Japan and Singapore Deemed World’s Most Powerful Passports
Updated: Oct 14, 2021
Of nearly 200 passports, Japan's passport reigns as the most powerful passport in the world for the fourth year in a row, according to the 2021 Henley Passport Index released on Oct. 5. The U.S. was again shut out of the top five.
Henley & Partners, a global citizenship and residence advisory firm based in London, uses data from the International Air Transport Association to score passports based on the total number of destinations holders can access without applying for a visa. The index comprises 199 passports and 227 travel destinations.
“For each travel destination, if no visa is required, then a score of 1 is allocated for that passport. This also applies if passport holders can obtain a visa on arrival, a visitor’s permit, or an electronic travel authority upon entry,” says the ranking’s authors. “Where a visa is required, or where a passport holder must apply for a government-approved electronic visa before departure, a score of 0 is assigned. The same applies if they need pre-departure approval for a visa on arrival.”
As is usually the case, three Asian countries — Japan and Singapore tied for first place with South Korea and Germany in second — topped the list, with most European countries rounding out the top 10, along with Australia and Canada.
The Top 10 Most Powerful Passports and Their Visa-Free Scores Are:
Japan and Singapore, where passport holders can visit 192 countries visa-free.
Germany and South Korea, where passport holders can visit 190 countries visa-free.
Finland, Italy, Luxembourg and Spain, where passport holders can visit 189 countries visa-free.
Austria and Denmark, where passport holders can visit 188 countries visa-free.
France, Ireland, the Netherlands, Portugal, and Sweden can visit 187 countries visa-free.
Belgium, New Zealand and Switzerland, where passport holders can visit 186 countries visa-free.
Czech Republic, Greece, Malta, Norway, the United Kingdom and the United States, where passport holders can visit 185 countries visa-free.
Australia and Canada, where passport holders can visit 184 countries visa-free.
Hungary, where passport holders can visit 183 countries visa-free.
Lithuania, Poland and Slovakia, where passport holders can visit 182 countries visa-free.
It's excellent news for Japanese citizens, as Japan does not allow citizens to possess dual nationality, in line with much of Asia.
The U.S. moved up one spot from 2020 when it ranked eighth for 184 passport-accessible countries.