Japan, Singapore have most powerful passports; Pakistan ranks below North Korea
- The index, however, doesn’t take into account the temporary travel restrictions imposed by the countries due to Covid-19.
The global gap in travel freedom is at its widest point ever and continues to expand due to the entry barriers in the wake of the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) pandemic, according to residence and citizenship planning firm Henley & Partners. The firm’s Henley Passport Index has ranked all passports according to the number of destinations their holders can access without a prior visa. The index, however, doesn’t take into account the temporary travel restrictions imposed by the countries due to Covid-19.
Japan and Singapore are at the top of the Henley Passport Index with both countries having a visa-free score of 192, which means holders of passports of these two countries can travel to 192 countries without a prior visa. Passports of Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Pakistan and Yemen are among the least powerful. Indian passports are ranked 90, along with Burkina Faso and Tajikistan, as the passport holders of these three countries can access 58 countries without a prior visa.
Here’s the top 10 ranking of world’s most powerful passports:
1. Japan, Singapore (visa-free score - 192)
2. Germany, South Korea (visa-free score - 190)
3. Finland, Italy, Luxembourg, Spain (visa-free score - 189)
4. Austria, Denmark (visa-free score - 188)
5. France, Ireland, Netherlands, Portugal, Sweden (visa-free score - 187)
6. Belgium, New Zealand, Switzerland (visa-free score - 186)
7. Czech Republic, Greece, Malta, Norway, United Kingdom, United States (visa-free score - 185)
8. Australia, Canada (visa-free score - 184)
9. Hungary (visa-free score - 183)
10. Lithuania, Poland, Slovakia (visa-free score - 182)
Here’s the top 10 countries of least powerful passports:
1. Afghanistan (visa-free score - 26)
2. Iraq (visa-free score - 28)
3. Syria (visa-free score - 29)
4. Pakistan (visa-free score - 31)
5. Yemen (visa-free score - 33)
6. Somalia (visa-free score - 34)
7. Nepal, Palestianian territory (visa-free score - 37)
8. North Korea (visa-free score - 39)
9. Bangladesh (visa-free score - 40)
10. Iran, Lebanon, Sri Lanka, Sudan (visa-free score - 41)
The ranking is based on the analysis of exclusive data from the International Air Transport Association (IATA). Henley & Partners' global mobility report suggests that many countries in the global south have relaxed border restrictions to revive their economies but countries in the global north, with some of the most stringent inbound travel restrictions, haven’t reciprocated in the same manner.