Japan’s passport is considered the most powerful in the world for the fourth consecutive year, according to a global citizenship firm’s annual rankings.
The 2021 Henley Passport Index analyzed nearly 200 passports to determine the most travel-friendly in the world. The latest study shows that both Japan and Singapore rank at the top of the list, with holders able, in theory, to travel visa-free to 192 destinations.
“With historical data spanning 16 years, the Henley Passport Index is the only one of its kind based on exclusive data from the International Air Transport Authority,” Henley claims in its latest report.
The index includes 199 different passports and 227 travel destinations and is updated quarterly.
The index “is considered the standard reference tool for global citizens and sovereign states when assessing where a passport ranks on the global mobility spectrum.”
Each passport is scored on the total number of destinations its holders can access without a visa. One point is given for each such destination, as well as those where a visa can be obtained upon arrival.
No points are given for those where a visa is required or for those where travelers must apply for a visa before departure.
Here are some of the top passports, according to the latest index, with the number of destinations passport holders can visit:
- Japan, Singapore (192)
- Germany, South Korea (190)
- Finland, Italy, Luxembourg, Spain (189)
- Austria, Denmark (188)
- France, Ireland, Netherlands, Portugal, Sweden (187)
Tied with Czech Republic, Greece, Malta, Norway, and the United Kingdom, the U.S. failed to crack the top 10, ranking in at 20th with 185 accessible destinations. The U.S. had held the top spot as recently as 2014.
On the other end of the spectrum, nine war-torn or politically volatile countries have passports that grant citizens access to less than 40 destinations. The bottom of the list includes Afghanistan (26), Iraq (28), Syria (29), Pakistan (31), Yemen (33), Somalia (34), Nepal (37), the Palestinian Territories (37), and North Korea (39).
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