The Most Powerful Passports in the World for 2022
Japan and Singapore once again held the two most powerful passports in the world for 2022, according to the Henley Passport Index.
Passport holders from the two countries — which also tied for first place last year — are able to enter 192 different destinations around the world without a visa, not taking into account the effect of COVID-19-related restrictions. They were followed by Germany and South Korea, which tied for second place with access to 190 destinations visa-free.
The Henley Passport Index uses data from the International Air Transport Association (IATA) to compile its rankings.
"Passports and visas are among the most important instruments impacting on social inequality worldwide as they determine opportunities for global mobility," Dr. Christian H. Kaelin, chairman of Henley & Partners, said in a statement. "The borders within which we happen to be born, and the documents we are entitled to hold, are no less arbitrary than our skin color. Wealthier states need to encourage positive inward migration in an effort to help redistribute and rebalance human and material resources worldwide, including improving the size and quality of their own workforces."
The United States and the United Kingdom tied for sixth place with visa-free or visa-on-arrival access to 186 destinations. In 2020, the U.S. came in eighth place.
Belgium, New Zealand, Norway, and Switzerland also tied for sixth place this year.
While some countries rose in the rankings, the company said this year's index also showed the widest gap in global mobility since it was founded 17 years ago. On the other end of the spectrum sits countries like Afghanistan, where passport holders can only enter 26 destinations without a visa, and Mozambique — one of the countries included in the temporary U.S. travel ban on southern African countries following the emergence of the omicron variant — where passport holders can only enter 62 destinations visa-free.
Alison Fox is a contributing writer for Travel + Leisure. When she's not in New York City, she likes to spend her time at the beach or exploring new destinations and hopes to visit every country in the world. Follow her adventures on Instagram.