The Top 10 Most Powerful Passports in the World for 2022

ByJulija A.
January 19, 2022

A passport that will allow you to travel across the world without visa requirements is one of the most luxurious assets today. After two years of isolation and hardship caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, everyone is eager to travel more than ever. With the right passport in your hand, you’re a step closer to visiting your favorite destination or seeing friends who live abroad.

However, not all passports help their holders to go anywhere they want. While some passports are limiting, others allow access to most countries without additional documents, i.e., visas. Naturally, the most powerful passports in the world offer the most freedom.

The Henley Passport Index (HPI), created by Henley & Partners, is a ranking of the strongest passports. According to it, Japan’s and Singapore’s passports share the top spot, enabling their holders to enter 192 countries without visa requirements.

The Strength of a Passport

Every year, the Henley Passport Index shows the most powerful passports based on the travel freedom they allow.

As we know, a legitimate passport is just the first thing we need to travel. Other things that come to mind are a good suitcase, a credit card with travel rewards, and an adventurous attitude. On the legal front, however, depending on where you’re from - or rather, where your passport is from - the country you want to visit might ask you for a visa.

You can either register for a visa in advance or upon arrival. What’s more, some visas are easy to get - for example, by applying online - while others need to be obtained at a physical embassy, after rigorous and time-consuming checks.

However, some countries have visa agreements that allow travelers from specific countries to visit without a visa. The agreement is between two countries, or an association of them (the EU is one example), and it usually allows citizens to stay in a foreign country without a visa for a specific period.

The HPI passport rank for 2022 shows that the top 10 highest-ranked passports that allow their holders to travel with a passport only, online visa, or visa available on arrival are actually provided by 33 countries. 

As mentioned, Japan and Singapore are the best ranked, followed by Germany, South Korea, and Finland. Multiple countries share the same position because their passport holders can visit the same number of countries visa-free.

The Top 10 Passports in the World for 2022:

  1. Japan and Singapore - 192 destinations
  2. Germany and South Korea - 190 destinations
  3. Finland, Italy, Luxembourg, Spain - 189 destinations
  4. Austria, Denmark, France, Netherlands, Sweden - 188 destinations
  5. Ireland, Portugal - 187 destinations
  6. Belgium, New Zealand, Norway, Switzerland, United Kingdom, United States - 186 destinations
  7. Australia, Canada, Czech Republic, Greece, Malta - 185 destinations
  8. Hungary, Poland - 183 destinations
  9. Lithuania, Slovakia - 182 destinations
  10. Estonia, Latvia, Slovenia - 181 destinations

Japan and Singapore

Japan and Singapore are the highest-ranked passports, according to the HPI. These passports enable visa-free entrance to 192 countries and territories.

Germany and South Korea

The second place on the “Strongest passports in the world” list is reserved for Germany and South Korea. Their citizens can travel to 190 destinations without having to get a visa in advance.

Finland, Italy, Luxembourg, Spain

Finland, Italy, Luxembourg, and Spain are tied for third place. These countries grant visa-free entrance to 189 different countries.

Austria, Denmark, France, Netherlands, Sweden

Austria, Denmark, France, Netherlands, and Sweden are fifth in the ranking. Passport holders from these countries can travel to 188 destinations without obtaining a visa.

Ireland and Portugal

Ireland shares sixth place with Portugal, according to the passport power index. The citizens of these countries can enjoy visa-free entrance to 187 territories.

Belgium, New Zealand, Norway, Switzerland, United Kingdom, United States

The index shows that Belgium, New Zealand, Norway, Switzerland, UK, and US citizens can enter 186 countries very easily, without dealing with visa requirements or with visas available on arrival.

Australia, Canada, Czech Republic, Greece, Malta

The passport power index shows that Australia, Canada, and the above-mentioned EU countries allow visa-free access to 185 countries.

Hungary and Poland

Hungary and Poland share eighth place in the Henley ranking. The citizens of these countries rarely face visa requirements, and they can access 183 countries without them.

Lithuania, Slovakia

The next position is reserved for two EU countries - Lithuania and Slovakia. Both enjoy visa-free access to 182 countries.

Estonia, Latvia, Slovenia

Close behind Lithuania and Slovakia are Estonia, Latvia, and Slovenia. The passport power list compiled by Henley & Partners says these countries’ passports afford access to 181 states without visa restrictions.

The World’s Weakest Passports for Travel Freedom

The Henley Passport Index also reveals which countries have the weakest passport in the world by travel freedom. According to the HPI, Afghanistan has the weakest passport globally, and it is in 111th place. Afghans can enter only 26 countries without visa requirements. It’s followed by Iraq, whose passport holders can visit just 28 countries without a visa.

Also at the bottom of the list of the countries with the strongest passport in the world are Syria, Pakistan, and Yemen. The citizens of these three countries can gain access to 29, 31, and 33 territories without visas, respectively.

Other Indexes

The Henley Passport Index (HPI) is not the only index showing a passport’s power rank. Indexes created by other institutions also measure password strength to check the travel freedom they provide to the passport holders.

For example, Arton Capital's Passport Index shows the 193 United Nations member countries and six territories (ROC Taiwan, Macau, Hong Kong, Kosovo, Palestinian Territory, and the Vatican) and their rankings. According to this index, the United Arab Emirates passport is the most powerful one, allowing passport holders to access 107 destinations with no visa at all, 53 with a visa on arrival, and 38 with a visa acquired in advance.

FAQ

What is the most powerful passport in the world?

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Japan and Singapore have the strongest passports, according to the Henley Passport Index for 2022. The two countries share first place, allowing their residents to visit 192 countries without obtaining visas in advance.

What are the top 5 strongest passports?

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The Henley Passport Index ranks the strongest passports every year. The more countries a passport allows you to visit visa-free, the stronger it is. The first five powerful passports are reserved for the following countries:

  1. Japan and Singapore
  2. Germany and South Korea
  3. Finland, Italy, Luxembourg, and Spain
  4. Austria, Denmark, France, Netherlands, and Sweden
  5. Ireland and Portugal

Are US passports powerful?

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Yes, US passports are powerful, as they allow Americans to enter 186 destinations worldwide without advance visa requirements. The US passport is ranked sixth on the HPI, together with Belgium, New Zealand, Norway, Switzerland, and the British passport. Americans are required to obtain visas for a relatively small number of countries.

What countries can a US passport not go to?

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The American passport is among the most powerful passports in the world, allowing its holders to visit almost any country. However, not even the US passport power enables American citizens to enter North Korea, Cuba, Russia, Iran, Turkmenistan, India, and several other countries without plenty of preparation.

About author

Albert Einstein is said to have identified compound interest as mankind’s greatest invention. That story’s probably apocryphal, but it conveys a deep truth about the power of fiscal policy to change the world along with our daily lives. Civilization became possible only when Sumerians of the Bronze Age invented money. Today, economic issues influence every aspect of daily life. My job at Fortunly is an opportunity to analyze government policies and banking practices, sharing the results of my research in articles that can help you make better, smarter decisions for yourself and your family.

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