The best passport to possess in 2020 is the Japanese passport, as its holders can now travel to 191 countries out of 227 visa-free or with a visa-on-arrival, without going through the hurdles of getting a pre-entry visa, what makes the Japanese passport the best to have for the third consecutive year.
The latest rankings show that Singapore sits second with visa-free access to 190 countries, while South Korea is listed third with visa-free access to 189 countries, together with Germany, which makes three out of the five most powerful passports Asian.
“As we enter the new decade, Asian countries have firmly established their lead on the Henley Passport Index, the original ranking of all the world’s passports according to the number of destinations their holders can access without a prior visa,” a press release of Henley reads.
Despite that the Asian passports occupy the first three positions in the index, the European passports, in particular, those of the European Union block, sit in the 20 first positions, with Croatia listed 20th, the worst ranking EU member in this regard.
After Germany, which shares the third spot with South Korea, come listed Finland and Italy, the citizens of which can travel visa-free or with a visa-on-arrival to 188 countries.
The historic climber of the index remains the United Arab Emirates, now sitting in 18th place. Its citizens can travel to 171 countries visa-free or with a visa-on-arrival
The UAE passport marked the most drastic change in the last 10 years as well. It went up from the 61st position in which it was in 2009, to the 15th in the last quarter of 2019.
“The index’s historic success story remains the steady ascent of the UAE, which has climbed a remarkable 47 places over the past 10 years and now sits in 18th place, with a visa-free/visa-on-arrival score of 171. On the other end of the travel freedom spectrum, Afghanistan remains at the bottom of the index, with its nationals only able to visit a mere 26 destinations visa-free,” the press release reads.
The passports of Syria, Iraq, and Afghanistan continue sitting at the bottom of the list, or 105,106 and 107 respectively. The passport of Kosovo, the 11-year-old country located in Europe remains weak as well, with the country listed in the 99th place, and its citizens capable of visiting only 40 countries visa-free, including its neighboring countries, Albania, North Macedonia, Montenegro, and Serbia.
Henley Passport Index is a ranking of the passports of 199 countries, published by Henley & Partners, a firm focused on residence and citizenship planning.