Ranked: world’s most powerful passports 2022

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Japan and Singapore have the world’s most powerful passports with the UK and US in joint-sixth. We take a look at the rest of the results

It feels a little masochistic to look at the world’s most powerful passports after yet another year of recurring lockdowns. However, as we’ve said before, we remain hopeful about the future of travel. We believe that exploration is a human instinct and that as soon as it is safe, people will return to the road.

With this in mind, we take a look at the newly released ranking of the world’s most powerful passports, compiled by Henley Passport Index. With historical data spanning 17 years, the index ranks passports according to the number of destinations their holders can access without a prior visa.

Kanuman/Shutterstock Singapore has joined Japan at the top

What are the world’s most powerful passports?

Japan and Singapore jointly have the world’s most powerful passports in 2022, granting easy access to 192 destinations. They are followed by Germany and South Korea in joint-third. The 10 most powerful passports are below.

  • Japan, 192 destinations
  • Singapore, 192
  • Germany, 190
  • South Korea, 190
  • Finland, 189
  • Italy, 189
  • Luxembourg, 189
  • Spain, 189
  • Austria, 188
  • Denmark, 188

What are the world’s least powerful passports?

Afghanistan is the world’s least powerful passport in 2022, granting easy access to only 26 destinations. It ranks just below Iraq, Syria, Pakistan and Yemen. The 10 least powerful passports are below.

  • Libya, 40 destinations
  • North Korea, 39
  • Nepal, 37
  • Palestinian Territory, 37
  • Somalia, 34
  • Yemen, 33
  • Pakistan, 31
  • Syria, 29
  • Iraq, 28
  • Afghanistan, 26
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 calculated?

The Henley Passport Index uses data from the International Air Transport Authority to cross-check 199 passports against 227 possible travel destinations. 

For each travel destination, if no visa is required or a visa-on-arrival is available, the passport in question receives a score of 1. If a visa or other form of government approval is required before departure, the passport receives a score of 0. 

The scores for each passport are added up to produce its total score (i.e. the number of destinations to which it grants access without a prior visa). This is then ranked against all other passports to create the index. 

interesting insights

Japan has taken the top spot of the index for the fourth consecutive year, either alone or jointly with Singapore. This year it is once again joined by Singapore.

Japan tops the list of the most powerful passports in the world
Travel Mania/Shutterstock Japan tops the list of the most powerful passports in the world again

Over the past eight years, the US passport has fallen from the number one spot to sixth place, a position it currently shares with the UK, Switzerland, Norway, New Zealand and Belgium.

North Korea has visa-free/visa-on-arrival access to 39 destinations. This includes only one country in Europe: Belarus. 

Dubai skyline at night
RED87PUTRA/SHUTTERSTOCK The UAE continues its rapid ascent

The UAE has continued its remarkable upward trajectory. In 2022, it has a score of 175 to take 15th place on the ranking. This is a rapid ascent from 2006 when it had a score of just 35 and ranked 62nd.

The biggest climbers over the past decade are UAE, Colombia, Timor-Leste, Ukraine, Georgia and Peru. In contrast, Syria, Yemen, Nigeria, Libya, The Gambia and Sierra Leone have fared the worst. 

World’s most powerful passports – ranked

RankCountryScore
1Japan192
Singapore192
2Germany190
South Korea190
3Finland189
Italy189
Luxembourg189
Spain189
4Austria188
Denmark188
France188
Netherlands188
Sweden188
5Ireland187
Portugal187
6Belgium186
New Zealand186
Norway186
Switzerland186
UK186
USA186
7Australia185
Canada185
Czech Rep185
Greece185
Malta185
8Hungary183
Poland183
9Lithuania182
Slovakia182
10Estonia181
Latvia181
Slovenia181
11Iceland180
12Malaysia179
13Liechtenstein178
14Cyprus176
15UAE175
16Chile174
Monaco174
Romania174
17Bulgaria173
Croatia173
18Hong Kong (SAR)171
19Argentina170
20Brazil169
San Marino169
21Andorra168
22Brunei166
23Barbados161
24Israel159
24Mexico159
25St Kitts & Nevis157
26Bahamas155
27Uruguay153
Vatican City153
28Seychelles152
29St Vincent & Gren151
30Antigua & Barbuda150
Costa Rica150
Trinidad & Tobago150
31Mauritius146
St. Lucia146
32Taiwan145
33Dominica144
Grenada144
Macao (SAR)144
34Panama142
35Paraguay141
Ukraine141
36Peru135
Serbia135
Vanuatu135
37El Salvador134
38Guatemala133
Honduras133
39Colombia131
Samoa131
Solomon Islands131
40Tonga129
Venezuela129
41Nicaragua127
Tuvalu127
42North Macedonia125
43Kiribati123
Montenegro123
44Marshall Islands122
45Moldova120
46Palau119
Russia119
47Bosnia & Herz117
Micronesia117
48Georgia115
49Albania114
50Turkey110
51South Africa104
52Belize101
53Qatar97
54Kuwait95
55Timor-Leste93
56Ecuador91
57Nauru89
58Fiji88
Maldives88
59Guyana87
60Botswana86
61Jamaica85
62Bahrain84
63Papua New Guinea82
64China80
Oman80
65Belarus79
Bolivia79
Saudi Arabia79
Thailand79
66Namibia78
67Lesotho77
Suriname77
68Kazakhstan75
69eSwatini74
70Malawi73
71Kenya72
Tanzania72
72Indonesia71
Tunisia71
Zambia71
73Dominican Rep70
74Azerbaijan69
75The Gambia68
76Uganda67
77Cape Verde Islands66
Philippines66
78Armenia65
Zimbabwe65
79Cuba64
Ghana64
Morocco64
80Kyrgyzstan63
Sierra Leone63
81Mozambique62
82Benin61
Mongolia61
Rwanda61
83Sao Tome & Prin60
84India59
Mauritania59
Tajikistan59
85Burkina Faso58
86Gabon57
Uzbekistan57
87Cote d'Ivoire56
Senegal56
88Equatorial Guinea55
Madagascar55
89Guinea54
Mali54
Togo54
Vietnam54
90Bhutan53
Cambodia53
Chad53
Comoro Islands53
Niger53
91Algeria52
Central African Rep52
Egypt52
Guinea-Bissau52
Jordan52
Turkmenistan52
92Burundi51
93Angola50
Cameroon50
Laos50
94Liberia49
95Congo48
Haiti48
96Djibouti47
97Myanmar46
98Ethiopia45
Nigeria45
99South Sudan44
100Eritrea43
101DR Congo42
Iran42
102Lebanon41
Sri Lanka41
Sudan41
103Bangladesh40
Kosovo40
Libya40
104North Korea39
105Nepal37
Palestinian Territory37
106Somalia34
107Yemen33
108Pakistan31
109Syria29
110Iraq28
111Afghanistan26

This article is updated annually with the latest available data.


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Lead image: Sachiczko/Shutterstock

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