USA Has 7th Best Passport in the World

Peter Watson

Over the past seven years, the US passport has fallen from the number one spot to 7th place, a position it currently shares with the UK.

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(Photo: Piaharrisphotography/Shutterstock)

The latest ranking of the world’s most powerful passports, compiled by Henley Passport Index, has been released. Based on the number of destinations the passport holders can access without a prior visa provides an interesting insight into the future of travel in a world that has been transformed by the global pandemic.

Without taking temporary restrictions into account, Japan once again takes the top spot on the index, with Japanese passport holders able to access 191 destinations around the world visa-free. This is the third year in a row that Japan has topped the index.

The countries of the Asia Pacific (APAC) region continue their dominance of the index which is based on exclusive data from the International Air Transport Association (IATA). Singapore is in 2nd place with access to 190 destinations and South Korea holds onto 3rd place alongside Germany, both having a visa-free/visa-on-arrival score of 189.

The rest of the top 10 is largely made up of European countries along with New Zealand in 7th place with visa-free access to 185 destinations, Australia in 8th position with access to 184 destinations and Canada in 9th with access to 183 destinations.

Over the past seven years, the US passport has fallen from the number one spot to 7th place with visa-free access to 185 destinations. It shares its current position with the UK.

Due to pandemic-related travel constraints, travelers from both the UK and the US currently face major restrictions, with US passport holders able to travel to fewer than 75 destinations, while UK passport holders currently have access to fewer than 70.

“Just a year ago all indications were that the rates of global mobility would continue to rise, that travel freedom would increase, and that holders of powerful passports would enjoy more access than ever before. The global lockdown negated these glowing projections, and as restrictions begin to lift, the results from the latest index are a reminder of what passport power really means in a world upended by the pandemic.” Dr. Christian H. Kaelin, Chairman of Henley & Partners

Henley & Partners is a global leader in residence and citizenship planning. The firm’s employees are distributed across over 30 offices worldwide.

Passport Ranking 2021

The index includes 199 different passports and 227 different travel destinations.

