Japan tops 2020 list of world’s most powerful passports

Before Covid-19 struck, the world was enjoying greater freedom of movement than at any time in history.Japan is top of the list, offering visa-free or visa-on-arrival access to 191 destinations around the world. Singapore is in second place (with a score of 190) and South Korea ties with Germany in third place (with a score of 189).

Air traffic had been rising steadily for decades and the average passport-holder worldwide was enjoying visa-free or visa-on-arrival access to 107 global destinations.

And then came the travel bans.

The Henley Passport Index, which periodically measures the world’s most travel-friendly passports, has just released its third report of the new decade.

Asian citizens continue to have the travel documents that open the most doors. Japan is top of the leaderboard, offering visa-free or visa-on-arrival access to 191 destinations around the world.

Singapore is in second place (with a score of 190) and South Korea ties with Germany in third place (with a score of 189).

The standard ranking, however does not take temporary bans into account — and that, says Henley & Partners in a release, is where the juiciest details lie: “It is eye-opening to consider what travel freedom currently looks like for the holders of once-prestigious passports.”

The best passports to hold in 2020 are:

1. Japan (191 destinations)

2. Singapore (190)

3. South Korea, Germany (189)

4. Italy, Finland, Spain, Luxembourg (188)

5. Denmark, Austria (187)

6. Sweden, France, Portugal, Netherlands, Ireland (186)

7. Switzerland, United States, United Kingdom, Norway, Belgium (185)

8. Greece, New Zealand, Malta, Czech Republic (184)

9. Canada, Australia (183)

10. Hungary (181)

The worst passports to hold

Several countries around the world have visa-free or visa-on-arrival access to fewer than 40 countries. These include:

103. North Korea (39 destinations)

104. Libya, Nepal, Palestinian Territory (38)

105. Somalia, Yemen (33)

106. Pakistan (32)

107. Syria (29)

108. Iraq (28)

109. Afghanistan (26)

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