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Ranked: world’s most powerful passport 2023

Tokyo city during the blossom

Japan has the world’s most powerful passport, inching ahead of Singapore, while the UK is sixth and the US seventh

It’s official. Globally, we are on the move again. In 2022, international travel showed significant signs of recovery, with arrivals reaching 57% of pre-pandemic levels. An estimated 474 million tourists travelled internationally during the first seven months of 2022, compared to 175 million in the same period of 2021.

As we mentioned in our annual round-up, 2022 was a watershed year for us – one of lifetime highs and goals. We remain hopeful about the future of travel and hope that the same trends persist into 2023. We believe that exploration is a human instinct and hope that people will continue to return to the road.

With this in mind, we take a look at the recently updated ranking of the world’s most powerful passports, compiled by the Henley Passport Index. With historical data spanning 18 years, the index ranks passports according to the number of destinations their holders can access without a prior visa.

Richie Chan/Shutterstock Japan has the world’s best passport

What are the world’s most powerful passports?

Japan has sneaked back ahead of Singapore after the two countries jointly held the title in 2022. Japan now grants easy access to 193 destinations, compared to Singapore’s 192. Singapore is joined by South Korea in joint second with Germany and Spain in joint fourth. The 10 most powerful passports are below.

  • Japan, 193 destinations
  • Singapore, 192
  • South Korea, 192
  • Germany, 190
  • Spain, 190
  • Finland, 189
  • Italy, 189
  • Luxembourg, 189
  • Austria, 188
  • Denmark, 188
Singapore at night
Kanuman/Shutterstock Singapore has slipped behind Japan

What are the world’s least powerful passports?

Afghanistan has the world’s least powerful passport in 2023, granting easy access to only 27 destinations. It ranks just below Iraq, Syria, Pakistan and Yemen. The 10 least powerful passports are below.

  • Libya, 41 destinations
  • North Korea, 40
  • Nepal, 38
  • Palestinian Territories, 38
  • Somalia, 35
  • Yemen, 34
  • Pakistan, 32
  • Syria, 30
  • Iraq, 29
  • Afghanistan, 27
Prayer flags and a mountain in Nepal
Thanakorn chuenpongsa/Shutterstock Nepal’s passport performs badly

Increase in Visa-Free Destinations: 2006 versus 2022

The darker blue countries have increased the number of destinations their citizens can access visa-free or with a visa-on-arrival the most. Hover over a country to see the number of destinations it has gained access to since 2006.

How is the ranking…

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