This month, the International Air Transport Association published Henley Passport Index 2023which shows the world’s most powerful passports.
The Henley Passport Index measures visa-free access to 227 countries worldwide. It ranks the world’s passports based on the number of destinations their holders can access without a prior visa.
A key finding of the index is what they call “a direct link between passport power and access to the global economy.”
For example, a Japanese passport gives visa-free access to 193 destinations, which is a whopping 98% of the global economy. On the other hand, citizens of countries with the lowest ranking in the index, such as Afghanistan, Iraq (visa-free score of 29) and Syria (visa-free score of 30), are effectively deprived of various opportunities for economic mobility and growth.
Japan tops the index as the most powerful country in the world for the fifth consecutive year.
According to International Air Transport Association data compiled by Henley & Partners, in 2023, Japanese passport holders can visit 193 of 227 countries without a visa, which is 85% of the world’s countries.
- Singapore and South Korea
- Germany and Spain
- Finland, Italy, Luxembourg
- Austria, Denmark, the Netherlands, Sweden
- France, Ireland, Portugal and Great Britain
- Belgium, Czech Republic, New Zealand, Norway, Switzerland and USA
- Australia, Canada, Greece and Malta
- Hungary and Poland
- Lithuania and Slovakia
Two more Asian countries took second place: South Korea and Singapore. Both passports allow passport citizens of 192 countries visa-free.
Germany and Spain came third with access to 190 destinations.
The American passport was ranked seventh with Belgium, the Czech Republic, New Zealand, Norway and Switzerland. All countries offer citizens visa-free access to 186 countries.
Although the Henley Passport Index says it expects the US to remain on firm ground. 7 on the list, last year’s Global Citizen Solutions Global Passport Index named the US passport the most powerful in the world based on investment, quality of life and enhanced mobility indices in 2022.
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