Travelling the world has become easier than ever thanks to more liberal visa requirements, low-cost airlines and cheap hotels. However, it’s still not as easy as it could be. In some countries, you will have to wait months or even years to get approval, while in others you may need your employer to confirm that you can take time off work or provide letters of invitation before being granted access. Still other places may require you to make a detour in your travel plans just to apply for a visa at an embassy in another country – wasting valuable time and costing money on expensive flights.
According to Henley & Partners, a global citizenship and residence advisory firm based in London, a trio of Asian passports offer holders greater freedom to travel internationally than those of any other country.
The nation leads Singapore and South Korea with a record 193 visa-free or visa-on-demand destinations around the world, compared to 192 for the other two.
As a result of Asia’s cautious response to Covid-19, its citizens are less likely to be using that travel freedom than Europeans or Americans at the moment.
Airlines serving the Asia-Pacific region saw international passenger demand still only five percent of pre-Covid levels, according to statistics from the International Air Transport Association (IATA).
Henley Passport Index estimates that the travel mobility of European and North American markets has recovered to around 60% of its previous levels.
Once again, Europe is dominating.
Below the three Asian countries in the rankings, there is a long list of European countries that rank very high. Germany and Spain are tied with 190 destinations, followed by Finland, Italy, Luxembourg on 189.
Afterwards, Austria, Denmark, the Netherlands, and Sweden are all tied for fifth place, followed by France, Ireland, Portugal, and the United Kingdom at No. 6. And New Zealand and the United States are tied for seventh place, along with Belgium, Norway and Switzerland.
Afghans are once again sitting at the bottom of the list and can only travel to 27 countries without obtaining a visa first. While travel restrictions ease, lower-ranking passports appear to be regaining their credibility.
Indian passport holders enjoy similar travel freedom today as they did before the pandemic, with access to 57 destinations around the world (compared to 23 in 2020). Since the invasion of Ukraine, Russians are feeling more isolated than ever before.
Although the Russian passport ranks in 50th place with a score of 119 on the Visa Restrictions Index, which means that they are one of the most powerful passports on the planet, their reality is that they cannot go to many of the destinations on the index.
These are the best passports to have in July 2022:
1. Japan (193 destinations)
2. Singapore, South Korea (192 destinations)
3. Germany, Spain (190 destinations)
4. Finland, Italy, Luxembourg (189 destinations)
5. Austria, Denmark, Netherlands, Sweden (188 destinations)
6. France, Ireland, Portugal, United Kingdom (187 destinations)
7. Belgium, New Zealand, Norway, Switzerland, United States (186 destinations)
8. Australia, Canada, Czech Republic, Greece, Malta (185 destinations)
9. Hungary (183 destinations)
10. Lithuania, Poland, Slovakia (182 destinations)
These are the countries whose passports will be the worst to have in July 2022.
In this world, dozens of countries are accessible without needing a visa for 40 or fewer countries.
105. North Korea (40 destinations)
106. Nepal, Palestinian territory (38 destinations)
107. Somalia (35 destinations)
108. Yemen (34 destinations)
109. Pakistan (32 destinations)
110. Syria (30 destinations)
111. Iraq (29 destinations)
112. Afghanistan (27 destinations)
Indexes other than those listed above
The list maintained by Henley & Partner is one of several created by financial firms to rank global passports according to how much access they provide to their citizens. The Henley Passport Index ranks 199 passports according to the number of countries their holders can visit without a visa. It is updated in real time as and when visa policy changes are implemented.
Based on the Passport Index, Arton Capital looks at 193 countries in the United Nations as well as six territories: ROC Taiwan, Macau (SAR China), Hong Kong (SAR China), Kosovo, and the Palestinian Territory. The list does not include territories annexed to other countries. As of 2022, the United Arab Emirates has the highest visa-free/visa-on-arrival score, at 171.