Which Country Has the Most Powerful Passport in 2023?

As you may have guessed, not all passports give you the same privileges, some are worth far more than others in that sense. A powerful passport can provide economic and educational opportunities, sometimes even access to better living conditions and healthcare. Henley & Partners, a global advisory firm, evaluated 199 different passports to determine what level of access each has to 227 different destinations across the globe. The results are then published in the Henley Passport Index (HPI) which we are going to look at today. 

Topping the list is Japan, Singapore, and South Korea. Japan and Singapore have topped the list for the fifth year running with Japan having access to 193 countries and territories out of 227, whereas Singapore and South Korea have tied with visa-free access to 192. Basically, this means that passport holders of these nations can visit roughly 85% of the world with few questions asked. 

On the complete opposite end of the spectrum, you have Afghanistan at 109th. Passport holders can only gain visa-free travel in 27 destinations, and this is due to the extremely limited diplomatic ties the Taliban led state fosters. Even North Korea ranks higher at 102nd. The 166 deficit means that this is the widest mobility gap between the top and bottom positions since the HPI was established 18 years ago. 

Some additional insights include the U.S. passport losing a significant amount of power over the last nine years. In 2014, it was the most powerful passport, in 2023, it ranks at 7th. At the opposite end of this is the UAE, whose passport has jumped from 64th to 15th in just 10 years. 

Here are the top 10 positions according to the HPI:

  1. Japan – 193 destinations 
  2. Singapore and South Korea – 192
  3. Germany and Spain – 190 
  4. Finland, Italy, Luxembourg – 189 
  5. Austria, Denmark, Netherlands, Sweden – 188 
  6. France, Ireland, Portugal, United Kingdom – 187
  7. Belgium, Czech Republic, New Zealand, Norway, Switzerland, United States – 186 
  8. Australia, Canada, Greece, Malta – 185 
  9. Hungary, Poland – 184 
  10. Lithuania, Slovakia – 183 

Here are the bottom 10 in descending order

  1. Afghanistan – 27
  2. Iraq – 29
  3. Syria – 30
  4. Pakistan – 32
  5. Yemen – 34
  6. Somalia – 35
  7. Palestinian Territories, Nepal – 38
  8. North Korea – 40
  9. Libya, Kosovo, Bangladesh – 41
  10. Sudan, Sri Lanka, Lebanon, Congo – 42

If you want to check out the whole list, visit Henley Global.

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