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Asia Minute: Traveling? Here Are The World's Most Mobile Passports

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If you have travel plans this summer and you hold an American passport, you can go to more than 180 countries without needing a visa. But that doesn't top the list of the world's most powerful passports. That distinction goes to a pair of countries in Asia.


The most globally mobile passports in the world belong to citizens of Singapore and Japan. They can enter 189 destinations without applying for a visa ahead of time.

That’s tops in the world, according to the “Henley Passport Index” — which is based on data compiled by the International Air Transport Association.

Second place is a three-way tie among South Korea, Finland and Germany — whose citizens can get to 187 destinations without a visa. Denmark, Italy and Luxembourg are in third followed by another tie among France, Spain and Sweden.

If you’re wondering where the United States ranks, it’s number six — tied with the United Kingdom. Residents of both countries can travel to 183 stops without prior visas, which is the lowest number for both countries since 2010.

You may wonder who would track these numbers and why they might matter.

A company called Henley and Partners puts the index together each quarter. And not shockingly, their business interests are definitely part of the picture.

The company’s website says it is the “global leader in residence and citizenship planning." Basically helping wealthy people figure out the best place to live for investment and tax purposes or other reasons, and where all those wealthy people might want to try and pick up a passport.

Bill Dorman has been the news director at Hawaiʻi Public Radio since 2011.
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