Recent findings from the Henley Passport Index provide a window into the world, the effects of the continuing turmoil, and the future of travel in 2023. It uses exclusive data from the International Air Transport Association (IATA) to rank the world’s 199 passports based on the number of destinations their holders can access without a visa.
For 2023, Malaysia is ranked the 14th most powerful passport, giving its citizens access to 179 of 227 nations visa-free.
Even though Malaysia’s passport dropped one spot from its 2022 position, it’s still the fourth most powerful in Asia. And this is a further drop from its once top five worldwide ranking back in 2017.
Which countries have the most powerful passports?
The Japanese passport is currently the most powerful with access to 193 countries. South Korea and Singapore, both of which have access to 192, are close seconds. Now that Asia-Pacific is opening up post-COVID-19, its citizens are more likely to use that travel freedom again.
In Europe, Germany and Spain share third place with visa-free access to 190 countries followed by Finland, Italy, and Luxembourg with a score of 189. The United Kingdom is sixth with 187, while the United States is in seventh with 186 — both are lower than they were almost a decade ago.
Which countries’ passports are the weakest?
Afghanistan ranks dead last in the Henley Passport Index, receiving just 27 points out of a possible 227. Syria comes in third with a score of 30, followed by Iraq with a score of 29.
Pakistan (32 destinations), Yemen (34 destinations), Somalia (35 destinations), Nepal (including the Palestinian territories) (38 locations), and North Korea (40 destinations) round out the bottom of the list.
All countries were ranked by accessibility using the same points system. The full ranking can be found here.