Passports hold a lot of power, but how does yours stack up compared to other countries?
The Henley Passport Index for 2021 has been revealed, highlighting the most powerful passports in the world. The index measures global access to different countries, to get an idea of a passport holders’ travel freedom.
In other words, the rankings showcase the countries which have the most access to other nations.
This visa-free access makes things easier for travellers, as they don’t have to go through a lengthy or costly application process to visit other countries.
However, it’s worth pointing out that current coronavirus restrictions were not taken into account for this year’s index.
Scooping the top position as the country with the most powerful passport is Japan, as holders are able to visit 191 countries visa-free in normal times. This is the third consecutive year that Japan has held the top spot, either alone or sharing it with Singapore – a country which came second this year with access to 190 nations.
In joint third place was South Korea and Germany with 189 countries, followed by Italy, Finland, Spain, and Luxembourg in fourth with 188 places respectively.
Denmark and Austria are up next in fifth place (with 187), while the sixth spot is shared by Sweden, France, Portugal, the Netherlands and Ireland, with 186 countries each.
If you’re wondering where the UK places in these rankings, it holds seventh position along with the U.S, Switzerland, Norway, Belgium and New Zealand – all with 186 visa-free countries.
At the other end of the list, Syria, Iraq, and Afghanistan fall at the bottom with less than 30 nations.
Henley & Partners say the rankings give us all an opportunity to reflect on the enormous changes to travel that have taken place in the past year.
Chairman Dr. Christian H. Kaelin said: ‘Just a year ago all indications were that the rates of global mobility would continue to rise, that travel freedom would increase, and that holders of powerful passports would enjoy more access than ever before.
‘The global lockdown negated these glowing projections and as restrictions begin to lift, the results from the latest index are a reminder of what passport power really means in a world upended by the pandemic.’
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