Since a passport can be super expensive for the average person, travelers would think that they hold weigh in every country. Unfortunately, they only matter the most in certain countries.
According to the 2019 Passport Index by Henley & Partners, passport holders from Japan are the most powerful travelers. For the second year in a row, Japanese passports give you access to 190 different countries, more than any other. Singapore and South Korea are tied for second place, with Germany and France tying for third, shocking experts. “South Korea and the United Arab Emirates’ recent ascent in the rankings are further examples of what happens when countries take a proactive foreign affairs approach, an attitude which significantly benefits their citizens as well as the international community,” Henley & Partners’ Group Chairman Christian Kalin said.
Denmark, Finland, Italy, and Sweden grabbed fourth place and Luxembourg and Spain both came in fifth. So where does that leave the United States? Tying with the United Kingdom, Austria, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, and Switzerland, the U.S. is the sixth most powerful passport in the world, granting travelers access to 185 countries. One of the countries moving up on the list in China. Even though travelers can only get into almost 75 countries with a Chinese passport, their place went from 85th to 69th.
If travelers think passports from China aren’t strong, places like Yemen, Pakistan, Somalia, Syria, Afghanistan, and Iraq are at the bottom of the list. Out of 200 countries, documents from these countries only get travelers into 30 regions. Rounding out the top ten of the list, travelers can enter 180 countries with passports from Belgium, Canada, Greece, Ireland, Czech Republic, Malta, Australia, Iceland, and New Zealand.
Kalin thinks that more doors will open as country policies change. “The general spread of open-door policies has the potential to contribute billions to the global economy, as well as create significant employment opportunities around the world.”