The passport is a key to the doorway to the rest of the world. At least, this is how we tend to think of it. However, in reality, for many, it's a barrier to global freedom because different passports carry different powers. It's not a one-size-fits-all document as some passports are far better than others in terms of visa-free travel.
The ranking for the most powerful passports in the world keeps changing day by day. We have put together a list of the 10 most powerful passports for 2021. The ranking is based on the current Henley Passport Index.
According to the Henley Passport Index, as of 2021, Austrian citizens have visa-free or visa-on-arrival access to over 187 countries and territories, from which visa-free access to 82 countries. This ranks the Austrian passport 10th in the world in terms of travel freedom. Austria allows its citizens to hold a second Austrian passport to circumvent certain travel restrictions.
Denmark passport is the ninth-best in the world as it provides access to 187 and visa-free in 83 countries. Every Danish citizen is also a citizen of the European Union. The passport entitles its bearers to freedom of movement in the European Economic Area (EEA), Switzerland, and the United Kingdom. As a member state of the European Union, Danish citizens also enjoy the freedom of movement within the European Union.
The 2021 Henley Passport Index has ranked Luxembourg among the world's top eight most powerful passports, providing access to 190 countries. Any citizen of Luxembourg is allowed to hold dual citizenship as the law imposes no limitations.
Spain has the seventh most powerful passport in the world. It achieved this lofty status because it provides travel access in 190 countries with visa-free in 85 countries. Spanish citizens can live and work in any country within the EU due to freedom of movement and residence granted in the EU Treaty.
Finnish citizens have arrival access to 190 and visa-free access in 86 countries and territories. It ranks Finnish passport 6th in the world according to the Henley Passport Index. Along with the national identity card, the passport provides free right of movement and residence in any state of the European Union and the United Kingdom.
Italian passport, which placed fifth for the third year in a row, had been in the top five since the index began in 2006. With access to 190 countries and visa-free in 87, it has been in this spot for a decade. Italian citizens can also reside in states of the European Union and the UK.
The German passport remains the most powerful travel document in the continent of Europe and the fourth most powerful in the world. Despite losing its spot last year, German passport holders can travel to 191 countries visa-free or obtain a visa on arrival.
3. South Korea
Korea's passport ranks third most powerful. The South Korean passport has nearly topped the list as the world's most powerful. Offering citizens access to 191 countries with or without a visa in advance. According to the Henley Passport Index, the South Korean passport ties its score with the German passport.
The Singapore passport has ranked second as the most powerful passport globally, with visa-free or visa on arrival access to 192 countries and territories. Dual citizenship is prohibited by the Singapore Government. Citizens who voluntarily acquire citizenship of a foreign country may be deprived of their Singapore citizenship by law.
Japanese passport offers the highest travel mobility, allowing its holders to travel to 193 countries visa-free or visa on arrival. To get Japanese citizenship, the applicant must have lived in Japan for more than five years. You will lose your own nationality once you gain Japanese citizenship.