Japan, Singapore and South Korea have the most powerful passports as the world continues to recover from Covid-19, reversing pre-pandemic rankings that were dominated by European nations.
A Japanese passport provides hassle-free entry to 193 countries, one more than those from Singapore and South Korea, according to the latest Henley Passport Index from Henley & Partners, an immigration consultancy.
#Japan holds the number one spot on the index with a record-high visa-free or visa-on-arrival score of 193, followed by #Singapore and #SouthKorea joint-2nd place, with a score of 192. Discover where your passport ranks in the #HenleyPassportIndex: https://t.co/VLa543Nv2A pic.twitter.com/yQmRIRWoFw
— Henley & Partners (@HenleyPartners) July 20, 2022
Russian travel documents are ranked place 50, giving easy access to 119 nations. China placed 69 with access to 80 countries, India’s passport ranked on spot 87 and Afghanistan’s passport is the least useful, getting the holder into only 27 countries.
“The recovery and reclamation of our travel freedoms, and our innate instinct to move and migrate, will take time,” Henley & Partners Chairman Christian Kaelin said in a statement.
As recently as 2017, Asian countries barely featured among the world’s 10 most-accepted passports, according to the index. Europe’s domination has gradually eased and Germany now trails South Korea. The UK is sixth with access to 187 countries, while the US is seventh with a score of 186, the latest ranking shows.
The index, which uses 17 years of data, helps wealthy individuals and governments assess the value of citizenships around the world based on which passports offer the most prolific visa-free, or visa-on-arrival access. Still, with global travel yet to fully recover from Covid restrictions, the index offers only a notional snapshot of the best documents to hold as the world emerges from the pandemic.