World's most powerful (and weakest) passports for 2022
According to a new quarterly report produced by London-based global citizenship and residence advice business Henley & Partners, a trio of Asian passports provides their holders with greater worldwide travel freedom than those of any other country.
Japan has surpassed Singapore and South Korea in providing visa-free or visa-on-demand access to a record 193 places worldwide, compared to the other two leaders' 192.
However, due to Asia's more cautious reaction to Covid-19, those residents are less likely to be taking advantage of that travel flexibility than those in Europe or the Americas.
According to the current International Air Transport Association (IATA) statistics, international passenger demand for air travel in the Asia-Pacific area is still less than a quarter of pre-Covid levels.
Europe becomes supreme once more.
A slew of European countries is around the top of the leaderboard below the Asian top three. Germany and Spain both have 190 destinations, followed by Finland, Italy, and Luxembourg, all of which have 189.
Austria, Denmark, the Netherlands, and Sweden are all tied for the fifth rank, while France, Ireland, Portugal, and the United Kingdom are tied for sixth place.
New Zealand and the United States are ranked seventh, along with Belgium, Norway, and Switzerland.
Afghan nationals are once again at the bottom of the index, with access to only 27 countries without a visa.
However, as travel restrictions relax, there are encouraging indicators that lower-ranking passports are regaining clout.
According to the research, Indian passport holders now have similar travel flexibility as they did before the pandemic, with unlimited access to 57 destinations worldwide (compared just 23 destinations in 2020).
Russian passport holders are more isolated from the rest of the world than ever before as a result of the invasion of Ukraine.
The ranking does not account for temporary limitations or airspace closures, therefore while the Russian passport is now ranked 50th on the index, with a visa-free or visa-free on arrival score of 119, Russian citizens are functionally prevented from visiting many of those destinations.
The weakest passports in July 2022
Visa-free or visa-on-arrival access to 40 or fewer countries is available in some nations across the world. These are some examples:
North Korea (105). (40 destinations)
Nepal and Palestinian territory (38 destinations)
Somalia (107). (35 destinations)
108. Yemen (34 destinations)
Pakistan (109). (32 destinations)
110. Syria (30 destinations)
111. Iraq (29 destinations)
Afghanistan (112th) (27 destinations)
The index produced by Henley & Partners is one of several created by financial firms to rate worldwide passports based on the access they provide to its residents.
The Henley Passport Index assesses 199 passports based on the number of visa-free places to which its holders have access. Throughout the year, it is updated in real time as visa policy changes take effect.
The passports of 193 United Nations member countries and six territories are considered in Arton Capital's Passport Index: ROC Taiwan, Macau (SAR China), Hong Kong (SAR China), Kosovo, Palestinian Territory, and the Vatican. Territories annexed by other countries are not eligible.
The United Arab Emirates is ranked first in its 2022 rating, with a visa-free/visa-on-arrival score of 171.