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A report from U.K.-based global citizenship and residence advisory firm Henley & Partners reveals that for the fifth year running Japan has the world’s most powerful passport, with Canada also near the top of the list.
The report, based on data from the International Air Transport Association (ITATA), ranks all the world’s 199 passports in groups according to the number of destinations their holders can access without a prior visa.
Based on the Henley index, Japanese citizens are able to visit 193 destinations without a visa, just ahead of South Koreans and Singaporeans, who can enjoy visa-free access to 192 destinations.
Following these countries, Germany and Spain came in at third place with 190 destinations. Finland, Italy, Luxembourg were fourth with 189 destinations.
Austria, Denmark, Netherlands and Sweden came at number 5. Their citizens can access 188 visa-free destinations. Followed by France, Ireland, Portugal and the U.K. in sixth place with 187 destinations.
Ranked number 7 are Belgium, Czech Republic, New Zealand, Norway, Switzerland and the U.S. with 186 destinations, while Australia, Canada, Greece and Malta ranked eighth with 185 destinations.
Hungary and Poland, each with 184 destinations, ranked ninth, and Lithuania and Slovakia with 183 destinations in 10th place.
At the very bottom, the Afghan passport secured its last place position, as Afghan nationals can access just 27 countries without requiring a visa.
The report says that global travel is now at around 75 per cent of pre-pandemic levels.
IS THERE LINK BETWEEN PASSPORT STRENGTH AND ECONOMIC POWER?
According to Henley Passport Index, there is a direct link between a passport strength and economic power as just six per cent of passports worldwide can provide visa-free access to more than 70 per cent of the global economy and only 17 per cent of passport holders can access most of the world’s 227 destinations.
For example, Japanese passport owners have access to 85 per cent of countries, which collectively account for 98 per cent of the global economy.
In contrast, Afghan nationals can access just 12 per cent of the world, which is less than one per cent of global economic output.
These are the 10 best passport groups 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 and Sweden — 188 visa-free destinations
6. France, Ireland, Portugal and United Kingdom — 187 visa-free destinations
7. Belgium, New Zealand, Norway, Switzerland, United States and 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 passport groups 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. Congo (Dem. Rep.), Lebanon, Sri Lanka and Sudan — 42 visa-free destinations