This is a magic book that gives you the feathers to fly worldwide. The status of a country is clearly shown by its passport. The countries in the world are ever expanding, so the world becomes smaller daily. People find opportunities within this globalized world. This book is the key to opening the world. A powerful document eases people’s journey to travel throughout the world. So, many people are keen on powerful ID’s in the world, as it shows the effortless move from one country to another.
Many agencies in the world rank based on various criteria. The 2023 Henley Index, Passport Index, and Global Index are some of the Indexes published by the agencies to identify the world’s powerful passports.
London-based global citizenship and residence advisory firm, Henley & Partners, released the 2023 Henley Index this month (January 2023) based on data from the International Air Transport Association (IATA).
This Index considers visa-free access to 227 destinations across the world. It ranks the world’s passports according to the number of destinations their holders can access without a prior visa. Throughout the year, as and when changes to the visa policy take effect, it is updated in real-time.
Also, the “direct relationship between strength and access to the global economy” is one of the most important findings of this Index.
So, let’s find out what the most powerful in the world are this year based on the Henley Index 2023
Most powerful passport in the world
The No. 1 powerful Passport in the world is the Japanese Passport. The Japanese Passport has visa-free access to 193 of 227 destinations worldwide. That means 85% of the world.
- Singapore and South Korea
Both of these countries have visa-free access to 192 destinations in the world.
- Germany and Spain
These countries have visa-free access to 190 destinations in the world.
- Finland, Italy, and Luxembourg
These three countries have visa-free access to 189 countries in the world.
- Austria, Denmark, Netherlands, and Sweden
188 destinations are visa-free for these countries.
- France, Ireland, Portugal, and the U.K.
187 destinations are visa-free for these countries.
- Belgium, the Czech Republic, New Zealand, Norway, Switzerland, and the U.S.
These countries have visa-free access to 186 countries in the world.
- Australia, Canada, Greece, and Malta
These countries have visa-free access to 185 countries in the world.
- Hungary and Poland
184 destinations are visa-free for these countries.
- Lithuania and Slovakia
183 destinations are visa-free for these countries.
Also, this Index has released the worst holdings countries in the world.
The worst passports holding countries in the world
102. North Korea
North Korea has only visa-free access to 40 destinations.
103. Nepal, Palestinian territory
Nepal and Palestinian territory have only visa-free access to 38 destinations.
Only 35 destinations are visa-free for this country.
Yemen has only visa-free access to 34 destinations.
Only 32 destinations are visa-free for Pakistan.
Only 35 destinations are visa-free for Syria.
Only 29 destinations are visa-free for Iraq.
109. AfghanistanAfghanistan has only visa-free access to 27 destinations.
The rank of US and UK
When this Index is considered, it is observed that The UK and the US remain in 6th and 7th places. So, it seems neither country will ever regain the top spot on the index they jointly held nearly a decade ago in 2014.
The rank of Dubai
The UAE was in the rank of 64th place with 72 free-visa accesses at the end of 2012; however, now it has climbed an astonishing 49 places over the past 10 years. Now, UAE sits in 15th place, with 178 visa-free access destinations.
The Global Passport Power Rank 2023
However, when we consider the Arton Capital’s Passport Index, it clearly shows a huge difference from Henley Passport Index. The Global Passport Power Index considers the passports of 193 United Nations member countries and six territories — ROC Taiwan, Macau (SAR China), Hong Kong (SAR China), Kosovo, Palestinian Territory, and the Vatican. Territories annexed to other countries are excluded.
It’s also updated in real-time throughout the year, but its data is gathered by closely monitoring individual governments’ portals.
According to the Global Passport Power Rank 2023, the United Arab Emirates is in the top spot, with a visa-free/visa-on-arrival score of 181.
The second place is held by 11 countries, such as Germany, Sweden, Finland, Luxembourg, Spain, France, Italy, Netherlands, Austria, Switzerland, and South Korea.
The United States and the UK are at No.3, alongside Denmark, Belgium, Portugal, Norway, Poland, Ireland, and New Zealand.
Other Frequently Asked Questions
What is a passport?
A passport is an official travel document issued by a government that contains a person’s identity. A person with a passport can travel to and from foreign countries more easily and access consular assistance.
What is an Emergency passport?
An emergency passport is a temporary travel document issued by a country’s government or consulate to one of its citizens who has lost, had stolen, or otherwise cannot obtain their regular passport on time. This type of passport allows the individual to return to their home country or continue their journey under certain circumstances.
Emergency passports are typically issued with limited validity, often ranging from a few weeks to a few months, depending on the issuing country’s regulations. They are meant to serve as a short-term solution for urgent travel needs, not as a standard passport replacement. Once the individual returns to their home country, they are generally required to apply for a new, regular passport.
Obtaining an emergency passport may vary depending on the country and the specific circumstances. Generally, one must provide proof of identity, citizenship, and a valid reason for the emergency request, such as a police report in case of theft or loss. Additional documentation or fees might also be required. It is recommended to contact the nearest embassy or consulate for specific information on obtaining an emergency passport from your home country.
What are Diplomatic and official passports?
Diplomatic and official passports are particular types of travel documents issued by a country’s government to specific individuals to conduct official or diplomatic business on behalf of the government. These passports differ from regular passports regarding their intended use, privileges, and appearance.
- Diplomatic passports: These passports are issued to diplomats, high-ranking government officials, and country representatives who are engaged in diplomatic missions or international negotiations. Diplomatic passport holders often enjoy certain privileges and immunities under the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations, such as exemption from customs duties, immunity from arrest or detention, and in some cases, visa-free travel to certain countries.
- Official passports: Also known as service passports, these travel documents are issued to government employees or representatives who are traveling on official business but do not hold diplomatic status. The purpose of an official passport is to identify the bearer as a government official, but it does not generally grant the same level of privileges and immunities as a diplomatic passport. Visa requirements for official passport holders may also differ from those for regular passport holders.
What is the rarest passport?
The rarest in the world is the Sovereign Military Order of Malta (SMOM) Passport. At present, only 500 of these passports exist in the world. These passports are granted to the three highest-ranking members of the Catholic order. The order’s grand master, deputy grand master, and chancellor are those members. Also, the spouses and children of high-ranking officials have these passports.
A passport from SMOM isn’t the only travel document for these members. All three officers keep passports from other sovereign nations. But, if they were to lose that passport, the exclusive travel document they keep would still allow travel without a visa to 104 countries. Meaning all of these states accept diplomatic passports as a valid form of identification. The passports even include biometric features and comply with International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) standards.
However, only 12 of the 26 Schengen member states recognize this passport. Many major destinations don’t accept this special document even outside that region. So, this document doesn’t grant access to the United States, New Zealand, or the United Kingdom.
The document only remain valid for four years and are strictly linked to the Order’s duration of a given assignment.
The SMOM is a charitable organization that offers medical aid across the world. Known for its diplomatic relations with over 100 states, the order also has observer status at the United Nations. As one of the oldest institutions in the Western Hemisphere, the Sovereign Order of Malta has been an order of the Catholic Church since 1113.
What is a black passport?
Issue diplomatic, known as black passports, to Foreign Service Officers and those with similar status.
What is a golden passport?
Obtain a “golden passport” by making an investment in a country to receive a second passport. Numerous nations, including those in the Caribbean and the EU, offer citizenship through investment programs and Golden Visa programs that can help to obtain a golden document.
Does the cover matter?
The officials in the countries might pass over your document since it has a lovely design or a unique appearance because the cover is different from the normal passport cover. A safe passport or one that has been stolen can depend on that tiny adjustment. No nation will forbid you from leaving the country without a passport cover.