Henley Passport Index: The Most Powerful Passport in the World in 2023
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The latest Henley Passport Index, published today, reveals the Most Powerful Passport in the World in 2023. The Index measured 199 passports and 227 travel locations using data from the International Air Transport Association.
Japan has the most strong passport, allowing its nationals to visit 193 of the 227 visa-free places. Singapore has fallen to second place, sharing it with South Korea, with visa-free travel to 192 countries.
With 190 visa-free locations, Germany and Spain tied for third place, followed by Finland, Italy, Luxembourg, and Austria. Croatian passports are ranked 18th in 2023, providing visa-free access to 174 countries. With 178 visa-free destinations, the UAE has risen 49 places in the last 10 years.
The Most Powerful Passport in the World in 2023
Japan has been number one for five years in a row, with a score of 193 for visa-free or visa-on-arrival destinations. South Korea and Singapore are tied for second at 192. Germany and Spain are tied for third with 190 points each.
The UK and the US are still sixth and seventh on the list of powerful passport in the world in 2023, with scores of 187 and 186, respectively. The index says that both countries are “increasingly unlikely to ever get back on top.” In 2014, both countries came in first.
Afghanistan, which has a visa-free score of 29, and Syria, which has a score of 30, are at the bottom of the list.
For the index, Henley and Partners only use information from the International Air Transport Association.
Strength of Passports and Economic Power
The latest index report of the Powerful Passport in the World in 2023 shows that there is a link between the strength of a passport and its economic power. It says that people with passports from high-ranking countries have better access to economic opportunities around the world.
Japanese passport holders, for example, can go to 98 percent of the world’s economy without a visa. On the other hand, people with passports from Afghanistan have less than 1%.
“For global citizens and international businesspeople, a better way to see how their passports affect their economic mobility and opportunities is to see what share of the world’s GDP they can access without a visa,” says Christian Kaelin, chairman of the UK-based consulting firm Henley and Partners.
The study found that only 6% of passports in the world let their owners travel without a visa to more than 70% of the global economy.
Jeff Opdyke, a financial writer and expert on investing around the world, says that passports are a “gateway to financial opportunity.”
Asian Countries Dominate, but Gulf is Catching Up
UAE was called a “great success story” in the report because it moved up 49 spots in the index so quickly over the past 10 years.
“International travel is at a record high, and dozens of countries have started nomad visa or golden visa programs,” said Parag Khanna, who is on the advisory board of the consulting firm.
“More and more people are moving to take advantage of opportunities to work from home, settle in places with low taxes, or adapt to the effects of climate change on the housing market.”
Analysts expect Kuwait and Qatar to move up a lot in the index this year, and a possible deal with the European Union to get rid of visas is in the works. Once the plan is approved, people with passports from both countries will be able to travel to 27 EU countries without a visa.
Robert Mogielnicki, a resident scholar at the Arab Gulf States Institute in Washington, says that having the 2022 Fifa World Cup in Qatar helped the country market itself to people all over the world.
He said that the economies of the Gulf countries are “set up for strong and much better results.”
Qatar is in 55th place with a score of 100, and Kuwait is in 57th place with a score of 97 in the report of the Most Powerful Passport in the World in 2023.
Impact of Ukraine’s War
Since the invasion started, neither Ukraine nor Russia has moved up or down in the index. They are still ranked 36th and 49th, respectively. But airspace closures and sanctions have made it harder for Russians to move around, and they can’t go to many high-income countries.
On the other hand, the EU’s emergency plan has made it easier for Ukrainians to move around. They now have the right to live and work in the EU for up to three years. Over the past ten years, the country in Eastern Europe has moved up 24 spots on the passport index. If it joined the EU, its passport would be one of the 10 strongest in the world.
Most Powerful Passport in the World in 2023
Here’s the top 10 ranking for the world’s most powerful passports in 2023, or take a look at the full ranking.
1. Japan: 193
2. Singapore: 192
South Korea: 192
3. Germany: 190
4. Finland: 189
5. Austria: 188
6. France: 187
United Kingdom: 187
7. Belgium: 186
Czech Republic: 186
New Zealand: 186
United States: 186
8. Australia: 185
9. Hungary: 184
10. Lithuania: 183