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World’s Most Powerful Passports

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Henley Index: Japan tops 2020 list of world’s most powerful passports

The most powerful passports in the world for 2020 have been revealed, and Asian countries continue to dominate the list.

And while Australia’s position on the ranking has remained the same – in ninth spot, along with New Zealand, Malta, Czech Republic and Canada – Japan, Singapore and South Korea have taken the top three spots.

The list was compiled by the Henley Passport Index, which analyses how many countries a passport holder can enter visa free or on a visa-on-arrival basis.

Japan, which has topped the list for three consecutive years, offers visa-free access to 191 destinations.

Japan’s winning streak comes after they unseated Germany from its long-held first position at the beginning of 2018.

The US and the UK, along with New Zealand, all dipped in power for 2020. The UK passport – which is ranked eighth – was No.1 for three years running from 2013 to 2015. The US passport, also ranked eighth, joined the top spot in 2014 but has slipped since.

On the other end of the scale, the lowest ranked passports were Somalia, Pakistan, Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan.

Dr Christian Kaelin, the creator of the index and chairman of Henley and Partners, said Asian countries’ dominance in the index was a “clear argument for the benefits of open-door policies and the introduction of mutually beneficial trade agreements”.

“Over the past few years, we have seen the world adapt to mobility as a permanent condition of global life,” he said.

“The latest rankings show that the countries that embrace this reality are thriving, with their citizens enjoying ever-increasing passport power and the array of benefits that come with it.”

But while the latest results show that globally people are more mobile than ever, they also indicate a growing divide when it comes to travel freedom, with Japanese passport holders able to access 165 more destinations around the world than Afghan nationals, for example.

The Henley Passport Index is the most recognised because it uses data from the International Air Transport Association and provides an easy way for travellers to know where they can travel without a visa.

The best passports to hold in 2020 are:

1. Japan (191 destinations)

2. Singapore (190)

3. South Korea, Germany (189)

4. Italy, Finland (188)

5. Spain, Luxembourg, Denmark (187)

6. Sweden, France (186)

7. Switzerland, Portugal, Netherlands, Ireland, Austria (185)

8. United States, United Kingdom, Norway, Greece, Belgium (184)

9. New Zealand, Malta, Czech Republic, Canada, Australia (183)

10. Slovakia, Lithuania, Hungary (181)

The worst passports to hold are:

100. North Korea, Sudan (39 destinations)

101. Nepal, Palestinian Territory (38)

102. Libya (37)

103. Yemen (33)

104. Somalia, Pakistan (32)

105. Syria (29)

106. Iraq (28)

107. Afghanistan (26)

No surprise here that the worlds shit holes have the worst passports

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6 COMMENTS

  1. I’m surprised that Nepal ranks so low. They’re not an Islamic shithole like most of the other places around their rank.

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    • This is generally based on the propensity to return home once they are in your country.
      Where life is tough the propensity to return to that when you see how the other half lives can sway you to ‘miss your flight’

      After the 2018 Gold Coast Comm games there were 190 who stayed and applied to get PR plus another 50 who simply went off grid.
      From a base of about 8000 passports issued.
      This happened as well at the 2006 Melbourne Commonwealth Games.
      Probably at Manchester and Glasgow as well.

      Ironically at least 3 of the athletes competing for Australia in 2018 were ‘left behinds’ from the 2006 Games.

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  2. This is just excitement by the media to ‘make news’ while little is happening.

    There are a handful of shitholes in Africa where the passport does not grant easy access.
    No news here today, peoples.

    I’m sure the NZ passport is still attractive to Mossad as it has been 🙂

    …In 2004, two Israelis, suspected agents working for Mossad, Eli Cara and Uriel Kelman, were convicted and jailed for attempting to obtain New Zealand passports by submitting fraudulent applications. A third suspected Mossad agent, Zev William Barkan, who was a former Israeli diplomat based in Europe was involved in stealing the identity of a tetraplegic Auckland resident to obtain a passport fraudulently in his name.[42] It was not until a year later that the Israeli government formally apologised to the New Zealand government for the actions of its citizens.

    In the immediate aftermath of the 2011 Christchurch earthquake, concerns were raised that a group of Israelis may have again been attempting to fraudulently obtain New Zealand passports,[43][44] but scant evidence of this has been found to-date.[45][46]

    After Ofer Mizrahi, an Israeli national, died after being crushed by falling masonry in a parked van, he was found in possession of more than one foreign passport[44] and the New Zealand government investigated whether he and his companions had links to Mossad.[47] There were concerns that the travellers may have been trying to infiltrate the police national computer system to gain access to information which could be used to clone New Zealand passports….

    Just thought while Kea is at the beach and offline I’ll fill in the gaps 🙂

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  3. I take the point that the citizens holding those passports will respect the laws of those countries they can visit.

    Mainly that is when time is up, they go home or move on with out delay, protestations, court appeals etc.

    So they are rewarded as naturally any other government will then grant the type of visa for “non trouble makers”

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