The Nigerian and British passports has slipped down in the rankings of the world’s most powerful passports.
The Henley Passport Index uses data from the International Air Transport Association (IATA) to work out which countries’ passports command visa-free or visa-on-arrival access to the most nations.
At the top of the list for another year is Japan , which produces travel documents so powerful 193 of the world’s 227 destinations can be visited with no visa or without one issued by the government pre-departure.
Singapore and South Korea come in joint-second place, with a score of 192 .
EU member states dominate the rest of the top ten spots on the latest ranking, with Germany and Spain in joint-third place, with access to 190 destinations visa-free.
Finland, Italy, and Luxembourg follow closely behind in joint-fourth place with 189 destinations, and Denmark, Netherlands, and Sweden share fifth place with their passport holders able to travel to 188 destinations worldwide.
Both the UK and US have dropped down a rank, to sixth and seventh place, with 187 and 186 countries accessible respectively.
Afghanistan remains at the bottom of the index, due to its nationals only able to access 27 destinations worldwide visa-free.
The number of nations that can be visited by UK passport holders today has risen considerably compared to the height of the coronavirus pandemic, when many travel restrictions were in place.
They now have unrestricted access to 158 destinations around the world, as opposed to just 74 destinations during 2020 .
The global travel scene is also becoming more equitable, according to research by Henley & Partners.
After two years in which people in the Global North had much more freedom to travel than does in the South, many lower-ranking passports are also beginning to recover.
Indian passport holders now have roughly the same travel freedom as they did pre-pandemic, with unrestricted access to 57 destinations around the world – as opposed just 23 destinations in 2020 .
While restricted to just 46 destinations at the height of the Omicron wave in 2021, South African passport holders now have unrestricted access to 95 destinations around the world, which is close to their pre-pandemic passport score of 105 .
Across the world journey figures are slowly bouncing back post-coronavirus-lockdowns.
Markets in Europe and North America have recovered to around 60% of pre-crisis travel mobility levels, according to the Henley Global Mobility Report.
Dr Marie Owens Thomsen, chief economist at IATA, says passenger numbers should reach 83% of pre-pandemic levels in 2022 .
“By next year, many markets should see traffic reach or exceed pre-pandemic levels, while we expect this to be the case for the industry as a whole in 2024,” she said.
This news will not be welcomed by everyone, particularly not for those concerned about the climate crisis and the impact fuel hungry jets have on worsening it.
World’s top 10 most powerful passports
Below are the world’s most powerful passports. Some of the countries share the same spot in the rankings, so we’ve grouped them together.
Singapore and South Korea
Germany and Spain
Finland, Italy, and Luxembourg
Austria, Denmark, Netherlands, and Sweden
France, Ireland, Portugal and UK
Belgium, New Zealand, US, Switzerland and Norway
Australia, Canada, Czech Republic, Malta and Greece
Lithuania, Poland and Slovakia.
Photo Credit: Getty