Henley and Partners 2022 rankings: These are the world's most powerful passports to have right now

While the concept of using a passport may seem quaint and old-fashioned in these COVID times, it hasn't stopped the usual polls of which is the strongest and best to have.

Henley & Partners has released the first rankings of 2022, and it sees Japan and Singapore both on top.

The Asian powerhouses have visa-free access or visa on arrival to 192 destinations, although that doesn't take into account all the travel restrictions due to the ongoing pandemic.

Germany and South Korea both follow in second place with 190. Depending on how you want to read the rankings, Australia is joint seventh position, alongside Canada, Czech Republic, Greece and Malta.

At the bottom is the usual suspect – Afghanistan. Citizens here only have visa-free access to 26 countries. Iraq and Syria make up the rest of the bottom three.

The Henley Passport Index uses data from the International Air Transport Association for its measurements, covering 199 passports and 227 travel destinations.

The Index was first published 17 years ago and in a summary of the latest findings it notes a growing disparity in travel access since then.

"In 2006, the global average number of countries that could be visited without having to obtain a visa in advance was 57. In 2022, the average has risen to 107.

"But this apparent progress is masking a growing divide in mobility – and the resulting access to opportunities – between citizens in the wealthy global north and those in the lower-income global south, which includes many fragile states. Japanese, Swedish, and US passport holders can visit more than 180 destinations without a visa, whereas citizens of Angola, Cameroon, and Laos can visit only about 50."


Another ranking, the Passport Index, looks at the passports of 193 United Nations member countries and six territories. It has Australia in joint fourth position. The United Arab Emirates leads that table.

Henley & Partners Index top 10 passports

  1. Japan, Singapore (192 destinations)
  2. Germany, South Korea (190)
  3. Finland, Italy, Luxembourg, Spain (189)
  4. Austria, Denmark, France, Netherlands, Sweden (188)
  5. Ireland, Portugal (187)
  6. Belgium, New Zealand, Norway, Switzerland, United Kingdom, United States (186)
  7. Australia, Canada, Czech Republic, Greece, Malta (185)
  8. Hungary, Poland (183)
  9. Lithuania, Slovakia (182)
  10. Estonia, Latvia, Slovenia (181)

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See also: Is it safe to hand over your passport at hotel check-in?