Romanian passport grants visa-free access to 176 destinations in 2023
Holding a Romanian passport grants access to 176 destinations without a visa, making it the thirteenth most valuable worldwide, while Singapore’s passport takes first place this year with 193 destinations, according to the Henley Passport Index.
A series of shifts have rocked the global passport ranking for 2023. After five consecutive years at the top of the Henley Passport Index, which compares all passports in the world based on how freely their holders can travel to foreign countries without a visa, Japan has now been surpassed by four countries, while Romania’s passport has increased in value.
Singapore's passport holds the top position in 2023, allowing its citizens to visit 193 destinations out of a total of 227 without a visa. Asia has dominated the Henley & Partners' ranking for many years, but Europe is making a strong comeback. Germany, Italy, and Spain have climbed to the second position with 190 visa-free destinations, while Japan and South Korea share the third spot with Austria, Finland, France, Luxembourg, and Sweden, offering access to 189 destinations without a visa, CNN notes.
Both the USA and the United Kingdom have been on a downward trajectory since their glory year of 2014 when they shared the first position. However, things seem to be improving as the British passport has climbed two places to fourth place, a position it hasn't held since 2017. On the other hand, the USA has fallen two places to the eighth spot, with American citizens enjoying visa-free access to only 183 destinations.
Romania ranks thirteenth with visa-free access to 176 destinations, rising three positions compared to the previous year.
The Henley Passport Index is based on data obtained from the International Air Transport Association (IATA) and evaluates 199 passports worldwide. It is updated in real-time throughout the year as new travel visa rules come into effect. In the latest update, the firm notes that in the 18-year history of the ranking, the average number of destinations that travelers can access without a visa has almost doubled – from 58 in 2006 to 109 in 2023.
However, the gap between the freedom of movement enjoyed by citizens in the top-ranking countries and those holding passports at the bottom of the ranking is larger than ever: Afghan citizens can only visit 27 destinations without a visa, followed by Iraq (29) and Syria (30).
Singapore has managed to secure visa-free access to 25 new destinations for its citizens in the past decade. "The United Arab Emirates have added an impressive score of 107 new visa-free destinations since 2013," said Christian H. Kaelin, president of Henley & Partners. "Among the top 10 countries, the USA has had the lowest growth in score, adding only 12 new destinations." "America's continuous decline in the ranking is a warning for its neighbor, Canada, and the rest of the Anglophone world," added Greg Lindsay from the Cornell Tech Jacobs Institute.
(Photo source: Andrei Tailup | Dreamstime.com)