Once again, when it comes to travel, people with a passport from Japan have the most global freedom, according to the results of a new study.
Indeed, Japanese citizens are now able “to visit an astonishing 193 destinations out of 227 around the world, visa-free,” global citizenship and residence advisory firm Henley & Partners said in a statement. Remarkably, this is the fifth year in a row that Japan has sat at the top of the firm’s Henley Passport Index, which is updated quarterly.
That index compares the visa-free access of 199 different passports to 227 travel destinations to create what Henley & Partners calls “an authoritative ranking of all the world’s passports according to the number of destinations their holders can access without a prior visa.”
Here’s how the index is compiled.
“On a fixed date each year, Henley & Partners receives exclusive data” from the International Air Transport Authority (IATA), the trade association for the world’s airlines, Henley & Partners explains. That data is then “supplemented, enhanced, and updated using extensive in-house research and open-source online data” by Henley & Partners’ research team “to cross-check each passport against all 227 possible travel destinations to create the most robust and reliable index of its kind.”
The Most Powerful Passports
As was noted, a passport from Japan once again allows entry to 193 countries without the need to apply for a visa. Next, and interestingly, also once again, Singapore and South Korea are tied for second place on the index because their passports allow easy entry into 192 countries.
Here’s a look at the rest of the most powerful passports based on the number of countries they allow passport holders to access without a prior visa.
- Japan (193)
- Singapore, South Korea (192)
- Germany, Spain (190)
- Finland, Italy, Luxembourg (189)
- Austria, Denmark, Netherlands, Sweden (188)
- France, Ireland, Portugal, United Kingdom (187)
- Belgium, Czech Republic, New Zealand, Norway, Switzerland, United States (186)
- Australia, Canada, Greece, Malta (185)
- Hungary, Poland (184)
- Lithuania, Slovakia (183)
The Least Powerful Passports
As has been the case for several years, Afghanistan received the least powerful passport ranking again. That’s because travelers with that country’s passports can only travel to 27 destinations visa-free.
Likewise, as also was the case for the past several years, the same four other countries slightly edged out Afghanistan with marginally more-powerful passports.
Here then, are the countries with the world’s least powerful passports, based on the number of countries passport holders can access without needing to first apply for a visa.
105. Yemen (34)
106. Pakistan (32)
107. Syria (30)
108. Iraq (29)
109. Afghanistan (27)
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