From aspirational workers to students, every person has lately been affected due to travel restrictions following the Covis-19 pandemic, that struck the world in the past two years. However, as the pandemic continues to wane, the world is gradually opening up its borders.
Henley Passport Index, which is considered the original, authoritative ranking of all the world’s passports, has finally released the much-awaited list of the world’s most powerful passports for 2023. The Asian trio, Japan, Singapore and South Korea have topped the list. Here’s everything about the countries that have dominated this list with their powerful passports, offering citizens flexible travelling.
1 Japan (Asia)
Japan has once again grabbed the crown for the world’s most powerful passport. The Asian country has been ranked on the top for the fifth time the year, courtesy of its flexible visa policies, which allow holders to have visa-free access or visa-on-arrival.
Japanese citizens can travel to as many as 193 countries visa-free or visa-on-arrival access destinations around the world. And if you’re planning to turn on your zen mode, now is the time to do so! Vaccinated travellers are not required to take a pre-trip Covid test while unvaccinated travellers have to complete a pre-trip Covid test within 72 hours of departure.
2. Singapore & South Korea (Asia)
Singapore has grabbed the second spot on Henley Passport Index’s “Most Powerful Passports in the world. The country allows its passport holder to have visa-free access to 192 countries across the world. Interestingly, South Korea has also occupied the second sport on this list.
le. A Singapore passport allowed the holder to have visa-free access to 192 countries across the globe. Alongside, Singapore, South Korea also occupied the second spot. As of January 2023, South Korean passport holders can travel visa-free to 146 countries and territories.
3. Germany & Spain (EU)
Germany and Spain have taken the third spot on Henley Passport Index’s Most Powerful Passports 2023. The EU countries allow their passport holders to travel visa-free to as many as 190 countries.
4. Italy, Luxembourg and Finland (EU)
Italy, Luxembourg and Finland took the fourth spot as countries with the most powerful passports in the world. The countries allow their passport holders to travel visa-free to as many as 189 countries.
5. Sweden, Austria, Denmark and the Netherlands (EU)
Sweden, Austria Denmark and the Netherlands grabbed the fifth position on this list. Passport holders of these countries are allowed visa-free access to 188 destinations. Visa-free countries include those where entry is possible without a visa, and with a visa on arrival/ electronic travel authorization (eTA).
6. France, Portugal, Ireland, and UK
The United Kingdom, France, Portugal and Ireland grabbed the sixth position on Henley Passport Index’s Most Powerful Passports 2023 list. Last year, France was in the 5th position. Despite the dip, France along with Portugal, Ireland and UK allow passport holders to travel visa-free to as many as 187 countries.
7. USA (North America), Belgium, Norway, Switzerland, New Zealand (Oceania) and the Czech Republic
The USA, Belgium, Norway, Switzerland, Czech Republic and New Zealand (Oceania) grabbed the seventh position on Henley Passport Index’s Most Powerful Passports 2023. The passport holders of these countries have visa-free or visa-on-arrival access to 186 destinations.
8. Australia (Oceania), Greece (Balkans), Canada (North America) and Malta (Europe)
Countries, such as Australia, Greece, Canada and Malta stand in the eighth position on this year’s list of the World’s Most Powerful Passports. Henley Passport Index reported that the passport holders of these countries can travel visa-free to as many as 185 countries.
9. Hungary, Poland (EU)
Hungary and Poland have grabbed the ninth position on the Henley Passport Index’s Most Powerful Passports 2023 list. These countries allow visa-free access to 184 destinations to their passport holders.
10. Lithuania and Slovakia
Lithuania and Slovakia grabbed the last position in the top-ten countries, allowing visa-free access to their passport holders to as many as 183 destinations.
Henley Passport Index is the most reliable and most authoritative passport index, with historical data spanning 18 years. Per the Index’s score, only 6% of the countries give access to more than 70% global economy. Moreover, 17% of countries grant visa-free access to more than 4/5th of the world’s 227 destinations.
More About Henley Passport Index
Henley Passport Index started in 2006 as Henley & Partners Visa Restrictions Index (HVRI) and was modified and renamed in January 2018. The site provides an annual ranking for 199 passports of the world per the number of countries their holders can travel to visa-free.
In collaboration with the International Air Transport Association (IATA), and based on official data from their global database, Henley & Partners has analysed the visa regulations of the vast majority of the countries and territories in the world since 2006. While assessing the score for each country, the index determines:
- The passport validity.
- If the passport is ‘normal’ rather than diplomatic, emergency, or temporary.
- If the passport holder is an adult citizen of the issuing country, travelling alone rather than in a tourist group.
- If the passport holder meets the basic requirements for entry (holding hotel reservations and proof of sufficient funds)
- If the passport holder does not meet any complex requirements for entry (for example, possessing a government-issued letter).
- If the passport holder is arriving at and departing from the same airport.
- If the passport holder is seeking a short stay rather than a transit stay in the destination country or territory.