In what ought to come as a shock to nobody at this level, Japan has the world’s strongest passport, no less than based on the 2023 Henley Passport Index. The index has deemed the Japanese passport the “world’s strongest” for the fifth consecutive 12 months.
As of 2023, Japanese passport holders can go to 193 of 227 locations visa-free — that is 85% of the world, based on knowledge from the Worldwide Air Transport Affiliation compiled by Henley & Companions.
Quarterly, the London-based residence and citizenship advisory agency points a report rating passports by the variety of locations their holders can entry and not using a prior visa.
Two fellow Asian nations ranked second: South Koreans and Singaporeans are eligible to go to 192 nations and not using a visa. Germany and Spain tied for third with entry to 190 locations, whereas Finland, Italy and Luxembourg got here subsequent with simply lower than 189 nations. Austria, Denmark, Sweden and the Netherlands got here in fifth place with a rating of 188.
The U.S. passport got here in seventh place — together with Belgium, the Czech Republic, New Zealand, Norway and Switzerland — providing residents hassle-free journey to 186 nations.
“The U.Okay. and the U.S. stay in sixth and seventh locations, with scores of 187 and 186, respectively, and it seems more and more unlikely that both nation will ever regain the highest spot on the index which they collectively held almost a decade in the past in 2014,” the group mentioned in a press launch Jan. 10.
Past visa-free entry to a sure variety of nations, the report attracts a direct hyperlink between energy and financial energy based mostly on gross home product knowledge from the World Financial institution.
“The Japanese passport, for example … provides visa-free entry to 193 locations. Collectively, these nations account for a whopping 98% of the worldwide economic system,” per the report. “To distinction this determine with a passport from the decrease finish of the spectrum, Nigerian passport holders can entry solely 46 locations visa-free (20% of the world), with these nations accounting for simply 1.5% of world GDP.”
Though the U.S. contributes probably the most globally to the world’s GDP, visa-free entry (or lack thereof) to sure nations hinders American spending energy overseas.
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Even so, visa-free journey alternatives granted by a U.S. passport exceed many of the world. Solely 6% of nations worldwide give their residents visa-free entry to greater than 70% of the worldwide economic system whereas lower than 1 / 4 present visa-free entry to greater than 80% of the world’s 227 locations, per the report.
Henley expects the U.S. to stay solidly at No. 7. Nevertheless, it highlights success tales of nations with upward mobility over the previous decade — particularly the United Arab Emirates, which climbed 49 locations since 2012. Again then, the UAE ranked sixty fourth, with a visa-free rating of simply 72. At present, UAE residents can go to 178 nations visa-free, with a bump in its nation roster in 2015 when the UAE and European Union signed a short-stay visa settlement for 90-day stays in any 180-day interval.
Different Center Japanese nations, together with Kuwait and Qatar, are anticipated to signal a visa-free cope with the EU later this 12 months, additional enhancing their Passport Index scores.
“They’re poised for sturdy and far improved financial performances,” Dr. Robert Mogielnicki, a senior resident scholar on the Arab Gulf States Institute, mentioned. “Qatar’s internet hosting of the 2022 FIFA World Cup offered an unparalleled alternative to market the small Gulf nation to a worldwide viewers and the World Financial institution anticipates Kuwait’s development to speed up.”
Although the Henley index is extensively cited, different experiences — together with final 12 months’s World Citizen Options’ World Passport Index — named the U.S. passport the “world’s strongest,” based mostly on its rating of funding, high quality of life and enhanced mobility indices in 2022.
Though passport rankings could fluctuate based mostly on experiences, visa-free journey is a key marker generally utilized in rating passports to find out how simple it’s for a passport holder to entry different nations.
Associated: Strongest passports for 2022