According to the most recent Henley Passport Index from Henley & Partners, Singapore has the most powerful passport in the world, allowing its holders to visit 192 out of 227 travel destinations without a visa.
This is the first time in five years that Japan (third) has fallen from the top position.
Germany, Italy, and Spain are now ranked second with visa-free access to 190 destinations, followed by Japan, Austria, Finland, France, Luxembourg, South Korea, and Sweden with visa-free access to 189 destinations.
Following a six-year decline, the United Kingdom is on the rise, rising two positions to fourth for the first time since 2017. The United States, meanwhile, continues to decline down the index, falling from sixth to eighth with visa-free access to only 184 destinations.
Greg Lindsay, a prominent global strategist and urban tech fellow at Cornell Tech’s Jacobs Institute, says, “The story is a simple one—by more or less standing still, the U.S. has fallen behind. While its absolute score has in fact risen over the last decade, the U.S. has been steadily overtaken by rivals such as South Korea, Japan and Singapore. America’s relentless slide down the rankings—and unlikelihood of reclaiming the highest position any time soon—is a warning to its neighbor Canada and the rest of the Anglosphere as well.”
Afghanistan, on the other hand, rates last on the index, with a visa-free score of only 27. Syria (30) and Iraq (29) complete the bottom three passports.
For the first time in five years, the Japanese passport fell out of first place.
The United Arab Emirates (UAE) was one of the largest winners over the past decade, adding 107 visa-free destinations to its score since 2013 and climbing 44 places in the rankings, from 56th to 12th, over the past decade.
According to Dr. Christian H. Kaelin, Chairman of Henley & Partners, the general trend over the 18-year history of the classification has been toward greater travel freedom, as the average number of destinations travelers can access without a visa increased from 58 in 2006 to 109 in 2023.
“However, the global mobility gap between those at the top and bottom of the index is now wider than it has ever been,” he said in a statement. “Top-ranked Singapore can access 165 more visa-free destinations than Afghanistan.”
The annual index is derived from official and exclusive data provided by the International Air Transport Association (IATA).