As per this year’s latest Henley Passport Index — the original ranking of all the world’s passports according to the number of destinations their holders can access without a prior visa – Japanese passport holders theoretically are able to access a record 193 destinations around the world visa-free.
Singapore remains in second place, with a visa-free/visa-on-arrival score of 192, while Germany and South Korea again share joint-third place, each with access to 191 destinations.
The index provides exclusive insight into what post-pandemic travel freedom might look like as countries around the world selectively begin to open their borders to international visitors.
Based on exclusive data from the International Air Transport Association (IATA), and as has been the case for most of the index’s 16-year history, the majority of the remaining top 10 spots are held by European Union countries.
The United Arab Emirates continues its stellar ascent. In 2011, it was ranked 65th with a visa-free/visa-on-arrival score of 67, while today, it is ranked 15th with a score of 174.
Closer home, Seychelles and Mauritius are in the top 50.
Seychelles, the archipelago country in the Indian Ocean, is Africa’s top-ranking African passport in this regard, at 27 with access to 152 destinations worldwide.
It is followed by Mauritius which is at 30 with a score of 146 destinations passport-holders of this country can visit.
Ranked 53, the number of global destinations South African passport-holders can travel to is 103.
The rest of the African continent dominates the bottom quarter of the rankings with weaker passports than most.