The Most Powerful Passports in the World in 2023

Can you guess which country has the world's most powerful passport?

American Passports
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The Henley Passport Index, an annual report ranking the strength of the world's passports, just released its 2023 analysis of the world's most powerful passports—and one East Asian country has claimed the world's most powerful passport for the fifth year in a row.

Using data from the International Air Transport Association (IATA), the index includes 199 passports, the stronger among them giving their holders a golden ticket to travel the world without hassle; the more powerful your passport is, the more countries you're able to enter either without a visa or with a visa on arrival. Economy and politics are common factors that heavily influence how strong or weak a passport becomes. However, other circumstances, such as the war in Ukraine and the pandemic, can drastically affect passport rankings.

"The Henley Passport Index measures visa-free access to 227 destinations across the world, which of course, makes it an extremely useful tool for travelers," says Dr. Christian H. Kaelin, chairman of Henley & Partners, the investment firm behind the index.

Currently, the best passport to have in the world is from Japan—notably, a country that has had some of the strictest border regulations throughout the pandemic. If you have a Japanese passport, you can visit 193 destinations—or 85 percent of the world—visa-free. Comparatively, Afghanistan has the least powerful passport, with a visa-free score of 27. Henley & Partners says this is the "widest global mobility gap in the index's 18-year history."

South Korea and Singapore are tied for the second-most powerful passport, both following closely behind Japan with a visa-free score of 192. Meanwhile, those carrying German and Spanish passports can travel visa-free to 190 countries. Finland shares fourth place, and a score of 189, with Italy and Luxembourg. The U.S., meanwhile, is tied for seventh place with Belgium, the Czech Republic, New Zealand, Norway, and Switzerland; passport holders from these countries can visit 186 destinations without a visa.

To see where passports from your favorite country rank, check out the complete list on Henley & Partners' website.

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  1. Henley & Partners. "These Are the World's Most (and Least) Powerful Passports in 2023." January 10, 2023.