Most powerful passports in the world in 2020: Singapore, Japan lead

  • The Henley Passport Index is an annual ranking of the most powerful passports in the world based on how many destinations the holder can enter without a visa.
  • Japan secured the top spot this year, with access to 191 countries and territories, a position it previously shared with Singapore.
  • Asia dominated the list, with Singapore landing in the No. 2 spot and South Korea tying with Germany for No. 3.
  • A US passport provides access to 185 destinations in 2020, giving it a seventh-place ranking. Passports from 15 other countries provide better access than the US. The country is also slipping in rank — last year it placed sixth.
  • Travel restrictions and bans may vary from country to country amid the coronavirus pandemic.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

A passport from Japan opens more doors than a passport from anywhere else in the world, according to the Henley Passport Index.

The index is an annual power ranking of passports determined by the number of destinations a passport holder can enter without a visa.

A Japanese passport promises uncomplicated travel to 191 other countries and territories. In 2019, the passport promised access to 189 places and tied with Singapore’s passport as the world’s most desirable travel document.

Singapore provided access to 190 destinations and placed second this year, followed closely by South Korea and Germany, with access to 187 countries and territories.

Passports from countries including Canada, the UK, and the US all slipped in the rankings from 2019 to 2020 — but they’re still desirable, with access to more than 180 destinations. For comparison, passports from Afghanistan, Iraq, and Syria offer access to fewer than 30 places.

Keep reading for a look at the countries with the most powerful passports, ranked by ascending number of visa-free travel options. We also included a comparative look at how each of these passports ranked in 2019.

Travel restrictions and bans may vary from country to country amid the coronavirus pandemic.


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