The World’s Most Powerful Passports For 2022

Based on data from the International Air Transport Association (IATA), the first passport index of 2022 ranked South Korea and Germany in second place (with a score of 190); Finland, Italy, Luxembourg, and Spain in tied third place (with a score of 189). Here are the countries with the most powerful passports in the world.
January 14, 2022 | 13:37

Based on data from the International Air Transport Association (IATA), the first passport index of 2022 ranked South Korea and Germany in second place (with a score of 190); Finland, Italy, Luxembourg and Spain in tied third place (with a score of 189); and Austria, Denmark, France, the Netherlands and Sweden in fourth place (with a score of 188). The latter three have all climbed one place since the last index.

Ireland and Portugal are in joint fifth (with a score of 187).

The UK and the US have both risen a spot since the previous ranking and are now in sixth place, alongside Switzerland, Norway, Belgium and New Zealand.

At the lower end of the spectrum, Afghanistan sits at the bottom of the ranking, with a score of just 26 countries accessible visa-free or with visa on arrival for passport holders.

The index noted that, although travel has opened up extensively in the last decade – in 2006, travellers could access 57 countries visa-free on average, compared to 107 today – most of these benefits have been enjoyed by Europe, North America and affluent Asian nations.

1. Japan, Singapore (192)

The World’s Most Powerful Passports For 2022
Photo: Cathay Pacific

Japanese passports (日本国旅券, Nihonkoku ryoken) are issued to Japanese citizens to facilitate international travel. With 193 visa-free travels, it is the strongest passport in the world.

All Singaporean passports are issued exclusively by the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) on behalf of the Ministry of Home Affairs. Only Singapore citizens can apply for this passport. They are normally valid for five years. The Singapore passport was the most powerful passport in the world with visa-free or visa on arrival access to 190 countries and territories, in conjunction with the passport of Japan in 2018.

2. Germany, South Korea (190)

The World’s Most Powerful Passports For 2022
Photo: Mawista

German passport are issued to nationals of Germany for the purpose of international travel. A German passport is, besides the German ID card and the German Emergency Travel Document (called "Reiseausweis als Passersatz"), the only other officially recognised document that German authorities will routinely accept as proof of identity from German citizens. Besides serving as proof of identity and presumption of German nationality, they facilitate the process of securing assistance from German consular officials abroad (or other EU members in the case that a German consular facility is absent). German passports are valid for ten years (for people over the age of 24) or six years (for people under the age of 24) and share the standardised layout and burgundy red design with other EU passports. Every German citizen is also a citizen of the European Union. The passport, along with the national identity card, allows for free rights of movement and residence in any of the states of the European Union, European Economic Area and Switzerland.

The Republic of Korea passport is issued to a South Korean citizen to facilitate their international travel. Like any other passport, South Korean passports serve as proof for passport holders' personal information, such as nationality and date of birth. South Korean passports are issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and have been printed by the Korea Minting and Security Printing Corporation (KOMSCO) since 1973. On 21 December 2021, issuing the next generation biometric passports to South Korean citizens has begun, which was delayed by one year as planned due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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

The World’s Most Powerful Passports For 2022
Photo: Shutterstock

Every Finnish citizen is also a citizen of the European Union. The passport, along with the national identity card allows for free rights of movement and residence in any of the states of the European Union, European Economic Area and Switzerland. For travel within the Nordic countries no identity documentation is legally required for Nordic citizens due to the Nordic Passport Union.

An Italian passport is issued upon request to an Italian citizen for the purpose of international travel. It is valid for 10, 5 or 3 years, depending on the applicant's age. Its biometric version has been available since 2006.

Every Italian citizen is also a citizen of the European Union. The passport, along with the national identity card, allows for free movement and residence in any EU member state, in the European Economic Area and in Switzerland.

According to the 2019 Henley Passport Index, citizens of Luxembourg can visit 187 countries without a visa or with a visa granted on arrival. Additionally, the World Tourism Organization also published a report on 15 January 2016 ranking the Luxembourgish passport 1st in the world (tied with British, Danish, Finnish, German, Italian and Singapore passports) in terms of travel freedom, with a 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).

4. Austria, Denmark, France, Netherlands, Sweden (188)

The World’s Most Powerful Passports For 2022
Photo: Global Compliance News

Visa requirements for Austrian citizens are administrative entry restrictions by the authorities of other states placed on citizens of Austria. As of 5 October 2021, Austrian citizens had visa-free or visa on arrival access to 188 countries and territories, ranking the Austrian passport 4th 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. The World Tourism Organization also published a report on 15 January 2016 ranking the Danish passport 1st in the world (tied with Finland, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg, Singapore and the United Kingdom) in terms of travel freedom, with the mobility index of 160.

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

5. Ireland, Portugal (187)

The World’s Most Powerful Passports For 2022
Photo: Getty Images

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 5th in terms of travel freedom (tied with the Dutch, French, Portuguese, and Swedish passports) according to the Henley Passport Index. As of 2021, Irish citizens are the only nationality in the world with the right to live and work in both the European Union and the United Kingdom.

As of 5 October 2021, Portuguese citizens had visa-free or visa on arrival access to 187 countries and territories, ranking the Portuguese passport 5th 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, Norway, Switzerland, United Kingdom, United States (186)

The World’s Most Powerful Passports For 2022
Photo: Getty Images

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.

Visa requirements for Swiss citizens are administrative entry restrictions by the authorities of other states placed on citizens of Switzerland. 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. Australia, Canada, Czech Republic, Greece, Malta (185)

The World’s Most Powerful Passports For 2022
Photo: Getty Images

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 184 countries and territories. Ranking the Canadian passport 8th in the world in terms of freedom of travel according to the Henley & Partners Passport Index.

As of April 13, 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.

8. Poland, Hungary (183)

The World’s Most Powerful Passports For 2022
Photo: Getty Images

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

As of 11 January 2022, Hungarian citizens had visa-free or visa on arrival access to 183 countries and territories, ranking the Hungarian passport 8th in terms of travel freedom according to the Henley Passport Index.

9. Lithuania, Slovakia (182)

The World’s Most Powerful Passports For 2022
Photo: The Diary of a Nomad

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.

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.

10. Estonia, Latvia, Slovenia (181)

The World’s Most Powerful Passports For 2022
Photo: Eurasianet

Visa requirements for Estonian citizens are administrative entry restrictions by the authorities of other states placed on citizens of Estonia. As of 13 April 2021, Estonian citizens had visa-free or visa on arrival access to 182 countries and territories (tied with Icelandic, Latvian, and Slovenian Passports), ranking the Estonian passport 11th in the world according to the Henley Passport Index. Holders of Estonian alien's passport face different visa requirements.

Visa requirements for Latvian citizens are administrative entry restrictions by the authorities of other states placed on citizens of Latvia. As of 13 April 2021, Latvian citizens had visa-free or visa on arrival access to 182 countries and territories, ranking the Latvian passport 11th (tied with Slovenia, Estonia, and Iceland) in terms of travel freedom according to the Henley Passport Index.

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