New Zealand ranks seventh for the world’s most powerful passport, alongside Belgium, the United States, Norway, Switzerland and Czech Republic. Wonderfully, this means New Zealanders have access to 186 countries without a prior visa at present.
The ranking is based on The Henley Passport Index, and includes 199 different passports and 227 travel destinations. The passports are ranked using exclusive data from the International Air Transport Authority (IATA). It is based on how many countries their holders can travel to without a visa prior to arrival.
Japan took first place with access to a record 193 destinations worldwide. As for second place, Singapore and South Korea passport holders can travel to 192 countries without a prior visa. Meanwhile, Germany and Spain tied for third place with visa-free entry to 190 places. According to the Index, Afghanistan ranks as the world passport in the world, with access to just 27 countries visa-free.
Here’s the top 10 most powerful passports for 2023:
1. Japan (193 countries)
2. Singapore, South Korea (192)
3. Spain, Germany (190)
4. Finland, Italy, Luxembourg (189)
5. Sweden, Austria, Denmark, Netherlands (188)
6. Ireland, France, United Kingdom, Portugal (187)
7. Belgium, United States, New Zealand, Norway, Switzerland, Czech Republic (186)
8. Australia, Canada, Greece, Malta (185)
9. Hungary, Poland (184)
10. Slovakia, Lithuania (183)
Indeed, COVID-19, travel restrictions and the war in Ukraine came into play for the powerful passports ranking scores for 2023. For example, Ukrainian passports increased to 36th on the list. While Russian passports fell to 49th in 2022 due to sanctions and other restrictions.