(CNN) — A trio of Asian passports offer their holders more international travel freedom than any other country, according to a new quarterly report by Henley & Partners, a global citizenship and residency consultancy based in London.
Japanese citizens enjoy visa-free or on-demand access to 193 destinations worldwide, more than Singapore and South Korea.
Now that the Asia-Pacific region is opening up after years of restrictions due to the Covid-19 pandemic, its citizens are likely to exercise that freedom of travel again.
International travel is now 75% of pre-pandemic levels. According to the latest Henley Passport index releaseThis is based on data from the International Air Transport Association (IATA).
Below the top three Asian countries, the table continues with a large number of European countries. Germany and Spain join with 190 visa-free destinations, while Finland, Italy and Luxembourg join with 189.
Austria, Denmark, the Netherlands and Sweden are next in a tie for fifth place, while France, Ireland, Portugal and the United Kingdom share sixth place.
New Zealand and the United States are ranked 7th, along with Belgium, Norway, Switzerland and the Czech Republic.
Afghan citizens are again at the bottom of the index and can only access 27 countries without the need to apply for a visa in advance.
The Henley & Partner list is one of several indexes developed by financial institutions to rank global passports based on the access they provide to their citizens.
The Henley Passport Index ranks 199 passports by the number of destinations their holders can access without a prior visa. It will be updated in real time throughout the year as changes in visa policies come into effect.
For its part, Orton Capital Passport Index It takes into account the passports of the 193 United Nations member states and six territories: the Republic of China, Taiwan, Macau, Hong Kong, Kosovo, the Palestinian Territories and the Vatican. Territories connected to other countries are excluded.
It is updated in real-time throughout the year, but its data is collected by closely monitoring government websites. It’s “a tool to provide travelers with accurate and easily accessible information for their travel needs,” Arden Capital founder Armand Arden told CNN in December.
Orton’s Global Passport Power Rank 2023 ranks the UAE at number one for visa/visa-free travel with a score of 181.
As for the second place, it is occupied by 11 countries, most of which are located in Europe: Germany, Sweden, Finland, Luxembourg, Spain, France, Italy, Netherlands, Austria, Switzerland and South Korea.
Denmark, Belgium, Portugal, Norway, Poland, Ireland and New Zealand are followed by the United States and the United Kingdom in third place.
The best passports to own in 2023, according to the Henley Passport Index
1. Japan (193 places)
2. Singapore, South Korea (192 places)
3. Germany, Spain (190 seats)
4. Finland, Italy, Luxembourg (189 seats)
5. Austria, Denmark, Netherlands, Sweden (188 seats)
6. France, Ireland, Portugal, United Kingdom (187 seats)
7. Belgium, New Zealand, Norway, Switzerland, USA, Czech Republic (186 seats)
8. Australia, Canada, Greece, Malta (185 seats)
9. Hungary, Poland (184 places)
10. Lithuania, Slovakia (183 seats)
The worst passports to hold in 2023, according to the Henley Passport Index
There is visa-free or visa-on-rival access to 40 or fewer countries around the world. This includes:
102. North Korea (40 seats)
103. Nepal and Palestinian Territories (38 seats)
104. Somalia (35 seats)
105. Yemen (34 seats)
106. Pakistan (32 seats)
107. Syria (30 seats)
108. Iraq (29 seats)
109. Afghanistan (27 seats)