In a world where travel has become a way of life for many, having a powerful passport has become increasingly important. The rankings for the best passports to have for international travel have changed since our last post from 2021. Some unexpected countries are now on the top spots as of 2023.
According to the latest rankings by the Henley Passport Index – the foremost passport index ranking –, Japan has taken the top spot, overtaking Germany, which had held the position for years. Japanese passport holders can now travel visa-free to an impressive 193 destinations around the world.
Following closely behind Japan are South Korea and Singapore, tied for second place with visa-free access to 192 destinations. The top 10 is rounded out by Germany, Italy, Finland, Spain, Luxembourg, Denmark, and Austria.
It’s interesting to note that while European countries have traditionally dominated the top spots, the rise of Asian economies has seen Japan, South Korea, and Singapore climb the rankings in recent years.
But which passports, exactly, have experienced a decline in their rankings? The United States and the United Kingdom are among them. For the former, this present ranking is sure to be ill-received, particularly as it coincides with a time of upheaval for the nation, with the ongoing coalition of BRICS nations actively striving to dismantle and erode the dollar’s preeminent status. It is beyond doubt that such a state of affairs is a cause for concern. As for the latter, the Covid-related travel limitations have had an adverse impact, resulting in a joint seventh-place standing with visa-free access to a total of 186 destinations.
Unequivocally, the rise of Asian economies has seen a shift in rankings, while the ongoing pandemic has impacted rankings for some countries, including the United States and the United Kingdom. As travel restrictions continue to fluctuate, passport rankings are likely to continue to evolve.