10 Most Powerful Passports In The World In 2021

Henly Passport Index has released the data of world's most powerful passports in 2021, with Japan and Singapore hold the first rank on the passport index, while the second position is shared by South Korea and Germany.
October 08, 2021 | 22:36

India’s rank has slipped by six places from last year to 90 on the Henley Passport Index, which lists the world’s most travel-friendly passports.

The Henley Passport Index comes at a time when countries are easing travel rules for international visitors after almost two years since the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The index ranks the passports of countries according to the number of destinations their holders can visit without a prior visa. The rankings are based on the analysis of data provided by the International Air Transport Association (IATA).

Japan and Singapore stood at the top of this year’s list, with their passports holders allowed to travel visa-free to 192 countries, while South Korea and Germany share the second position. For the third consecutive year, Japan has secured the top position.

The firm’s Q4 Global Mobility report says, “The global mobility gap is at its widest point ever and continues to expand due to proliferating barriers to entry erected since the outbreak of the pandemic. Many countries in the global south have relaxed their borders in a concerted effort to revive their economies but there has been very little reciprocity from countries in the global north, which have enforced some of the most stringent inbound Covid-19-related travel restrictions. Even fully vaccinated travelers from countries at the lower end of the Henley Passport Index remain locked out of most of the developed world.”

1. Japan, Singapore (Score: 192)

Photo: The National News
Photo: The National News

Visa requirements for Singaporean citizens are administrative entry restrictions by the authorities of other states which are imposed on citizens of Singapore.

As of 13 April 2021, Singaporean citizens had visa-free or visa on arrival access to 192 countries and territories, ranking the Singaporean passport 2nd in terms of number of countries a passport holder can visit without pre-arrival visa arrangements according to the Henley Passport Index.

In addition to having visa-free access to all ASEAN nations, the Singaporean passport is one of the four passports (the others being those of Brunei, Japan, and San Marino) that is allowed either visa-free entry, or entry via an electronic travel authorisation, to the world's four largest economies:

the People's Republic of China (visa-free, 15 days)

India (e-Visa, 60 days)

the European Union (visa-free, 90 days within 180 days), and

the United States (ESTA required for arrivals by air and sea, 90 days).

Visa requirements for Japanese citizens are administrative entry restrictions by the authorities of other states placed on citizens of Japan.

As of 13 April 2021, Japanese citizens had visa-free or visa on arrival access to 193 countries and territories, ranking the Japanese passport the strongest passport in the world in terms of travel freedom according to the Henley Passport Index.

Besides the Japanese passport, there are only 3 other passports that provide either visa-free entry, or entry via an electronic travel authorisation, to the world's four largest economies: China (visa-free, 15 days), India (visa on arrival, 60 days, or e-Visa, 60 days), the European Union (visa-free, 90 days within 180 days), and the United States (ESTA required for arrivals by air and sea, 90 days): those of Brunei, San Marino and Singapore.

2. Germany, South Korea (Score: 190)

Photo: BBC
Photo: BBC

Visa requirements for German citizens are administrative entry restrictions by the authorities of other states placed on citizens of Germany. As of 13 April 2021, German citizens had visa-free or visa on arrival access to 191 countries and territories, ranking the German passport 3rd in terms of travel freedom (tied with the passport of South Korea), and highest of all the European Union member states, according to the Henley Passport Index. Additionally, the World Tourism Organization also published a report on 15 January 2016 ranking the German passport 1st in the world (tied with Denmark, Finland, Italy, Luxembourg, Singapore and the United Kingdom) in terms of travel freedom, with the mobility index of 160 (out of 215 with no visa weighted by 1, visa on arrival weighted by 0.7, eVisa by 0.5 and traditional visa weighted by 0).

Visa requirements for South Korean citizens are administrative entry restrictions by the authorities of other states placed on citizens of South Korea.

As of 13 April 2021, South Korean citizens had visa-free or visa on arrival access to 191 countries and territories, ranking the South Korean passport 3rd in the world (tied with Germany) according to the Henley Passport Index.

As of 2018, the passports of South Korea, Brunei and Chile are the only ones to provide visa-free access to all G8 countries. As of 2020, the passports of South Korea, Israel, Hong Kong and Chile are the only ones to provide visa free access to all European countries.

