Japan and Singapore remain top of a ranking of the world’s most powerful passports, new global research has revealed.
Citizens of these nations can visit 189 countries around the world visa-free with the South Korean passport dropping to second place on 187 countries.
The UK passport has also moved down to joint sixth place in the list – one of its lowest ever spots since the ranking began 14 years ago – alongside the US passport as both allow visa-free access to 183 countries.
Japan has the world’s joint most powerful passport, a new global ranking has revealed
The Singapore passport, which is now joint top as the world’s most powerful
The ranking has been produced by the Henley Passport Index, which is based on data from the International Air Transport Association (IATA). It analyses how many countries a passport holder can enter visa-free or on a visa-on-arrival basis.
Sharing second place in the list with South Korea is the German passport (no change) and the Finnish passport (up from third).
In third place are the passports of Denmark (no change), Italy (no change) and Luxembourg (up from fourth) followed by France (down from third), Sweden (down from third) and Spain (no change) in fourth place.
Joint fifth are Austria, Netherlands, Portugal and Switzerland (all no change).
The UK passport, left, is now sixth in the ranking, having moved down one place. The US passport, right, remains in sixth
THE TOP 10 MOST POWERFUL PASSPORTS IN THE WORLD
1 – Japan, Singapore
2 – Germany, South Korea
3 – Denmark, Italy, Luxembourg
4 – France, Sweden, Spain
5 – Austria, Netherlands, Portugal, Switzerland
6 – Norway, UK, USA, Belgium, Canada, Greece, Ireland
7 – Malta
8 – Czech Republic
9 – Australia, Iceland, New Zealand, Lithuania
10 – Latvia, Slovakia, Slovenia
Source: Henley Passport Index
In sixth spot along with the UK and the USA are Norway (down from fifth), Belgium (no change), Canada (no change), Greece (no change) and Ireland (no change).
Malta is in seventh place followed by the Czech Republic in eighth and Australia, Iceland, New Zealand and Lithuania in joint ninth.
The top ten is rounded off with Latvia, Slovakia and Slovenia.
In significant shifts elsewhere, the United Arab Emirates has entered the top 20 for the first time, more than doubling its number of visa-free destinations over the past five years.
The ranking revealed that the world’s least powerful passport is that issued by Afghanistan, as citizens only have access to 25 countries
At the bottom end of the table, the world’s least powerful passport is that issued by Afghanistan, as citizens only have access to 25 countries.
Iraqi passports also fair poorly with access to just 27 destinations followed by the Syrian passport on 29 countries and the Pakistani passport with visa-free travel to 33 countries.
Dr. Christian H. Kaelin, chairman of Henley & Partners and the creator of the passport index concept, said: ‘This latest research appears to confirm something that many of us already knew intuitively: that increased visa-openness benefits the entire global community, and not just the strongest countries.’