Get more with myNEWS
A personalised news feed of stories that matter to you
Learn more
The arrivals area of Rome international airport. An annual ranking of passports based on how many places holders of them can enter visa-free, such as Italy, puts those from Japan first in 2022. Photo: Shutterstock

The world’s most powerful passports in 2022: Japan top for fifth year in a row, as Asian countries dominate

  • The Henley Passport Index ranks the most powerful passports based on how many nations and territories their holders can visit without an advance visa
  • Japanese passport holders can visit 193 countries, compared to the US’ 186 and China’s 80; Singapore and South Korea tie for second place on 192

Asia once again dominates the rankings of countries with the most powerful passports, according to a report from 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 having to obtain a visa in advance and is based on data provided by the International Air Transport Authority. It includes 199 different passports and 227 travel destinations.

Japan topped the list for the fifth year running: Japanese passport holders can arrive in 193 destinations without a visa, two more destinations than in last year’s report.

Singapore and South Korea tied for second place, both with access to 192 destinations. Close behind them are Germany and Spain, with 190.

New Zealand passport holders can visit 186 destinations without a visa, putting them level with the US. Photo: Shutterstock

Passports from 20 other countries provide better access than those of the United States – four more countries than last year. The US held its seventh-place ranking along with Belgium, New Zealand, Norway and Switzerland.

According to the ranking, the Hong Kong SAR passport ranks 18th, providing hassle-free access across 171 borders. Macau is 35th equal, with Ukraine (144), and the mainland Chinese document ranks 69th, together with Bolivia (80).

Scrap-metal horse sculptures draw tourists to rural Australian town

The countries with the most powerful passports

10 Travellers can visit 182 countries without a visa if they have a passport from Poland, Lithuania or Slovakia.

9 Hungarian passport holders can visit 183 destinations.

8 Passport holders from Malta, Greece, the Czech Republic, Canada and Australia can travel to 185 destinations.

Swedish passport holders can get into 188 destinations without a visa. Photo: Shutterstock

7 Passport holders from these countries can travel to 186 destinations without a visa: Norway, New Zealand, Belgium, Switzerland and the US.

6 Passport holders from these countries can travel to 187 destinations: the UK, Portugal, Ireland and France.

5 Passport holders from these countries can travel to 188 destinations: Sweden, the Netherlands, Denmark and Austria.

4 You can travel to 189 countries without a visa if you have a passport from Luxembourg, Italy or Finland.

Finnish passport holders can visit 189 countries without needing a visa. Photo: Shutterstock

3 Spanish and German passport holders can travel to 190 destinations.

2 South Korean and Singaporean passport holders can travel to 192 destinations.

1 Japan’s passport holders can visit 193 destinations, making it the most powerful passport in the world. According to the website, 44 of those countries give Japanese arrivals a visa on arrival and 10 an electronic travel authorisation.

Most of the few countries for which Japanese passport holders need a visa in advance are in Africa, but also include Bhutan, North Korea and Turkmenistan.

Additional reporting by Staff Reporter