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World's most powerful passports: Global citizenship and residence advisory firm Henley & Partners has released its quarterly report on the world's most desirable passports. Click on to find out which passport offers the most access in 2023.
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No.10: The citizens of Lithuania (its capital, Vilnius, is pictured) and Slovakia enjoy visa-free access to 183 destinations. The index does not take current temporary travel restrictions into account.
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No. 9: Hungarian and Polish citizens have visa-free or visa-on-arrival access to 184 destinations. (Budapest is pictured).
No. 8: Canada, Australia, Greece and Malta have visa-free or visa-on-arrival access to 185 countries.
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No. 7: Belgium, Norway, Switzerland, the United States, the Czech Republic and New Zealand (Te Anau on South Island is pictured) have visa-free or visa-on-arrival access to 186 destinations.
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No.6: Portuguese passport holders have visa-free access to 187 countries, earning it the sixth spot on the Passport Index, alongside Ireland, France and the UK. (The Portuguese city of Porto is pictured).
No.5: Swedish passport holders have visa-free access to 188 countries, earning it the fifth spot on the Passport Index, alongside Austria, Denmark and the Netherlands.
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No. 4: The citizens of Finland (pictured), Italy and Luxembourg enjoy visa-free access to 189 countries.
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No. 3: Germany (pictured) offers its citizens visa-free/visa-on-arrival access to 190 countries, as does Spain.
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No. 2: Singapore and South Korea are in second place as 2023 begins. Its citizens enjoy visa-free or visa-on-demand access to 192 destinations.
No. 1: Japan holds the top place for 2023. With this travel document, 193 jurisdictions will welcome its holder to cross their borders.

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CNN  — 

A trio of Asian passports offer their holders greater global travel freedom than those of any other countries, according to a new quarterly report released by London-based global citizenship and residence advisory firm Henley & Partners.

Japanese citizens enjoy visa-free or visa-on-demand access to a record 193 destinations around the world, just ahead of Singapore and South Korea whose citizens can freely visit 192.

And now that Asia-Pacific is opening up post-Covid, its citizens are more likely to be making use of that travel freedom again.

Global travel is now at around 75% of pre-pandemic levels, according to the latest release by Henley Passport Index, which is based on data from the International Air Transport Association (IATA).

Below the Asian top three, a glut of European countries sit near the top of the leaderboard. Germany and Spain are tied on 190 destinations, followed by Finland, Italy, Luxembourg on 189.

Then there’s Austria, Denmark, Netherlands and Sweden all tied in fifth place, while France, Ireland, Portugal and United Kingdom are at No. 6.

New Zealand and the United States make an appearance at No. 7, alongside Belgium, Norway, Switzerland and the Czech Republic.

Afghan nationals sit at the bottom of the index once again, and can access just 27 countries without requiring a visa in advance.

Other indexes

Henley & Partner’s list is one of several indexes created by financial firms to rank global passports according to the access they provide to their citizens.

The Henley Passport Index ranks 199 passports according to the number of destinations their holders can access without a prior visa. It’s updated in real time throughout the year, as and when visa policy changes come into effect.

Arton Capital’s Passport Index takes into consideration the passports of 193 United Nations member countries and six territories – ROC Taiwan, Macau (SAR China), Hong Kong (SAR China), Kosovo, Palestinian Territory and the Vatican. Territories annexed to other countries are excluded.

It’s also updated in real time throughout the year, but its data is gathered by close monitoring of individual governments’ portals. It’s a tool “for people who travel, to provide accurate, simple-to-acess information for their travel needs,” Arton Capital’s founder Armand Arton told CNN in December.

Arton’s Global Passport Power Rank 2023 puts the United Arab Emirates in the top spot, with a visa-free/visa-on-arrival score of 181.

As for second place, that’s held by 11 countries, most of which are in Europe: Germany, Sweden, Finland, Luxembourg, Spain, France, Italy, Netherlands, Austria, Switzerland and South Korea.

The United States and the UK are at No.3, alongside Denmark, Belgium, Portugal, Norway, Poland, Ireland and New Zealand.

The best passports to hold in 2023, according to the Henley Passport Index

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, Czech Republic (186 destinations)

8. Australia, Canada, Greece, Malta (185 destinations)

9. Hungary, Poland (184 destinations)

10. Lithuania, Slovakia (183 destinations)

The worst passports to hold in 2023, according to the Henley Passport Index

Several countries around the world have visa-free or visa-on-arrival access to 40 or fewer countries. These include:

102. North Korea (40 destinations)

103. Nepal, Palestinian territory (38 destinations)

104. Somalia (35 destinations)

105. Yemen (34 destinations)

106. Pakistan (32 destinations)

107. Syria (30 destinations)

108. Iraq (29 destinations)

109. Afghanistan (27 destinations)