From the Data Sources of Henley Passport Index, which ranks all the world’s passports according to the number of destinations their holders can access without a prior visa and is based on exclusive data from the International Air Transport Association (IATA), an individual could, on average, visit 57 countries in 2006 visa-free. Today, that number has risen to 107, but this overall increase masks a growing disparity between countries in the global north and those in the global south, with nationals from countries such as Sweden and the US able to visit more than 180 destinations visa-free, while passport holders from Angola, Cameroon, and Laos can only enter about 50.
Japan and Singapore most powerful passports in 2022
The results show record-breaking levels of travel freedom for top-ranking nations Japan and Singapore. Without taking temporary Covid- related restrictions into account, passport holders of the two Asian nations can now enter 192 destinations around the world visa-free – 16 6 more than Afghanistan, which sits at the bottom of the index.
Germany and South Korea hold onto joint second spot on the latest ranking, with passport holders able to access 190 destinations visa-free, while Finland, Italy, Luxembourg, and Spain share 3rd place, with a score of 189. The US and the UK passports have regained some of their previous strength after falling all the way to 8th place in 2020 – the lowest spot held by either country in the index’s 17-year history. Both countries now sit in 6th place, with a visa-free/visa-on-arrival score of 186.
The UAE continues its upward trajectory on the Henley Passport Index, having recently reinstated in practical terms its landmark US-brokered agreement with Israel, suspended throughout most of the pandemic. It now sits at 15th place on the ranking, the highest spot yet achieved for the Arab nation throughout the index’s history, with a visa-free/visa-on-arrival score of 175.
The highlight of the Index
Top Rank Holders
- Japan continues to hold the number one position on the index, with passport holders able to access 191 destinations around the world visa-free.
- Singapore is in second place (with a score of 190) and South Korea ties with Germany in third place (with a score of 189).
- Over the index’s 16-year history, the top spots were traditionally held by EU countries, the UK, or the US.
- This year, it is the Asia-Pacific (APAC) passports which are the most powerful in the world as it includes some of the first countries to begin the process of recovering from the Covid-19 pandemic.