3. Finland, Italy, Luxembourg, Spain (Score: 189)

Photo: iStock
Photo: iStock

Visa requirements for Finnish citizens are administrative entry restrictions by the authorities of other states placed on citizens of Finland. As of 13 April 2021, Finnish citizens had visa-free or visa on arrival access to 190 countries and territories, ranking the Finnish passport 4th in terms of travel freedom (tied with Italy, Luxembourg, and Spain) according to the Henley Passport Index. Additionally, the World Tourism Organization also published a report on 15 January 2016 ranking the Finnish passport 1st in the world (tied with Denmark, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg, Singapore and the United Kingdom) in terms of travel freedom, with the mobility index of 160.

Visa requirements for Luxembourg citizens (also referred to as Luxembourgers) are administrative entry restrictions by the authorities of other states placed on citizens of Luxembourg. As of 13 April 2021, Luxembourgish citizens had visa-free or visa on arrival access to 190 countries and territories, ranking the Luxembourg passport 4th in terms of travel freedom (tied with Finland, Italy, and Spain) according to the Henley Passport Index.

Visa requirements for Italian citizens are administrative entry restrictions by the authorities of other states placed on citizens of Italy. As of 13 April 2021, Italian citizens had visa-free or visa on arrival access to 190 countries and territories, ranking the Italian passport 4th in terms of travel freedom (tied with Spain, Luxembourg and Finland) according to the Henley Passport Index.

Visa requirements for Spanish citizens are administrative entry restrictions by the authorities of other states placed on citizens of Spain. As of 13 April 2021, Spanish citizens had visa-free or visa on arrival access to 190 countries and territories, ranking the ordinary Spanish passport 4th in terms of travel freedom (tied with Finland, Italy and Luxembourg), according to the Henley Passport Index.

4. Austria, Denmark (Score: 188)

Photo: The National News
Photo: The National News

Visa requirements for Austrian citizens are administrative entry restrictions by the authorities of other states placed on citizens of Austria. As of 13 April 2021, Austrian citizens had visa-free or visa on arrival access to 189 countries and territories, ranking the Austrian passport 5th in terms of travel freedom (tied with Danish passport) according to the Henley Passport Index.

As of 5 October 2021, Danish citizens had visa-free or visa on arrival access to 188 countries and territories, ranking the Danish passport 4th in terms of travel freedom (tied with Austrian passport) according to the Henley Passport Index.

5. France, Ireland, Netherlands, Portugal, Sweden (Score: 187)

Photo: The National News
Photo: The National News

Visa requirements for French citizens are administrative entry restrictions by the authorities of other states placed on citizens of France. As of 13 April 2021, French citizens had visa-free or visa on arrival access to 188 countries and territories, ranking the French passport 6th in the world in terms of travel freedom (tied with the passports of Ireland, the Netherlands, Portugal, and Sweden) according to the Henley Passport Index.

Visa requirements for Irish citizens are administrative entry restrictions by the authorities of other states placed on citizens of Ireland. As of 13 April 2021, Irish citizens had visa-free or visa on arrival access to 188 countries and territories, ranking the Irish passport 6th in terms of travel freedom (tied with the Dutch, French, Portuguese, and Swedish passports) according to the Henley Passport Index.

As of 13 April 2021, Dutch citizens had visa-free or visa on arrival access to 188 countries and territories, ranking the Dutch passport 6th in terms of travel freedom (tied with France, Ireland, Portugal and Sweden) according to the Henley Passport Index.

As of 13 April 2021, Portuguese citizens had visa-free or visa on arrival access to 188 countries and territories, ranking the Portuguese passport 6th in terms of travel freedom (tied with the passports of France, Ireland, the Netherlands, and Sweden) according to the Henley Passport Index.

6. Belgium, New Zealand, Switzerland (Score: 186)

Photo: iStock
Photo: iStock

Visa requirements for Belgian citizens are administrative entry restrictions by the authorities of other states placed on citizens of Belgium. As of 13 April 2021, Belgian citizens had visa-free or visa on arrival access to 187 countries and territories, ranking the Belgian passport 7th in terms of travel freedom (tied with British, Swiss, New Zealand and American passports) according to the Henley Passport Index.

