Japan has lost its top position on the Henley Passport Index for the first time in five years and is now in third place.
Singapore has overtaken it as the number one position, becoming the most powerful in the world, with its citizens able to visit 192 travel destinations out of 227 around the world, visa-free.
Germany, Italy, and Spain all move up into 2nd place with visa-free access to 190 destinations, and Japanese passport holders join those of six other nations — Austria, Finland, France, Luxembourg, South Korea, and Sweden — in 3rd place with access to189 destinations without a prior visa.
The UK appears to have finally turned the corner after a six-year decline, jumping up two places on the latest ranking to 4th place — a position it last held in 2017.
Dr Christian H. Kaelin, chairperson of Henley & Partners and the inventor of the passport index concept, said in a statement only eight countries worldwide have less visa-free access today than they did a decade ago, while others have been more successful in securing greater travel freedom for their citizens.
“The UAE has added an impressive 107 destinations to its visa-free score since 2013, resulting in a massive leap of 44 places in the ranking over the past 10 years from 56th to 12th position.
“This is almost double the next biggest climber, Colombia, which has enjoyed a jump of 28 places in the ranking to sit in 37th spot. Ukraine and China are also among the Top 10 countries with the most improved rankings over the past decade.”
Of the countries sitting in the Top 10, the US has seen the smallest increase in its score on the Henley Passport Index over the past decade, securing visa-free access to just 12 additional destinations between 2013 and 2023.
Singapore, by comparison, has increased its score by 25, pushing it five places up the ranking over the past 10 years to number one spot.
South Africa is at 51 and citizens are able to travel to 106 visa-free destinations.