Henley Passport Index submitted a recent report that said that Japan has the most powerful Passport in the world and Pakistan has the worst. This is the new finding for the year of 2021. While Japan took the top spot, Nepal and Pakistan continue to have the worst passport because of their visa-free scores. Nepal has a score of 38 countries while Pakistan has a score of 32 countries. Following their lead are countries like Iraq, Syria and Afghanistan that have a score of 28, 29 and 26 respectively.
The Japanese citizens can travel to about 191 destinations visa-free or through visa-on arrival. This is a very big advantage and a point that is commendable because of the ease of travel even under the pandemic conditions. The 2nd spot is secured by Singapore that has a destination score of 190. Germany and South Korea share the spot 3 with a score of 189 countries. The restricted travel conditions need not be a reason for the passport to turn weak or a reason for the countries to not up their visa game. The unpredictable times did leave a drastic impact on the aviation sector but seems like the arrival of vaccines will see a paradigm shift in their function.
The United States of America, United Kingdom, New Zealand and Switzerland take a back seat at the 7th position. Though these happen to be some of the most visited countries, the travel ease for their citizens isn’t that bright. They have a visa free score of 15 - and this is certainly a point of concern. Australia is at the 8th position and the citizens can travel up to 184 destinations.
The US and UK are facing the harsh brunt of the virus and it is being estimated that their passport strength will further see a downward dip in the coming future. The Chairman of Henley & Partners expressed the opinion that now that the Travel restrictions are being lifted, the real significance of passport strength is being rightly acknowledged. In the 16 years history of the Report, the US and UK took the top spots but it seems like change is the only constant in this world.