Singapore has overtaken Japan to boast the most powerful passport in the world, the Henley Passport Index showed.
This means that the Singapore passport allows holders visa-free entry to 192 out of 227 destinations worldwide.
The World Passport Rankings for 2023 were compiled based on data provided by the International Air Transport Authority, or IATA, which ranks the world’s passports by the number of destinations their holders can access without a prior visa.
Germany, Italy and Spain tied for second, with their citizens able to visit 190 global destinations.
Japan, which topped the list last year, has slipped to third place – its passport allowing visa-free access to 189 destinations, down from 193 in 2022. Other passports tied with Japan for third place are Austria, Finland, France, Luxembourg, South Korea and Sweden.
The UK jumped two places to fourth, having reached the milestone after a six-year decline.
“The general trend over the history of the 18-year-old ranking has been towards greater freedom to travel,” Henley and Partners said in a press release.
Singapore’s passport also held first place in 2021 with access to 194 destinations, but the city-state fell to second place last year. Over the past 10 years, Singapore has increased its score by 25, pushing the country five places to take the top spot, Henley and Partners added.
Conversely, among the top 10 countries, the United States saw the smallest increase in its index over the past decade, the investment migration consultancy noted. The United States now ranks eighth in the passport index.
“The story is simple – by standing more or less still, the United States has fallen behind,” said an urban technology researcher at Cornell Tech’s Jacobs Institute, Greg Lindsay. He pointed out that the country has been “regularly overtaken” by South Korea, Japan and Singapore.
“America’s relentless fall in the rankings – and the unlikelihood of reclaiming the top position anytime soon – is a wake-up call for neighbor Canada and the rest of the Anglosphere as well,” Lindsay said in a statement. separate press release published at the same time as the index.
The slide will contribute to a ‘decline of American soft power’ if companies face difficulties inviting partners to meetings and tourists face application delays, the Center’s senior nonresident associate says for Strategic and International Studies. Annie Pforzheimer.
More than just a travel document, Henley and Partners said a strong passport provides significant financial freedoms when it comes to international investment and business opportunities.
“Global connectivity and access have become indispensable features of wealth creation and preservation, and its value will only grow as geopolitical volatility and regional instability increase,” the report said.