1. Japan: 191

2. Singapore: 190

3. Germany: 189

3. South Korea: 189

4. Finland: 188

4. Italy: 188

4. Luxembourg: 188

4. Spain: 188

5. Austria: 187

5. Denmark: 187

6. France: 186

6. Ireland: 186

6. Netherlands: 186

6. Portugal: 186

6. Sweden: 186

7. Belgium: 185

7. New Zealand: 185

7. Norway: 185

7. Switzerland: 185

7. United Kingdom: 185

7. United States: 185

8. Australia: 184

8. Czech Republic: 184

8. Greece: 184

8. Malta: 184

9. Canada: 183

10. Hungary: 182

11. Iceland: 181

11. Lithuania: 181

11. Poland: 181

11. Slovakia: 181

12. Latvia: 180

12. Slovenia: 180

13. Estonia: 179

14. Liechtenstein: 178

14. Malaysia: 178

15. Chile: 174

15. Cyprus: 174

15. Monaco: 174

16. United Arab Emirates: 173

17. Romania: 172

18. Bulgaria: 171

18. Croatia: 171

19. Argentina: 170

19. Brazil: 170

19. Hong Kong (SAR China): 170

20. San Marino: 168

21. Andorra: 167

22. Brunei: 166

23. Barbados: 161

24. Israel: 161

24. Mexico: 159

25. St. Kitts and Nevis: 156

26. Bahamas: 155

27. Uruguay: 153

28. Vatican City: 153

28. Antigua and Barbuda: 151

29. Seychelles: 151

29. Costa Rica: 150

30. Trinidad and Tobago: 150

30. St. Vincent and the Grenadines: 148

31. Mauritius: 146

32. St. Lucia: 146

32. Taiwan (Chinese Taipei): 145

33. Grenada: 144

34. Macao (SAR China): 144

34. Dominica: 143

35. Panama: 142

36. Paraguay: 141

37. Peru: 135

38. El Salvador: 134

38. Honduras: 134

38. Serbia: 134

39. Guatemala: 133

40. Samoa: 131

40. Solomon Islands: 131

41. Ukraine: 130

41. Vanuatu: 130

42. Colombia: 129

42. Nicaragua: 129

42. Venezuela: 129

43. Tuvalu: 127

44. Tonga: 125

45. Montenegro: 124

45. North Macedonia: 124

46. Kiribati: 123

46. Marshall Islands: 123

47. Moldova: 120

47. Palau Islands: 120

48. Micronesia: 118

49. Bosnia and Herzegovina: 117

50. Russian Federation: 116

51. Georgia: 115

52. Albania: 114

53. Turkey: 110

54. Belize: 101

54. South Africa: 101

55. Kuwait: 96

56. Qatar: 95

57. Timor-Leste: 94

58. Ecuador: 92

59. Nauru: 89

60. Fiji: 88

60. Guyana: 88

61. Jamaica: 86

62. Botswana: 85

62. Maldives: 85

63. Papua New Guinea: 84

64. Bahrain: 83

65. Oman: 80

66. Saudi Arabia: 79

66. Thailand: 79

67. Bolivia: 78

67. Suriname: 78

68. Namibia: 77

69. Lesotho: 76

70. Belarus: 75

70. China: 75

70. Kazakhstan: 75

71. eSwatini: 74

72. Malawi: 73

73. Kenya: 72

74. Indonesia: 71

74. Tanzania: 71

74. Tunisia: 71

74. Zambia: 71

75. The Gambia: 68

76. Azerbaijan: 67

76. Uganda: 67

77. Cape Verde Islands: 66

77. Dominican Republic: 66

77. Philippines: 66

78. Ghana: 65

78. Zimbabwe: 65

79. Cuba: 64

79. Morocco: 64

80. Armenia: 63

80. Kyrgyzstan: 63

80. Sierra Leone: 63

81. Benin: 62

81. Mongolia: 62

81. Mozambique: 62

82. Sao Tome and Principe: 61

83. Rwanda: 60

84. Burkina Faso: 59

84. Mauritania: 59

85. India: 58

85. Tajikistan: 58

86. Cote d’Ivoire: 57

86. Gabon: 57

86. Uzbekistan: 57

87. Senegal: 56

88. Equatorial Guinea: 55

88. Guinea: 55

88. Madagascar: 55

88. Togo: 55

89. Cambodia: 54

89. Mali: 54

89. Niger: 54

89. Vietnam: 54

90. Bhutan: 53

90. Chad: 53

90. Comoro Islands: 53

90. Guinea-Bissau: 53

90. Turkmenistan: 53

91. Central African Republic: 52

92. Algeria: 51

92. Jordan: 51

93. Angola: 50

93. Burundi: 50

93. Egypt: 50

93. Laos: 50

94. Cameroon: 49

94. Haiti: 49

94. Liberia: 49

95. Congo (Rep.): 48

96. Djibouti: 47

96. Myanmar: 47

97. Nigeria: 46

98. Ethiopia: 44

99. South Sudan: 43

100. Congo (Dem. Rep.): 42

100. Eritrea: 42

100. Sri Lanka: 42

101. Bangladesh: 41

101. Iran: 41

102. Kosovo: 40

102. Lebanon: 40

102. Sudan: 40

103. North Korea: 39

104. Libya: 38

104. Nepal: 38

105. Palestinian Territory: 37

106. Somalia: 33

106. Yemen: 33

107. Pakistan: 32

108. Syria: 29

109. Iraq: 28

110. Afghanistan: 26

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Peter Watson is a writer, photographer and adventurer. A keen trekker and climber he can usually be found on the trails of the Greater Ranges. He’s visited over 80 countries and is currently focused on climbing the seven summits – the highest mountain on every continent. Four down, three to go... He has also travelled extensively around the US developing a penchant for American backcountry, abandoned buildings and natural wonders en route.

Phoenix, AZ
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