The Henley Index is out with their first analysis of 2020 on the most powerful passports in the world. Put simply, this is speaking of the passports that allow for the most countries accessible as visa free entry to the passport holder. For those with certain Asian passports, the world is truly their oyster as they continue to rank at the top of the most powerful passports.
The World’s Most Powerful Passports in 2020
For the first ranking of 2020 for the world’s most powerful passports, Japan edges out Singapore to grab the top spot as a solo winner. In the last ranking, they were tied for first with 189 countries of visa-free access. They actually both added to their overall country list with Japan at 191 and Singapore at 190.
- Japan – 191
- Singapore – 190
- South Korea and Germany – 189
- Italy and Finland – 188
- Spain, Luxembourg, and Denmark – 187
- Sweden and France – 186
- Switzerland, Portugal, Netherlands, Ireland, and Austria – 185
- United States, United Kingdom, Norway, Greece, Belgium – 184
- New Zealand, Malta, Czech Republic, Canada, and Australia – 183
- Slovakia, Lithuania, and Hungary – 181
The US and the UK slipped 2 spots since the last ranking but, interestingly enough, it is not because they lost access to any countries. Instead, they actually both gained a country in the overall list of visa-free countries those passports can access. They actually slipped because other countries simply overtook them in the overall rankings.
That adds up to 29 countries in the top 10, 2 less than the last ranking. The range of countries that have visa free access from the first country to the 10th is just 10 so it is pretty tight, all things considered.
But, Asia is certainly holding its own at least in the top 3 spots. Another country that has been making moves is the UAE. They are at #18 with 171 countries but that has been steadily climbing through the years.
Again, the last spots on the chart are reserved for Somalia, Pakistan, Syria, Iraq, and Afghanistan. Afghanistan continues to be at the bottom but they picked up a country since the last list so they now have visa-free access to 26 countries. The other four are not that much better.
Have More Than One? Even Better!
For people that have the ability to get more than one passport, it can still be a huge help! I have friends who have two passports for countries in the top 10. It doesn’t mean they have a ton of overlap because not all the countries that allow each country visa-free access are the same. So, it can be very beneficial to not need a visa by having a passport for a certain country. For instance, if you have the ability to get a passport for a Schengen country, that means you are not bound to the 3 month tourist visa!
I found out last year that I will be able to claim citizenship in another country in the top 10 so I am eager to pursue that this year. It should help me in some of my travel situations to have another passport that isn’t a US one.
Where does your passport rank?