 visa-free destinations, rank tenth.
At the bottom, the Afghan passport comes last, as Afghan citizens can only access 27 countries without the need for a visa.
The report says global travel is now at about 75% of pre-pandemic levels.
Is there a relationship between passport power and economic power?
According to the Henley Passport Index, there is a direct link between passport strength and economic strength, as only 6% of passports worldwide can provide visa-free access to more than 70% of the global economy and only 17% of passport holders. Access to the fifth fourth of 227 destinations in the world.
For example, Japanese passport holders can access 85% of the world, accounting for 98% of the global economy.
In contrast, Afghan citizens only have access to 12% of the world’s, or less than 1% of the global economy’s output.
These are the 10 best passports in 2023, according to the Henley Index
1. Japan – 193 visa-free destinations
2. Singapore and South Korea – 192 visa-free destinations
3. Germany and Spain – 190 visa-free destinations
4. Finland, Italy and Luxembourg – 189 visa-free destinations
5. Austria, Denmark, Netherlands, Sweden – 188 visa-free destinations
6. France, Ireland, Portugal, and the United Kingdom — 187 visa-free destinations
7. Belgium, New Zealand, Norway, Switzerland, the United States and the Czech Republic – 186 visa-free destinations
8. Australia, Canada, Greece and Malta – 185 visa-free destinations
9. Hungary and Poland — 184 visa-free destinations
10. Lithuania and Slovakia — 183 visa-free destinations
These are the 10 worst passports in 2023, according to the Henley Index
1. Afghanistan – 27 visa-free destinations
2. Iraq – 29 visa-free destinations
3. Syria – 30 visa-free destinations
4. Pakistan – 32 visa-free destinations
5. Yemen – 34 visa-free destinations
6. Somalia – 35 visa-free destinations
7. Nepal and the Palestinian Territories – 38 visa-free destinations
8. North Korea – 40 visa-free destinations
9. Bangladesh, Kosovo and Libya – 41 visa-free destinations
10. Democratic Republic of the Congo, Lebanon, Sri Lanka and Sudan – 42 visa-free destinations
Coverage of this story was funded by the Mita-funded Afghan Resident Journalists Project.