Despite Covid, The World’s Most Powerful Passports for 2021 Are…

By Gracie Connell on 11 January 2021
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The hopes for travel in the months to come are high given all the limitations imposed due to coronavirus in 2020. If you happen to hold a passport from Japan, this year you continue to be in luck as you are able to visit 191 out of the 218 countries in the world without a visa, the most of any other passport holder, current Covid-19 restrictions notwithstanding.

The Henley and Partners Visa Restriction Index, sometimes referred to as a list of the world’s most “powerful” passports, is published each year in cooperation with the International Air Transport Association.

Japan has held the top position as the most powerful passport since 2018. A holder of this passport is able to visit 165 more countries than Afghanistan, which is in the lowest position with 26 countries being available to travelers without a visa.

Singapore secured second place again this year with 190 countries, followed by Germany and South Korea tied for third with 189. South Korea dropped from its second place status in 2020 of 190 countries.

Four countries share fourth place this year. Travelers from Finland, Italy, Luxembourg, and Spain can all visit 188 countries visa-free. Austria and Denmark are tied for fifth with 187 countries.

Continuing the top ten, France, Ireland, Portugal, the Netherlands, and Sweden took sixth place with 186 countries. Belgium, New Zealand, Norway, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, and the United States share seventh with 185. Eighth is a tie between Australia, the Czech Republic, Greece and Malta with 184. Canada holds ninth with 183 and Hungary rounds off the top ten with 182 countries.

In contrast to the most powerful passports, Yemen joins the bottom five passports of 2021 and Somalia in the fifth position with 33. The remaining three at the very bottom of the list include Pakistan, Syria, Iraq, and Afghanistan with citizens being able to visit 32, 29, 28, and 26 countries respectively.

The list includes 227 destination countries and the maximum any country could score would be 226, as a visa is not required to return home by any country. The number of passport countries that were scored was 199 and include the 93 Member States of the United Nations plus Hong Kong, Kosovo, Macao, Palestinian Territory, Taiwan, and Vatican City.

Henley & Partners, which helps individuals with citizenship and residence planning, has published the index for the past 16 years.

(Photo: Accura Media Group)


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