For the fifth year running, Japan has the world’s most powerful passport, according to the Henley Passport Index’s 2023 rankings.
Japanese citizens enjoy visa-free or visa-on-demand access to a record 193 destinations around the world, just ahead of Singapore and South Korea whose citizens can freely visit 192.
The Henley Passport Index, uses data from the International Air Transport Association (IATA), considering factors such as the number of destinations a passport can access without the need for a visa.
The best passports to hold in 2023, according to the Henley Passport Index
1. Japan (193 destinations)
2. Singapore, South Korea (192 destinations)
3. Germany, Spain (190 destinations)
4. Finland, Italy, Luxembourg (189 destinations)
5. Austria, Denmark, Netherlands, Sweden (188 destinations)
6. France, Ireland, Portugal, United Kingdom (187 destinations)
7. Belgium, New Zealand, Norway, Switzerland, United States, Czech Republic (186 destinations)
8. Australia, Canada, Greece, Malta (185 destinations)
9. Hungary, Poland (184 destinations)
10. Lithuania, Slovakia (183 destinations)
How does the Henley Passport Index rank passports?
The yearly Index from global citizenship and residence advisory firm Henley & Partners uses exclusive data from the International Air Transport Association (IATA) to rank the world’s 199 passports. It is based on the number of destinations their holders can access without a visa.
If no visa is required, the country scores 1 point for its passport. This applies if citizens can obtain a visa on arrival, a visitor’s permit or an electronic travel authority (ETA) when entering the destination.
When a visa is required or the passport holder has to obtain a government approved e-visa before departure, the passport receives a score of 0.
Which countries have the least powerful passports?
Firmly at the bottom of the Henley Passport Index is Afghanistan with a score of just 27 out of 227 destinations – 166 fewer than Japan. It is followed by Iraq with a score of 29 and Syria with a score of 30.
The bottom of the ranking is filled out by Pakistan (32 destinations), Yemen (34 destinations), Somalia (35 destinations), Nepal – Palestinian territory (38 destinations), and North Korea (40 destinations).
The Index finds that only 17 per cent of countries give their passport holders access to more than 80 per cent of the world without a visa.
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