By Marcus Richard
The world is becoming more accessible to many passport holders as the last few coronavirus-related border controls are lifted. Meanwhile, numerous countries have waived visa restrictions for Ukrainian passport holders after Russia invaded Ukraine in 2022. As a result, numerous nations have ceased providing Russian residents visas and have prohibited Russian planes from accessing their airspace.
Considering this, the Singaporean passport is currently the most powerful passport in the world, having visa-free or visa-on-arrival access to 193 destinations. This makes it the strongest passport in the world, according to the Henley Passport Index, a ranking of the world's passports based on the number of places their holders may visit without getting a visa before arrival.
Singapore is a country that has the most powerful passport in the world
Overview Of Powerful Passport In The World By Henley & Partner
What Is A Powerful Passport?
A powerful passport is one that allows visa-free or visa-on-arrival entry into a higher number of countries throughout the world. The Japanese and Singaporean Passports, for example, have visa-free or visa-on-arrival access to 193 countries, making them the most powerful Passports in the world at the start of 2023.
The number of countries offering visa-free or visa-on-arrival travel determines the rank. The database includes 199 different passports and 227 separate travel destinations. It is updated every three months.
How does the Henley Passport Index rank passports?
The Henley Passport Index, which is updated quarterly, lists the world's most powerful passports. It is based on the number of visa-free places passport holders can visit.
Henley & Partners ranks the world's 199 passports using statistics from the International Air Transport Association (IATA). The index has been in operation for 18 years.
Countries receive one point for each visa-free destination. This is true if citizens can get a visa on arrival, a visitor's permit, or an electronic travel authorization (ETA) upon arrival.
No points are granted for places that need a visa or require the passport bearer to get a government-approved e-visa before departure.
The Strongest Passport In The World, According To The Henley Passport Index In 2023
What are the most powerful passports in the world?
For the first time in five years, Japan has lost its position as the most powerful passport in the world. The Singaporean passport has first ranked in this ranking by Henley Passport Index 2023. Singaporeans get visa-free entry to 193 of the world's 227 destinations.
At the beginning of 2023, the Japanese passport kept the first spot with visa-free entry to 193 countries. But now it dropped to 190 countries, and Singapore has risen to the top place of the ranking. Over the last decade, the nation has acquired visa-free access to an extra 25 countries, propelling it up five spots in the rankings.
The Japanese passport has dropped to second place with visa-free access to 190 destinations, placing equal with six European countries: Germany, Italy, Spain, Finland, France, Sweden, and only one Asia country, South Korea. We can see South Korean, Finland, and France passports had risen to second place in less than one year when they ranked behind Japan before.
The United States of America is also treading water in seventh place in the ranking.
The Vietnam Passport is currently in 87th position, with visa-free access to 55 countries in the world. These include the Cook Islands, Micronesia, Niue, Barbados, Haiti, Saint Vincent & Grenadines, Singapore, Brunei, Campuchia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Thailand, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Chile, Ecuador, Panama, Dominica.
Vietnam's passport stands in 87th position in the passport ranking
Therefore, let’s look at currently the top 10 powerful passports in the world following:
- Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, South Korea, Spain, Sweden.
- Austria, Denmark, Ireland, Luxembourg, Netherlands, United Kingdom.
- Belgium, Malta, Norway, Portugal.
- Czechia, New Zealand, Poland, Switzerland.
- Australia, Canada, Greece, Hungary.
- United States of America, Lithuania.
- Latvia, Slovakia, Slovenia.
Source: The Henley Passport Index, Global Passport Ranking. Henley & Partner. www.henleyglobal.com/passport-index/ranking
Let’s investigate more about Vietnam's national passport through Vietnam Passport: A Ticket To Global Exploration.
Which nations have the least powerful passports?
Afghanistan continues to have the least powerful world passport, with visa-free access to only 27 destinations - 165 less than Singapore.
It is followed by Iraq (29 destinations) and Syria (30 destinations).
Pakistan (33 destinations), Yemen and Somalia (35 destinations), Palestine and Nepal (38 destinations), North Korea (39 destinations), Bangladesh (40 destinations), Libya and Sri Lanka (41 destinations), and Kosovo (42 destinations) are countries the bottom of the table ranking.
Travel freedom is increasing, but so is inequality
The Passport Index illustrates that travel freedom has improved over time. The average number of countries travelers may visit visa-free has nearly quadrupled from 58 in 2006 to 109 in 2023. Eight nations have less visa-free access now than a decade ago.
Since 2013, the UAE has acquired visa-free access to an extra 107 locations, propelling it from 56th to 13th in the rankings with 179 visa-free access destinations. Colombia is the next largest climber, rising from the 65th to the 41st position. Ukraine and China are both among the top ten most improved ranks in the last decade.
However, the disparity between the most and least powerful passports is growing.
The gap between the most powerful passport and the least powerful passport is widening
Which countries have the friendliest visa policies?
The Henley Openness Index, a new ranking, indicates which nations have the most welcoming visa procedures.
The top 20 comprise small island nations, African states, and Cambodia. To all 198 other passports, twelve countries provide visa-free or visa-on-arrival admission. Burundi, the Comoro Islands, Djibouti, Guinea-Bissau, the Maldives, Micronesia, Mozambique, Rwanda, Samoa, Seychelles, Timor-Leste, and Tuvalu are among them.
The four nations at the bottom of the list only accept a passport with a visa. That are Afghanistan, North Korea, Papua New Guinea, and Turkmenistan.
They are followed by Libya, Bhutan, Eritrea, Equatorial Guinea, and India, all allowing visa-free entry to fewer than five other nations.
Is openness synonymous with access?
The two indices illustrate that high openness sometimes implies visa-free access to nations. However, Singapore and South Korea are reasonably open and have risen in the Passport Index, while the United States and Canada have fallen as their openness has plateaued.
American passport holders get visa-free entry to 184 of 227 locations, whereas only 44 other nationalities have visa-free access to the US. More than twice as many countries as the United States are granted visa-free travel by EU member states.
Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and Japan are the top five nations with the greatest difference between their travel freedom and the visa-free access they provide to others.
Do you know about the differences between Passport Card vs Passport Book? How about looking at Passport Card Vs. Book: Understanding the Differences Between Them.
Singapore has both the most powerful passport and a reasonable openness in the world
Understanding Visa-Free Access In Vietnam & How To Get A Vietnam E-Visa To Enjoy This Wonderful Country
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