Skip To Main Content
Best passport 2022 1

World’s Most Powerful Passports for 2023

Travel can be stressful, but passing through borders and checkpoints is a breeze when you’ve got the world’s best passport in your pocket. The handy little document opens doors, gives access to healthcare and grants the right to work and study abroad, provided you’ve got the right country of citizenship. Simply flash the picture, scan your name and you’re on your way, at least, that’s how it used to be.

The strongest passport honours for this year were given to Singapore, which boasts a record-holding 193 Visa-free travel destinations. Second place is shared between Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, South Korea, Spain, and Sweden. Australia ranks in fifth place, tied with Canada, New Zealand, and Switzerland.

Best passport 2022
Photo by Vinta Supply Co.

Most Powerful Passports Ranked

Short of opening your suitcase and cycling through the selection of identities, each of varying nationality and citizenship, the likelihood of scoring one of these comes firmly down to birth and location. That being said, changing citizenship can be done, it just requires some time and effort.

Here are the best passports to have this year, according to the Henley Passport Index.

Country2023 Rank2022 RankNumber of Visa-Free Destinations
South Korea22190
United Kingdom46188
New Zealand57187

Least Powerful Passports Ranked

Country2023 Rank2022 RankNumber of Visa-Free Destinations
Palestinian Territory10010639
Photo by vlada karpovich
Photo by Vlada Karpovich

What is the Henley Passport Index?

Restrictions are nothing new for international travellers heading to or from the traditionally non-tourist-centric regions. Depending on the country in which your passport is issued, you may be prevented from entering a certain region, generally the result of geopolitical updates and safety concerns.

The good news is that there are several organisations dedicated to tracking passport power across the globe, the most prevalent of which is the Henley Passport Index.

Developed using expert commentary and historical data spanning nearly 20 years, the Henley Passport Index provides a ranking of the world’s passports according to the number of destinations their holders can access without a prior visa. The information in the index is based on official data from the International Air Transport Association (IATA), which harbours the world’s largest database of travel information and compares the visa-free access of 199 different passports to 227 travel destinations.


While it sounds simple enough, there is a points system in use here. According to Henley,

  • If no visa is required, then a score with value = 1 is created for that passport. The same notion applies if you can obtain a visa on arrival, a visitor’s permit, or an electronic travel authority (ETA) when entering the destination.
  • Where a visa is required, or where a passport holder has to obtain a government-approved electronic visa (e-Visa) before departure, a score with value = 0 is assigned. This also applies if you need pre-departure government approval for a visa on arrival.

From there, the total score is calculated for each passport, equal to the number of destinations for which no visa is required (value = 1). For example, a passport that allows free travel between 40 countries with no visa required will score 40 points.

Photo by tima miroshnichenko
Photo by Tima Miroshnichenko

Geopolitical Updates

A recent update to the Henley Passport Index revealed that many EU countries have dramatically reduced travel options for Russian passport holders, in light of the recent conflict in Ukraine. More specifically, Henley suggests that airspace has been blocked to Russian aeroplanes, while several regions have stopped processing visas and golden passport applications altogether.

Conversely, Ukrainian passport holders now have new rights to live and work in Europe for up to three years, helping to combat “a gap that is likely to increase even further in the coming months as a result of the conflict,” according to Dr Christian H. Kaelin, chairman of Henley & Partners and the inventor of the passport index concept.

“As the value of the Russian passport rapidly declines and the world opens its doors to Ukrainians, it is abundantly clear that the passport you hold determines your fate and dramatically impacts your opportunities,” Dr Kaelin said. “While it’s impossible to predict what the world will look like in the shadow of a new Cold War, the latest index suggests that the divide between Russia and much of the western world will only increase.”

Additionally, Dr Kaelin noted that other external factors, such as climate change and migration are also likely to play an important role in passport power over the coming years. Displacement is a major catalyst for change in this space and updates of this nature have the potential to challenge visa-free travel moving forward.

General FAQ

What is the best passport to have?

According to the Henley Passport Index, the best passport to have is Singapore. This is determined based on the 193 visa-free travel destinations that the passport offers, greater than all other countries.

What is the worst passport to have?

According to the Henley Passport Index, the worst passport to have is Afghanistan. With only 27 visa-free travel destinations on offer, the country has the least free movement of all destinations analysed in the study.

You’ll also like: