Four new countries join Singapore and Japan to hold most powerful passports

Henley Passport Index visa-free
OlegD /

Four new countries have joined Singapore and Japan as the holders of the most powerful passports for 2024, giving nationals visa-free access the highest number of destinations in the world. 

The data, produced by Henley & Partners throughout the year, now includes France, Germany, Italy, and Spain alongside regular chart toppers, Singapore and Japan.  

All six of these country’s citizens are able to visit a highly respectable 194 destinations out of 227 around the globe visa-free. 

Singapore and Japan have retained the world’s most powerful passport title for the past five years. 

Dr. Christian Kaelin, Chairman of Henley & Partners, and the inventor of the passport index concept, said that the mobility gap between the top six and those at bottom (this year Afghanistan) has grown.  

“The average number of destinations travelers are able to access visa-free has nearly doubled from 58 in 2006 to 111 in 2024. However, as we enter the new year, the top-ranked countries are now able to travel to a staggering 166 more destinations visa-free than Afghanistan, which sits at the bottom of the ranking with access to just 28 countries without a visa,” Kaelin said.  

South Korea, Finland and Sweden came in joint third with visa-free access for nationals to 193 destinations while Austria, Denmark, Ireland, and Netherlands were fourth with 191 destinations. 

Australia and New Zealand passport holders both improve their ranking to sit in sixth place with 189 visa-free destinations, while the United States (US) retains its seventh place with access to 188 destinations without requiring a visa in advance.  

It has been a decade since the UK (this year fourth place) and the US jointly held first place on the index in 2014. 

The data used to generate the Henley Passport Index is provided by the International Air Transport Association (IATA). 

Frederic Leger, IATA’s Senior Vice President Commercial Products and Services, said that with passenger traffic set to double by 2040, the optimization and enhancement of airport processes will need to continue.   

“Checking and verifying travel documents more often than not needs to be performed manually. With the expected continued growth in air travel, this task needs to be automated to a much higher degree. Passengers have clearly communicated that they are willing to share their data in advance of travel to achieve this goal,” Leger commented.  

To see where your country ranks visit the Henley Passport Index

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