(CNN) – A trio of Asian passports offer their holders greater global travel freedom than those in any other country, according to a new quarterly report released by London-based global citizenship and residence advisory firm Henley & Partners.
Japan has pushed ahead of Singapore and South Korea to offer its citizens visa-free or visa-on-demand access to a record 193 destinations around the world, compared to the other two leaders’ 192.
However, Asia’s more cautious response to Covid-19 means that citizens are currently less likely to use this freedom of movement than people in Europe or America.
International passenger demand for flights in the Asia-Pacific region is still less than one-fifth of pre-Covid levels, according to the latest statistics from the International Air Transport Association (IATA).
Europe dominates again
Under the Asian top three you will find an abundance of European countries near the top of the leaderboard. Germany and Spain are divided into 190 destinations, followed by Finland, Italy, Luxembourg at 189.
Austria, Denmark, the Netherlands and Sweden are all in fifth place, while France, Ireland, Portugal and the United Kingdom are No. 6.
New Zealand and the USA make an appearance at No. 7, together with Belgium, Norway and Switzerland.
Afghan nationals are at the bottom of the index again, and can access only 27 countries without requiring a visa in advance.
But as travel restrictions ease, there are hopeful signs that passports with lower rankings are starting to take effect.
Indian passport holders now have similar freedom of movement as they enjoyed pre-pandemic, the report says, with unlimited access to 57 destinations around the world (compared to only 23 destinations in 2020).
Due to the invasion of Ukraine, Russian passport holders are more cut off from the rest of the world than ever before.
The index does not take into account temporary restrictions or closure of airspace, so while the Russian passport currently ranks 50th on the index, with a visa-free or visa-free score on arrival of 119, the reality is that Russian citizens are effective. banned from accessing many of these destinations.
The best passports to have in July 2022 are:
1. Japan (193 destinations)
2. Singapore, South Korea (192 destinations)
3. Germany, Spain (190 destinations)
4. Finland, Italy, Luxembourg (189 destinations)
5. Austria, Denmark, Netherlands, Sweden (188 destinations)
6. France, Ireland, Portugal, United Kingdom (187 destinations)
7. Belgium, New Zealand, Norway, Switzerland, USA (186 destinations)
8. Australia, Canada, Czech Republic, Greece, Malta (185 destinations)
9. Hungary (183 destinations)
10. Lithuania, Poland, Slovakia (182 destinations)
The worst passports to have in July 2022
Several countries around the world have visa-free or visa-on-arrival access to 40 or fewer countries. These include:
105. North Korea (40 destinations)
106. Nepal, Palestinian Territory (38 destinations)
107. Somalia (35 destinations)
108. Yemen (34 destinations)
109. Pakistan (32 destinations)
110. Syria (30 destinations)
111. Iraq (29 destinations)
112. Afghanistan (27 destinations)
Henley & Partners list is one of several indexes created by finance companies to rank global passports according to the access they provide to their citizens.
The Henley Passport Index ranks 199 passports according to the number of destinations their holders can access without prior visas. It is updated in real time throughout the year, as changes in visa policy take effect.
Its 2022 index ranks the United Arab Emirates in the top spot, with a visa-free / visa-on-arrival score of 171.