International travel may not be in the cards for the time being amid the COVID-19 pandemic, but Japan’s passport remains the most convenient, offering access to a record 193 countries without a visa, according to the 2021 Global Ranking in the Henley Passport Index.
Singapore ranked second with 192 countries, followed by South Korea and Germany with 191 nations, according to the index, which was released earlier this week. Japan has been at the top since 2018.
The latest report also revealed the widening gap in travel freedom. Coming in last among 199 countries and regions, citizens of Afghanistan had access to 26 countries without a prior visa — a difference of 167 countries compared with Japan, the widest since 2006.In the past decade, two countries notably climbed up the rankings — China and the United Arab Emirates.China came in 68th with visa-free access to 77 countries, up from No. 90 and access to 40 countries in 2011. The biggest climber was 15th-ranked UAE, with 174 destinations, up from 65th place and 64 countries a decade ago.
The annual Henley Passport Index is conducted by Henley & Partners using data provided by the International Air Transport Authority. It assesses global mobility by cross-checking 199 passports against 227 destinations in its database
The Ten “Most Powerful” Passports
As of October 9th, 2018, here are the ten most powerful passports as measured by the number of countries they allow their legal holders to visit without visas:
- 1. Japan: 190
2. Singapore: 189
3. Germany, France, South Korea: 188
4. Denmark, Finland, Italy, Sweden, Spain: 187
5. Norway, United Kingdom, Australia, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Portugal, United States of America: 186
6. Belgium, Switzerland, Ireland, Canada: 185
7. Australia, Greece, Malta: 183
8. New Zealand, Czech Republic: 182
9. Iceland: 181
10. Hungary, Slovenia, Malaysia: 180
More details on the 2018 ranking and other information pertaining to all passports and the countries which their holders can visit without a visa is available at the Henley Partners’ Passport Index website.