Top 10 Most Powerful and Worst Passports in the World for 2022/2023
|World’s most powerful passports 2022 - 2023|
The latest Henley Passport Index ranks 199 passports according to the number of destinations their holders can access without a prior visa. It is updated in real time throughout the year, as and when visa policy changes come into effect.
Passport holders with the greatest global access are currently the most restricted and reluctant to enjoy their travel freedom, according to the latest results from the Henley Passport Index, which is based on exclusive and official data from the International Air Transport Association (IATA).
Japan holds the number one spot on the index with a record-high visa-free or visa-on-arrival score of 193, while Singapore and South Korea come in joint-2nd place, with a score of 192.
Over the past two years, as the world has battled the pandemic, the UAE passport has remained strong. The UAE retains its position at No 15, the highest spot it has achieved since the launch of the index in 2006. Emirati travellers are now able to visit 176 countries around the world on either a visa-free or visa-on-arrival basis. The index shows the UAE is also the biggest climber of the last decade, having gained 49 places from a ranking of No 64 in 2012.
EU member states dominate the rest of the top 10, with Germany and Spain ranking in third place, followed by Finland, Italy, and Luxembourg in joint fourth.
Denmark, Austria, the Netherlands, and Sweden share fifth place while the UK and the US have both dropped down a rank to sixth and seventh, respectively.
Other countries are showing signs of recovering from pandemic-related restrictions on travel. Indian passport holders now have roughly the same travel freedom as they did pre-pandemic, with unrestricted access to 57 destinations around the world, compared to just 23 destinations in 2020.
Top 10 Best or Powerful Passports in the World 2022
1. Japan (193 destinations)
2. Singapore, South Korea (192 destinations)
3. Germany, Spain (190 destinations)
4. Finland, Italy, Luxembourg (189 destinations)
5. Austria, Denmark, Netherlands, Sweden (188 destinations)
6. France, Ireland, Portugal, United Kingdom (187 destinations)
7. Belgium, New Zealand, Norway, Switzerland, United States (186 destinations)
8. Australia, Canada, Czech Republic, Greece, Malta (185 destinations)
9. Hungary (183 destinations)
10. Lithuania, Poland, Slovakia (182 destinations)
11. Estonia / Latvia / Slovenia
15. The UAE / Cyprus
South African passport holders who were restricted to just 46 destinations at the height of the Omicron wave in 2021, have unrestricted access to 95 destinations around the world, close to the nation's pre-pandemic passport score of 105.
Afghanistan remains at the bottom of the index, with its nationals only able to access 27 destinations worldwide visa-free.
10 Worst Passports in the World 2022
Several countries around the world have visa-free or visa-on-arrival access to 40 or fewer countries. These include:
105. North Korea (40 destinations)
106. Nepal, Palestinian territory (38 destinations)
107. Somalia (35 destinations)
108. Yemen (34 destinations)
109. Pakistan (32 destinations)
110. Syria (30 destinations)
111. Iraq (29 destinations)
112. Afghanistan (27 destinations)
Russian and Ukrainian Passports
|Ukraine’s passport is currently ranked in 35 on the index, a record high for the country|
The latest index also highlights the impact the current conflict in Ukraine is having on travel freedom and mobility.
Russian passport holders are more cut off from the rest of the world than ever before, as sanctions, travel bans, and airspace closures limit Russian citizens from accessing all but a few destinations in Central Asia and the Middle East. The Russian passport currently sits at 50th place on the index, with a visa-free or visa-free on arrival score of 119.
However, due to airspace closures in EU member nations, Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand, South Korea, the US, and the UK, Russian citizens are effectively barred from traveling throughout most of the world, with the marked exceptions of Istanbul and Dubai, which have become focal transit points.
Conversely, the Ukrainian passport is currently ranked in 35th place on the index, with holders able to access 144 destinations around the world without needing a visa in advance. Ukrainians displaced have also been granted the right to live and work in the EU for up to three years under an emergency plan in response to what has become Europe's biggest refugee crisis this century.
After the European Council's recent, ground-breaking announcement awarding Ukraine candidate status, the first step towards full EU membership, the travel freedom for Ukrainian passport holders is likely to increase even further in the coming years.
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