Citizens of sovereign states are issued passports as a form of identification and access to foreign countries. Many countries require foreign nationals to obtain additional documentation, such as travel, work, and residency visas before arriving.
Some countries have travel treaties with other countries that allow citizens of those countries to visit without a visa for a specific period of time. For example, British nationals can stay in the United States without a visa for up to 90 days. Furthermore, EU citizens have the right to travel freely between all member states. The more countries you can visit without a visa, the stronger your passport is.
Henley & Partners, a global citizenship and residence consulting firm based in London developed the Henley Passport Index (HPI). Since 2006, this index has been tracking the world’s most powerful passports using information recorded by the International Air Transport Association (IATA). Passports are ranked according to how many countries passport holders can visit with any of the following:
- Only a passport.
- Online Visa Waiver/Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA).
- Visas on arrival.
What Are The Most Powerful Passports In The World For 2022?
The Henley Passport Index has published a list of the world’s most powerful passports for 2022.
List of Top 10 Most Powerful Passports Around The World In 2022.
- Japan and Singapore
Singapore and Japan have the world’s strongest passports. These countries’ citizens have visa-free or visa-on-arrival access to 192 destinations.
- Germany and South Korea
Germany and South Korea passport holders can travel to 190 countries without a visa.
- Finland, Italy, Luxembourg and Spain
Finland, Italy, Spain and Luxembourg tie for third place in terms of visa-free travel to 189 countries.
- Austria, Denmark, France, Netherlands and Sweden
Swedish passport holders, along with Austrian, Danish, French, and Dutch citizens have visa-free access to 188 countries.
- Ireland and Portugal
Citizens of Portugal and Ireland can travel to 187 countries without a visa.
- Belgium, New Zealand, Norway, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and the United States
Passport holders from these countries have visa-free or visa-on-arrival access to 186 countries.
- Australia, Canada, Czech Republic, Greece and Malta
Citizens of Canada, Australia, Greece, Malta and the Czech Republic have visa-free or visa-on-arrival access to 185 countries.
- Poland and Hungary
Hungary and Poland made it to the list of most powerful passports in the world. These two countries’ citizens have visa-free or visa-on-arrival access to 183 destinations.
- Lithuania and Slovakia
Citizens from Lithuania and Slovakia have visa-free access to 182 countries.
- Estonia, Latvia and Slovenia
Estonia, Slovenia and Latvia have the tenth strongest passports, and their citizens can travel to 181 countries without a visa.
The Impact of COVID-19
Despite the COVID-19 restrictions, travel freedom has nearly doubled in the last 16 years. When the HPI was first published in 2006, a person could visit an average of 57 countries without obtaining a visa. The global average is now 107 countries.
However, these expanded liberties are not available to everyone. Overall, European passports are the most powerful in the world, with German citizens having visa-free access to 190 countries. In comparison, African, Middle Eastern and smaller Asian countries face stricter restrictions. Somali citizens can visit 34 countries without a visa, while Afghans can only visit 26.
Temporary travel restrictions do not affect HPI rankings, but research shows that restrictions imposed in response to the COVID-19 pandemic have resulted in the widest global mobility gap since 2006.
- Which countries have the most powerful passports?
According to the International Air Transport Association, Singaporean and Japanese passport holders can travel to 192 of 227 destinations without a visa, making them one of the most powerful passports in the world.
- What are the top 5 strongest passports?
Japan, Singapore, Germany, South Korea and Italy are the top five strongest passports in the world.
- Which country has the weakest passport?
Afghanistan has the world’s weakest passport in terms of travel freedom. It is ranked 112th on the HPI’s list.
- How powerful is a US passport?
The United States’ passport ranking is at the sixth position in the Henley Passport Index for the first quarter of this year because it allows its holder to travel visa-free to a total of 186 countries worldwide.
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