(CNN) — The ups and downs in the World Passport Rankings for 2023 are a little more interesting.
For five consecutive years, Japan has been number one Henley Passport IndexIt measures the freedom to travel around the world based on the degree of visa-free and visa-on-demand access that citizens enjoy.
But by the summer of 2023, Japan has dropped to third place and the new champion is Singapore, whose citizens can visit 193 of 227 destinations worldwide without a visa.
While Asia has long dominated the leaderboard in the index created by Henley & Partners, a global citizenship and residency consultancy based in London, Europe is making a comeback. Germany, Italy and Spain rose to second place for visa-free access to 190 destinations, with Japan and South Korea sharing 3rd place with Austria, Finland, France, Luxembourg and Sweden. Citizens of this amazing collection of seven countries enjoy visa-free access to 189 destinations.
Both the US and the UK have been on a downward trajectory since taking the number 1 spot in 2014, but the UK, at least, seems to be turning things around. It climbed two places in the rankings to No. 4, its highest since 2017. Meanwhile, the US has slipped two more places to eighth place, with access to only 183 visa-free destinations.
The Henley Passport Index is based on data from the International Air Transport Association (IATA) and ranks 199 passports from around the world. It will be updated in real-time throughout the year as visa policy changes take effect.
In its latest release, Henley & Partners said that over the 18-year history of the ranking, the average number of travelers who can travel without a visa has almost doubled, from 58 in 2006 to 109 now.
However, the travel freedom gap between those at the top and bottom of the rankings is wider than ever. Afghan citizens can visit only 27 destinations without a visa, followed by Iraq (with 29 destinations) and Syria (with 30 destinations).
In the past decade, Singapore has been busy ensuring greater freedom of travel for its citizens, gaining visa-free access to 25 new destinations, said Christian H. Cailin mentions.
“The UAE has added an impressive 107 places to its visa waiver score since 2013,” he says. “Of the countries in the top 10, the United States saw the smallest increase in its score, securing only 12 additional spots.”
Greg Lindsey of Cornell Tech’s Jacobs Institute said in a report by Henley & Partners: “The story is simple: By more or less standing still, the US is falling behind. America’s steady decline in the rankings is a warning to its neighbor Canada and the rest of the Anglosphere”.
The Henley & Partners list is one of several indexes developed by financial institutions to rank global passports based on the access they provide to their citizens.
He Arden Capital Passport Index It takes into account the passports of the six territories of Taiwan, Macau, Hong Kong, Kosovo, the Palestinian Territories and the Vatican, as well as the 193 member states of the United Nations. 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,” Armand Arden, founder of Arden Capital, told CNN last year.
Orton’s Global Passport Power Rank 2023 puts the UAE at number one, with a visa-free/visa-on-arrival score of 180.
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.
The UK is in third place with Denmark, Belgium, Portugal, Norway, Poland, Ireland and New Zealand. In fourth place are USA and Japan.
Best passports to hold in 2023:
1. Singapore (192 seats)
2. Germany, Italy, Spain (190 seats)
3. Austria, Finland, France, Japan, Luxembourg, South Korea, Sweden (189)
4. Denmark, Ireland, Netherlands, United Kingdom (188 seats)
5. Belgium, Czech Republic, Malta, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Switzerland (187 places)
6. Australia, Hungary, Poland (186 seats)
7. Canada, Greece (185 seats)
8. Lithuania, USA (184 places)
9. Latvia, Slovakia, Slovenia (183 seats)
10. Estonia, Iceland (182 places)
Worst passports to hold in 2023:
Three countries worldwide have visa-free or visa-on-rival access to 30 or fewer countries. These are:
101. Syria (30 seats)
102. Iraq (29 seats)
103. Afghanistan (27 seats)
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