The world of travel is constantly changing, and so is the ranking of the world’s most powerful passports. A passport’s power is determined by the number of destinations its holder can access without a prior visa or with a visa on arrival. The more countries a passport can enter, the higher its score and rank.
According to the latest report by Henley Passport Index, a global citizenship and residence advisory firm, Singapore now officially has the most powerful passport in the world, with its citizens able to visit 192 out of 227 travel destinations around the world visa-free.
According to the report, the top ten most powerful passports in the world in 2023 are:
The Henley Passport Index is based on the data from the International Air Transport Association (IATA), which maintains the world's largest database of travel information. It ranks 199 passports worldwide by measuring global travel freedom in terms of the visa-free and visa-on-demand access to citizens worldwide.
Previously in the top spot for five consecutive years, Japan has fallen to third place on the ranking.
Meanwhile, the Philippines' steady economic growth is one factor why it rose from last year's 78th spot to 74th place this year. In an interview with CNN Philippines' The Final Word, Henley & Partners managing director Scott Moore said, "The Philippines is generally turning upwards because of the growing economy."
Moore stated that for the past 18 years, the Philippines has consistently maintained its position in the index published by the agency. Moore pointed out that the Philippines’ rise in ranking may have been influenced by several countries sharing the same rank this year. He further mentioned that the Philippines has remained stable in terms of its score for providing visa-free access to 67 countries.
The Philippines has visa-free or visa-on-arrival access to most of its neighboring countries in Southeast Asia as well as some countries in Oceania and Africa. However, it still requires a prior visa for most of Europe, North America, and East Asia.
According to Henley, travel freedom is a reflection of geopolitical dynamics and a significant factor in individual empowerment and development. The firm advises that "individuals looking to improve their travel freedom should consider alternative citizenship options".