World’s top 10 powerful passports and powerless passports of 2022

World’s top 10 powerful passports and powerless passports of 2022

Updated on August 18, 2022 14:03 PM by Ava Sara

A passport is the most powerful travel document in the world, which is used to cross borders to reach the desired destination. This document approves the personal identity and holds the nationality of that document holder.

Some countries have more authoritative passports than others, and based on their power, these passports are ranked based on certain features by certain global ranking indexes. And these rankings show the freedom of mobility and no visa travel based on certain filters such as region and color of passport cover. And no-visa policy is based on reciprocity between countries.

There are a few indexes that compute the power of a passport, and one such we are going to discuss is about Henley Passport Index ranks which has ranked all 199 passports from the most powerful passports to the most powerless passports in the world.

The Henley Passport Index

Each year The Henley Passport Index releases a ranking of all the countries in the world; in these countries, passport holders can visit other countries without any advance visa based on the ranking they clutch on

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And The Henley Passport Index released the Index ranking on July 19, 2022, which includes 199 passports and 227 travel destinations, giving very transparent and reliable data about the countries' global access and mobility. This index has been updated annually for the past 17 years through perfect analysis, which brings a change in passport power.

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How does The Henley Passport Index rank

This ranking is based on data from the International Air Transport Association (IATA), responsible for maintaining global travel information.

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This ranking is commutated based on a passport score on the number of available destinations the holder can visit without any prior visa process. Every travel made with no visa or visa-on-arrival requires a score of one for that particular passport. The same applies if passport holders can get a visa on arrival, a visitor's permit, or an electronic travel authority (ETA) upon entry

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And wherever the passport holders require a visa, or when they apply for an e-visa before their departure, a score of zero is assigned.

COVID-19 restricted air travel

With the Covid-19 pandemic changing air travel and making it hard to travel or to reach their favorite destination, border closure is being lifted in 2022.

Meanwhile, Russia and Ukraine war started in February; as a result, many nations came forward and dropped visa requirements for Ukrainian passport holders. And for Russian citizens, many countries have stopped issuing visas and gone a step ahead to ban Russian airlines from using their space.

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Now Asian passports s offer their holders greater global travel freedom than European countries, which dominate the top ranks. Asian countries took more caution in response to Covid-19 and were less likely to present by using travel freedom than European and American people.

According to the recent statistics released by the International Air Transport Association (IATA), global passengers' demand for air travel in the Asian continent is far less than compared with pre-Covid levels. But European countries have revived from the post-pandemic, and they are trying to regain air travel back to normal.

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But other than the top two ranks, European countries dominate to a greater extent and occupies the rest of the ranks in the top 10 powerful passport holders.

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Top 10 powerful passports around the world in 2022

1st rank to Japan

According to the Henley Passport Index ranks for the past five consecutive years, Japan stands first. Japanese people can fly to 193 countries without getting a visa.

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2nd rank to Singapore and South Korea

The second ranking is shared between two Asian countries, Singapore and South Korea, where both countries' citizens can visit 192 countries without getting any advance visa.

3rd rank goes to Germany and Spain

Citizens of Germany and Spain can now visit 190 countries without any permit or Visa. 

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4th rank to Luxembourg, Italy, or Finland

Passport keepers from Luxembourg, Italy, or Finland can visit 189 countries without any visa.

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5th rank to Sweden, the Netherlands, Denmark, and Austria

People from countries like Sweden, the Netherlands, Denmark, and Austria took up the fifth position on the ranking index, and people from these countries can visit 188 countries in total.

6th rank to the UK, Portugal, Ireland, and France

The sixth rank is shared between the UK, Portugal, Ireland, and France, where the citizens of the mentioned countries can visit 187 countries.

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7th rank to Norway, New Zealand, Belgium, Switzerland, and the US

Citizens of Norway, New Zealand, Belgium, Switzerland, and the US can visit 186 countries without needing a visa.

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8th rank to Malta, Greece, the Czech Republic, Canada, and Australia

185 countries can be visited by the citizens of Malta, Greece, the Czech Republic, Canada, and Australia without any worries about visa processing.

9th rank to Hungary

Hungary stands alone with the ninth rank with no company; anyway, citizens of Hungary can visit 183 countries.

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10th rank to Poland, Lithuania, or Slovakia

Passport keepers from Poland, Lithuania, or Slovakia can now visit 182 countries.

Also Read: Types of U.S. Passports

Along with this Russian passport ranked 50th, giving easy access to 119 nations. China placed 69th with access to 80 countries. But still, Japanese passport holders need a visa in advance from countries like Africa,  Bhutan, North Korea, and Turkmenistan.

Indian passport holders enjoy the same travel freedom that they enjoyed pre-pandemic; based on the report, India has unrestricted access to 57 destinations around the world, and this is far high when compared with 23 destinations in the year 2020.

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World's powerless passport holders in 2022

104th rank goes to North Korea, as citizens of the country can visit only 39 countries without visa approval.

105th rank goes to Nepal and Palestinian territories, where passport holders can access 37 countries without a visa.

106th rank goes to Somalia, which can gain access to 34 countries

107th rank goes to Yemen with access to 33 destinations without a visa 

108th rank goes to Pakistan with access to 31 destinations without a visa

109th rank goes to Syria with access to 29 destinations without a visa

110th rank goes to Iraq with access to 28 destinations without a visa

111th rank goes to Afghanistan with access to 26 destinations without a visa

Afghan nationals rank at the bottom of the index once again, which can access just 27 countries without requiring a visa in advance. As travel restrictions are being lifted slowly, there is more hope in the future that the low-ranked passports can climb up the rank list.

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Other indexes

Henley & Partner's list is one among the several indexes created by financial firms to rank global passports according to the approval they provide to their citizens.

The Henley Passport Index ranks 199 passports according to the number of destinations their holders can access without an advance visa. It is updated in real-time throughout the year, as and when visa policy changes come into effect.

Also Read: 9 Interesting facts about passports that everyone should know

Another index is Arton Capital's Passport 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 with these countries are excluded. Its 2022 index has the United Arab Emirates in the top rank, with a visa-free or visa-on-arrival score of 171.

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