Japan has the world’s most powerful passport for the third year in a row while the US and UK continue to fall down the ranks to joint eighth place
- Japan has topped the Henley Passport Index for the third consecutive year
- Singaporean passport ranked in second with South Korea and Germany in third
- Least powerful passport is Afghanistan with visa-free access to only 26 nations
Japan has entered the new decade with the world’s most powerful passport, a new global ranking has revealed.
The nation has secured the top spot in the Henley Passport Index for the third consecutive year, with its citizens able to travel to 191 nations around the world visa-free.
The Singaporean passport was ranked in second place, with natives able to travel with ease to 190 countries. In joint third place were South Korea and Germany with visa-free movement to 189 nations.
However, the US and the UK have continued to fall on the index, this year in joint eighth place alongside Belgium, Greece and Norway. All five nations can travel to 184 countries.
Citizens of Japan can travel to 191 nations around the world visa-free and have secured the top spot in the Henley Passport Index for the third consecutive year
This is a far cry from the US and UK’s lead on the index in 2015, when both countries topped the ranking. Last year, two powers were ranked in joint sixth place.
Elsewhere in the top ten, Finland and Italy share fourth place, with 188 countries, while Denmark, Luxembourg, and Spain together hold fifth place with 187.
Ranked sixth with 186 countries are France and Sweden, with Austria, Ireland, the Netherlands, Portugal and Switzerland in joint seventh.
The top ten is completed by Australia, Canada, the Czech Republic, Malta and New Zealand in joint ninth, who can all travel to 183 nations visa-free. Hungary, Lithuania and Slovakia are in tenth with 181.
The Henley Passport Index also singled out the ‘historic success story’ which is the ‘steady ascent’ of the UAE.
The nation, in the Middle East, has climbed a remarkable 47 places over the past ten years and now sits in 18th place, with a visa-free score of 171.
The US and the UK have continued to fall on the Henley Passport Index, this year in joint eighth place alongside Belgium, Greece and Norway
On the other end of the travel freedom spectrum, Afghanistan remains at the bottom of the index, with its nationals only able to visit 26 destinations visa-free
On the other end of the travel freedom spectrum, Afghanistan remains at the bottom of the index, with its nationals only able to visit 26 destinations visa-free.
Iraq and Syria complete the bottom three, with scores of 28 and 29.
Dr Christian H. Kaelin, Chairman of Henley & Partners, said the latest ranking provides a fascinating insight into a rapidly changing world.
‘Asian countries’ dominance of the top spots is a clear argument for the benefits of open-door policies and the introduction of mutually beneficial trade agreements’, he said.
‘Over the past few years, we have seen the world adapt to mobility as a permanent condition of global life. The latest rankings show that the countries that embrace this reality are thriving, with their citizens enjoying ever-increasing passport power and the array of benefits that come with it.’
Australia, Canada, the Czech Republic, Malta and New Zealand are in joint ninth. They can all travel to 183 nations visa-free
THE TOP 10 MOST POWERFUL PASSPORTS IN THE WORLD
1 – Japan (191)
2 – Singapore (190)
3 – Germany, South Korea (189)
4 – Finland, Italy (188)
5 – Denmark, Luxembourg, Spain (187)
6 – France, Sweden (186)
7 – Austria, Ireland, the Netherlands, Portugal, Switzerland (185)
8 – Belgium, Greece, Norway, United Kingdom, United States (184)
9 – Australia, Canada, the Czech Republic, Malta, New Zealand (183)
10 – Hungary, Lithuania, Slovakia (181)
Source: Henley Passport Index