The Henley Passport Index recently released its list of most powerful passports for this year. It showed how far passports issued by Asia Pacific (APAC) countries have climbed, and how the power of the United States and the United Kingdom passport declined year-on-year.
The COVID-19 pandemic upended our lives including our travel plans. However, the massive vaccination programs worldwide to defeat the dreaded virus buoyed hopes of travel up to finally defeat the dreaded virus.
Japan passport tops the list of most powerful passports
The index showed that Japan topped the list of most powerful passports by offering visa-free or visa-on-arrival access to 191 destinations around the world. This is the third time that the Asian economic giant held the top spot.
Another Asian country, Singapore, bagged the second spot with a score of 190.
Asians continue to dominate the list with South Korea placing third alongside Germany, both garnering a score of 189.
Italy, Finland, Spain, Luxembourg are ranked fourth (with a score of 188), while Denmark, Austria placed fifth with 187.
European countries continued to make it to the leaderboard as Sweden, France, Portugal, Netherlands, Ireland all placed sixth with a score of 186.
Meanwhile, Switzerland, United States, United Kingdom, Norway, Belgium and New Zealand are all tied at seventh place with a score of 185.
Garnering the eight place are Greece, Malta, Czech Republic and Australia, with 184. Rounding up the Top 10 are Canada (183) and Hungary (181).
The U.S. and U.K. passports continue to decline in ranking
Over the last seven years, the United States has declined from top place to number seven in 2021.
The United Kingdom, on the other hand, also continues to see a year-on-year decline on the power of its passport.
Christian H. Kaelin, chair of Henley & Partners and inventor of the passport index concept, cited how global lockdowns impacted mobility and travel.
“Just a year ago all indications were that the rates of global mobility would continue to rise, that travel freedom would increase, and that holders of powerful passports would enjoy more access than ever before,” Kaelin said.
The global lockdown, he added, “negated these glowing projections, and as restrictions begin to lift, the results from the latest index are a reminder of what passport power really means in a world upended by the pandemic.”
Have a story you want USA Herald to cover? Submit a tip here and if we think it’s newsworthy, we’ll follow up on it.
Want to contribute a story? We also accept article submissions – check out our writer’s guidelines here.