Japan, Singapore passports retain first place global ranking

According to the 2024 Henley Passport Index, six countries share the top spot with visa-free access to a number of destinations – Japan and Singapore, as well as EU member states France, Germany, Italy, and Spain.

Japan and Singapore remain on top, having dominated first place on the index for the past five years.

Japan and Singapore share top billing with France, Germany, Italy and Spain in the 2024 Henley Passport Index

South Korea joins Finland and Sweden in second place with visa-free travel to 193 destinations, and another four EU nations — Austria, Denmark, Ireland, and Netherlands — share third place with access to 192 destinations.

The rest of the Top 10 is largely dominated by European countries, with the UK climbing up two ranks to fourth place with visa-free access to 191 destinations compared to just 188 a year ago. Australia and New Zealand passport holders share sixth place with 189 visa-free destinations, while the US retains its seventh place with access to 188 destinations without requiring a visa in advance.

The UAE has also leaped from 55th to 11th position, having added 106 destinations to its visa-free score since 2014. Meanwhile, China ranks 62nd with access to 85 destinations without a prior visa (compared to just 44 in 2014).

Although the general trend over the history of the 19-year-old ranking has been towards greater travel freedom, Christian H Kaelin, chairman of Henley & Partners, noted that the global mobility gap between those at the top and bottom of the index is now wider than ever.

He said: “The average number of destinations travellers are able to access visa-free has nearly doubled from 58 in 2006 to 111 in 2024. However, as we enter the new year, the top-ranked countries are now able to travel to a staggering 166 more destinations visa-free than Afghanistan, which sits at the bottom of the ranking with access to just 28 countries without a visa.”

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