Every year, the world’s passports are ranked in order to understand which ones are the most powerful ones, which means that it grants you access to many countries all around the globe without having to worry about a visa. If you have ever tried to get a visa before a trip, you know how time consuming, frustrating, and expensive it can get, so having a powerful passport can truly come in handy.
Every year, the list only slightly changes, and once again in the year 2023, Japan has topped the list of world’s most powerful passports, a position it has actually held for 5 years in a row now.
Those with a Japanese passport have access to 193 destinations without having to procure a visa, as the Henley Passport Index reports. There is a total of 227 destinations all around the world, so 193 covers an overwhelming majority.
Tied for second place are South Korea and Singapore, with access to 192 destinations either without a visa or with visa-upon-arrival. Last year, Singapore actually tied with Japan for first place, so this year was actually a small dip for the country.
As the Henley Passport Index stated: “As we enter the new year, the latest results from the Henley Passport Index provide fascinating insights into a world characterized by extraordinary upheaval and offer a revealing look at what lies ahead.”
In third place, European nations Germany and Spain tied, with access to 190 destination sans visa. The United Kingdom came in 6th, while the United States followed in 7th place, with access to 186 without any need for a visa. This is a slight improvement for the U.S., which came in 8th in the year 2020.
The Henley Passport Index also said that it “appears increasingly unlikely that either [the U.S. or UK] will ever regain the top spot on the index which they jointly held nearly a decade ago in 2014.”
The group uses data gathered from the International Air Transport Association (IATA) in order to rank the passports.
In terms of least powerful passports, Afghanistan offered the least amount of access to countries visa-free, at just 27 destinations, which is actually one more than was on the list in 2022.