BEIJING – Japan has topped the list featuring world’s most powerful passports, in a visible indication of country’s global supremacy and strength.
The latest index has been released by Henley Passport (Henley & Partners’ research team) and is based on exclusive data from the International Air Transport Association (IATA).
The passport index has been released according to the number of destinations their holders can access without a prior visa. As far as Japan is concerned, its citizens have visa-free access to 98 per cent of the global economy.
Japan’s passport has the facility of visa-free/visa-on-arrival for 193 destinations. It is followed by South Korea and Singapore sharing second rank at 192 while Germany and Spain jointly hold third spot at 190.
The UK and the US secured sixth and seventh slot, with scores of 187 and 186 respectively, which the index says are both “increasingly unlikely to ever regain the top spot”. It is interesting to note that both the countries held first place in 2014.
At the bottom of the list is Afghanistan, with a visa-free score of 29, and Syria at 30. Pakistan is at 106 out of 109 spots in the world with a visa free score of 32 while India ranks at 85th spot with 59 destinations available to the citizens visa free.
The rankings come as global travel reaches 75 per cent of pre-pandemic levels and the travel industry has branded the surge in post-Covid tourism as ‘revenge travel’.
UAE has gained 15th spot on the list as its passport holders can access 178 out of 227 countries without a prior visa. The report singled out UAE as a ‘great success story’ as the Emirate made a rapid rapid progress in the index and climbed 49 spots over the past 10 years. Qatar is currently ranked at 55 with a score of 100, and Kuwait stands at 57 with a score of 97.
The latest index confirms that economic prowess and passport strength are intertwined as passport holders of economically strong countries have greater access across the world.
The study also highlights that only 6 per cent of passports worldwide give their holders visa-free access to more than 70 per cent of the global economy.
Another interesting aspect is the fact that both Ukraine and Russia retained their positions in the index since the war broke out, at 36th and 49th spot respectively.
Here is the list of the most powerful passports in the world:
2 Singapore and South Korea
3 Germany and Spain
4 Finland, Italy and Luxembourg
5 Austria, Denmark, Netherlands and Sweden
6 France, Ireland, Portugal and the UK
7 Belgium, Czech Republic, New Zealand, Norway, Switzerland and the US
8 Australia, Canada, Malta and Greece
9 Hungary and Poland
10 Lithuania and Slovakia
11 Latvia and Slovenia
15 Liechtenstein and the UAE