Japan and Singapore top passport index amid geopolitical uncertainty
Japan and Singapore continue to share number one spot on the Henley Passport Index — the ranking for the world’s passports according to the number of destinations their holders can access without a prior visa — with their passport holders able to access 192 destinations around the world visa-free, not taking temporary Covid restrictions into account.
Germany and South Korea hold joint-2nd place, with a visa-free/visa-on-arrival score of 190, while Finland, Italy, Luxembourg, and Spain share 3rd place, with their passport holders able to access 189 destinations around the world without having to acquire a visa in advance. The UK, which recently dropped all remaining Covid-related restrictions, now sits in 5th place, with a score of 187, with the US just one place behind in 6th spot, with a score of 186. Afghanistan remains at the bottom of the index — which is based on exclusive data from the International Air Transport Association (IATA) — with its nationals only able to access 26 destinations visa-free.
Dr. Christian H. Kaelin, Chairman of Henley & Partners, says the latest update provides a unique snapshot of a volatile and rapidly changing world. “The country you are born in dramatically impacts the quality and extent of opportunities you will have in your life as well as the challenges you might face along the way. Holding more than one citizenship, with the range of personal access rights each guarantees, is the ultimate asset in a time of crisis and volatility.”
Commenting in the Henley Global Mobility Report 2022 Q2, released today along with the latest Henley Passport Index, Dr. Parag Khanna, bestselling author and Founder of FutureMap says creative solutions will be needed as mass migration becomes the norm. “When faced with war or climate disruptions our fight or flight instinct kicks in and the sensible response has been to move in search of more suitable conditions. We are becoming a migratory species again. In the coming decades climate disruptions threaten to make some regions of our planet uninhabitable, and millions, if not billions, of people will need to find new homes.”
According to exclusive research by Henley & Partners and Deep Knowledge Analytics into the correlation between passport power, and climate change vulnerability and preparedness, wealthy and developed nations with the greatest visa-free access also score highly when it comes to their readiness to adapt to the climate crisis. Charles Phillips of the Oxford Business Group says, “We can see close correlations between climate adaptation performance and international travel freedom. It brings into stark reality the fact that your citizenship and passport really do matter when it comes to mitigating climate risk”.
Sebastian Mikosz, Vice President of Environment and Sustainability at IATA, says forecasts indicate demand for 10 billion passenger journeys by 2050 (up from around 4 billion pre-pandemic). “Much of this growth will come from passengers who have never had the opportunity to fly before: in Asia, Africa, and Latin America. We owe it to this next generation of flyers to find sustainable solutions, so they can enjoy and benefit from air travel as we have done so far.”