Visa requirements for New Zealand citizens are administrative entry restrictions by the authorities of other states placed on citizens of New Zealand. As of 13 April 2021, New Zealand citizens had visa-free or visa on arrival access to 187 countries and territories, ranking the New Zealand passport 7th in terms of travel freedom according to the Henley Passport Index.

As of 13 April 2021, Swiss citizens had visa-free or visa-on-arrival access to 187 countries and territories, ranking the Swiss passport 7th in terms of travel freedom (tied with the passports of Belgium, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and the United States), and the highest of the EFTA member states, according to the 2021 Henley Passport Index.

7. Czech Republic, Greece, Malta, Norway, United Kingdom, United States (Score: 185)

Photo: The National News
Photo: The National News

As of April 13th, 2021, Czech citizens had visa-free or visa on arrival access to 186 countries and territories, ranking the Czech passport 8th overall (tied with the passports of Greece, Malta, and Norway), and tied as highest of all the European Union member states that have joined the EU since 1 May 2004, in terms of travel freedom according to the Henley Passport Index.

As of 13 April 2021, British citizens had visa-free or visa on arrival access to 187 countries and territories, ranking their passport 7th in terms of travel freedom (tied with Belgium, New Zealand, Norway, Switzerland and the US) according to the Henley Passport Index.

As of 13 April 2021, holders of a United States passport could travel to 187 countries and territories without a travel visa, or with a visa on arrival. The United States passport currently ranks 7th in terms of travel freedom (tied with the passports of Belgium, New Zealand, Switzerland, and the UK) according to the Henley Passport Index.

As of April 13th, 2021, Maltese citizens had visa-free or visa on arrival access to 186 countries and territories, ranking the Maltese passport 8th overall (tied with the passports of the Czech Republic, Greece, and Norway), and tied as highest of all the European Union member states that have joined the EU since May 1, 2004, in terms of travel freedom according to the Henley Passport Index.

8. Australia, Canada (Score: 184)

Photo: Shutterstock
Photo: Shutterstock

Visa requirements for Australian passport holders are administrative entry restrictions by the authorities of other states placed on citizens of Australia entering with an Australian passport.

As of 7 July 2020, Australian citizens had visa-free or visa on arrival access to 183 countries and territories, ranking the Australian passport 9th in terms of travel freedom (tied with Canada) according to the Henley Passport Index.

Visa requirements for Canadian citizens are administrative entry restrictions by the authorities of other states placed on citizens of Canada. As of 2 July 2021, Canadian citizens have visa-free or visa on arrival access to 188 countries and territories. Ranking the Canadian passport 2nd in the world in terms of freedom of travel according to the Henley & Partners Passport Index Tied with German passport.

9. Hungary (Score: 183)

Photo: Getty Images
Photo: Getty Images

Visa requirements for Hungarian citizens are administrative entry restrictions imposed on citizens of Hungary by the authorities of other states.

As of 5 October 2021, Hungarian citizens had visa-free or visa on arrival access to 183 countries and territories, ranking the Hungarian passport 9th in terms of travel freedom according to the Henley Passport Index.

10. Lithuania, Poland, Slovakia (Score: 182)

Photo: The National News
Photo: The National News

Visa requirements for Lithuanian citizens are administrative entry restrictions imposed on citizens of Lithuania by the authorities of other states. As of 13 April 2021, Lithuanian citizens had visa-free or visa on arrival access to 183 countries and territories, ranking the Lithuanian passport 10th (tied with Poland, Slovakia, and Hungary) in terms of travel freedom according to the Henley Passport Index.

As of 13 April 2021, Polish citizens had visa-free or visa on arrival access to 183 countries and territories, ranking the Polish passport 10th in terms of travel freedom (tied with Slovak, Hungarian, and Lithuanian passports) according to the Henley Passport Index.

Visa requirements for Slovak citizens are administrative entry restrictions by the authorities of other states placed on citizens of Slovakia. As of 13 April 2021, Slovak citizens had visa-free or visa on arrival access to 183 countries and territories, ranking the Slovak passport 10th in terms of travel freedom (tied with Polish, Lithuanian, and Hungarian passports) according to the Henley Passport Index.

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