The latest report by the Henley Passport Index recently revealed that Japan has the most powerful password in the world for the year 2021. According to the report, Pakistan and Nepal continue to be the 'worst' passport as they have a visa-free score of 32 and 38 countries respectively. Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan are also the countries with the worst passport to hold with a score of 29, 28 and 26 respectively.
The report released on January 5 revealed that even amid the unprecedented coronavirus pandemic, Japan holds the most powerful passport as Japanese citizens can travel to as many as 191 destinations visa-free or visa-on-arrival. Singapore, on the other hand, holds the second place, with a score of 190. South Korea ties with Germany in third place with a score of 189.
The United States, the United Kingdom, New Zealand and Switzerland are tied at the seventh position concerning the most powerful passports with a visa-free score of 15. Australia stands at the eighth position with a score of 184. Indian ranks at 85th position with a visa-free score of 58.
Henley and Partners said that the ascendance of APAC countries in the Passport Index Rankins is a relatively new phenomenon. They added, “Over the list's 16-year history, the best positions were generally held by EU nations, the UK, or the US and specialists propose that the APAC area's situation of solidarity will proceed as it incorporates a portion of the primary nations to start the way toward recuperating from the (COVID-19) pandemic”.
Further, the report stated that the US and the UK are still facing significant challenges related to the COVID-19 and the passport strength of both countries continue to “steadily erode”. It read that due to this the balance of power is shifting. Dr Christian H Kaelin, who is the Chairman of Henley & partners and the inventor of the passport index concept, said that the latest ranking provides an opportunity to reflect on the extraordinary upheaval that characterised 2020.
Kaelin said, “Just a year ago all indications were that the rates of global mobility would continue to rise, that travel freedom would increase and holders of powerful passports would enjoy more access than ever before”.
“The global lockdown negated these glowing projections, and as restrictions begin to lift, the results from the latest Index are a reminder of what passport power really means in a world upended by the pandemic,” Chairman added.