According to a new quarterly report from London-based global citizenship and residence advisory firm Henley & Partners, Asian passports provide holders with greater global travel freedom than any other nation’s passports.
In comparison to Singapore and South Korea, whose citizens can freely visit 192 destinations, Japanese citizens have access to a record 193 destinations without a visa or with a visa on demand.
Fortunately, Asia-Pacific is now opening up after COVID, so its citizens are more likely to use that freedom to travel again.
According to the most recent release by Henley Passport Index, which is based on data from the International Air Transport Association (IATA), global travel is now about 75% of what it was before the pandemic.
A few European nations are close to the top of the leaderboard, in addition to the top three Asian nations. 190 destinations are shared by Germany and Spain, followed by 189 by Finland, Italy, and Luxembourg.
The United Kingdom, France, Ireland, and Denmark share fifth place with Austria, Denmark, the Netherlands, and Sweden. 6.
At No. 1, New Zealand and the United States appear. 7, alongside the Czech Republic, Norway, Belgium, and Switzerland.
Again, Afghan nationals are at the bottom of the index, and they can only enter 27 countries without first obtaining a visa.
The list produced by Henley & Partner is one of a number of indexes developed by financial institutions to rank global passports in accordance with the access they grant to their citizens.
According to the Henley Passport Index, 199 passports are ranked according to the number of places their holders can visit without requiring a visa. It is updated throughout the year in real time as new visa policy changes take effect.
The passports of 193 nations that are members of the United Nations and six territories—ROC Taiwan, Macau (SAR China), Hong Kong (SAR China), Kosovo, Palestinian Territory, and the Vatican—are included in Arton Capital’s Passport Index. Excluded are territories annexed by other nations.
With a visa-free/visa-on-arrival score of 181, the United Arab Emirates ranks first in Arton’s Global Passport Power Rank 2023. There are 11 countries in second place, most of which are in Europe: South Korea, Sweden, Finland, Germany, Luxembourg, Spain, France, Italy, the Netherlands, Austria, and Switzerland
The United Kingdom, Denmark, Belgium, Portugal, Norway, Poland, Ireland, and New Zealand round out the top ten.
The Henley Passport Index’s recommendations for the best passports to have in 2023 are as follows:
- Japan (193 destinations)
- Singapore, South Korea (192 destinations)
- Germany, Spain (190 destinations)
- Finland, Italy, Luxembourg (189 destinations)
- Austria, Denmark, Netherlands, Sweden (188 destinations)
- France, Ireland, Portugal, United Kingdom (187 destinations)
- Belgium, New Zealand, Norway, Switzerland, United States, Czech Republic (186 destinations)
- Australia, Canada, Greece, Malta (185 destinations)
- Hungary, Poland (184 destinations)
- Lithuania, Slovakia (183 destinations)
Several countries around the world have visa-free or visa-on-arrival access to 40 or fewer countries. These include:
- North Korea (40 destinations)
- Nepal, Palestinian territory (38 destinations)
- Somalia (35 destinations)
- Yemen (34 destinations)
- Pakistan (32 destinations)
- Syria (30 destinations)
- Iraq (29 destinations)
- Afghanistan (27 destinations)