And the best visa-free passport is…

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After five years of dominating the JapanTHE Singapore passport is now the one that allows travel without a visa in as many countries as possible, 192 out of 227 possible. Three European countries follow with 190Germany, Italy and Spain, while the France tied for third with visa-free access to 189 destinations.

Japan was dethroned from first place in the Henley Passport Index for the first time in five years and found itself in 3rd place, according to the latest ranking based on “exclusive and official data from IATA” unveiled on July 18, 2023. Singapore now officially has the most powerful passport in the world, its citizens being able to visit 192 over 227 visa-free travel destinations worldwide. Germany, Italy and Spain all rise to 2nd place with visa-free access to 190 destinations, while Japanese passport holders join those of six other nations – Austria, Finland, France, Luxembourg, South Korea And Sweden – in 3rd place with access to 189 destinations without prior visa.

THE United Kingdom “seems to have finally turned the corner after a six-year dip”, moving up two places on the last ranking to 4th place – a position he last held in 2017. UNITED STATES on the other hand, they continue their decline in the index “for a decade now”, plunging two additional places to 8th place with access to only 184 visa-free destinations. “The United Kingdom and the United States jointly occupied the 1st place in the index almost 10 years ago in 2014, but have since been on a downward trajectory”, recalls the Henley Passport Index.

At the bottom of the ranking, theAfghanistan remains entrenched at the bottom of the Henley Passport Index, with a visa-free access score of just 27followed byIraq (score of 29) and the Syria (score of 30) – the three weakest passports in the world.

“The general trend over the 18-year history of the rankings has been towards greater freedom of travel, with the average number of destinations travelers can access without a visa nearly doubling from 58 in 2006 to 109 in 2023. However, theglobal mobility gap between those at the top and bottom of the index is now wider than ever, with passport holders from Singapore at the top of the ranking being granted visa-free access to 165 more destinations than those from Afghanistan.”

Christian H. Kaelin, chairman of Henley & Partners, points out that only eight countries in the world have less visa-free access today than a decade ago, while others have done better in securing greater travel freedom for their citizens. ” THE United Arab Emirates have added an impressive 107 destinations to their visa-free score since 2013, leading to a massive jump of 44 places in the rankings over the past 10 years, from 56th to 12th position. This is almost double the second tallest climber, the Colombia, who enjoyed a jump of 28 places in the standings to sit in 37th place. I’Ukraine and the China are also among the Top 10 countries whose ranking has improved the most over the last decade. Much more than just a travel document that defines our freedom of movement, a strong passport also provides significant financial freedoms in terms of international investment and business opportunities. “.

Commenting in the Henley Global Mobility Report 2023 Q3, Greg Lindsay, a leading global strategist and urban technology researcher at Cornell Tech’s Jacobs Institute, says that from a purely mechanical perspective, ” the story is simple – by remaining more or less still, the UNITED STATES have fallen behind. While its absolute score has actually risen over the past decade, the United States has been consistently overtaken by rivals such as South Korea, Japan and Singapore. America’s relentless fall in the rankings – and the unlikelihood of reclaiming the top position any time soon – is a warning sign for its neighbor the Canada and the rest of the Anglosphere too “.

Henley & Partners has also conducted new proprietary research into the relationship between the opening of a country to foreigners – the number of nations it allows to cross its borders without a visa – and the freedom to travel of its own citizens, measured using the Henley Passport Index. New Henley Openness Index ranks the 199 countries of the world according to the number of nationalities they allow entry without a prior visa. THE Top 20 “most open” countries are all small island states or African states, with the exception of Cambodia.

There is 12 fully open countries which offer visa-free or visa-on-arrival entry to all 198 passports worldwide (not including their own), namely: Burundi, Comoros, Djibouti, Guinea-Bissau, Maldives, Micronesia, Mozambique, Rwanda, Samoa, Seychelles, Timor-Leste and Tuvalu. At the bottom of the Henley Open Index, four countries score zero, only allowing no visa free access for no passport namely Afghanistan, North Korea, Papua New Guinea and Turkmenistan. They are followed by five countries that offer visa-free access to less than five other nationalities: namely Libya, Bhutan, Eritrea, Equatorial Guinea and India.

John Walker Avatar