The Henley Passport Index ranks all of the world’s passports according to the number of destinations their holders can access without a visa. The ranking is based on data from the International Air Transport Association (IATA). Henley released its latest ranking in October 2021.

Henley explains how it scores each passport and determines the rankings:

The Henley Passport Index compares the visa-free access of 199 different passports to 227 travel destinations. If no visa is required, then a score with value = 1 is created for that passport. The same 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.

The total score for each passport is equal to the number of destinations for which no visa is required (value = 1).

Countries in Europe and Asian countries with strong economies occupy most of the slots in the top 10. The current list of passports in the top ten and ties is:

  1. Japan, Singapore (192 destinations)
  2. Germany, South Korea (190)
  3. Finland, Italy, Luxembourg, Spain (189)
  4. Austria, Denmark (188)
  5. France, Ireland, Netherlands, Portugal, Sweden (187)
  6. Belgium, New Zealand, Switzerland (186)
  7. Czech Republic, Greece, Malta, Norway, United Kingdom, United States (185)
  8. Australia, Canada (184)
  9. Hungary (183)
  10. Lithuania, Poland, Slovakia (182)

The complete list of all 199 countries is here.

If you want to improve your ability to travel visa free, many countries allow foreigners to “purchase” permanent residency and even citizenship usually through making an investment in the local economy. Many countries in the world (including countries in North America, Europe and Asia) have some form of residency/citizenship through investment legislation in place.

The specifics vary from country to country but cost seems to start at $100,000. See the website for details regarding citizenship and residency by investment.

Of course, Covid-19 restrictions apply regardless of the power of any passport as far as visas. The Kayak site referred to in yesterday’s post is a good source for figuring out the complex requirements of Covid-19 international travel restrictions.

Happy traveling!