Japan and Singapore have been crowned as countries with the most powerful passports, according to a study by Henley and Partners. The passports of the two Asian countries allow visa-free or visa-on-arrival travel to 189 countries.
This information comes from the Henley Passport Index, a list compiled by Henley and Partners, a global citizenship and residence advisory firm. They had rated countries across the world depending on how many countries the passport holders of the country have access to without needing to get a visa before travel.
The list saw Singapore and Japan in the lead while Afghanistan came last with passport holders having access to just 25 countries without obtaining a prior visa. Giving a shock to the two superpowers, the United States and the United Kingdom have occupied the sixth position, the lowest score they have held since 2014.
In the last quarter, South Korea held the top spot but was bumped to the second position, which it shares with Finland and German. The three passports allow visa-free or visa-on-arrival travel to 187 countries.
Italy, Luxembourg, and Denmark occupy the third position with free access to 186 locations, followed by Spain. France and Sweden, with visa-free or visa-on-arrival travel to 185 destinations.
In the fifth place, Austria, Portugal, the Netherlands, and Switzerland allow free travel with 184 points.
Along with the US and the UK, Belgium, Canada Norway, Greece and Norway share sixth place with a score of 183.
"With a few notable exceptions, the latest rankings from the Henley Passport Index show that countries around the world increasingly view visa-openness as crucial to economic and social progress," Dr Christian H Kaelin, the chairman of Henley & Partners and the creator of the passport index, was quoted as saying by Independent.
He added, "However, this latest unique research appears to confirm something that many of us already knew intuitively: that increased visa-openness benefits the entire global community, and not just the strongest countries."