The passport which has joined Japan as the most powerful thanks to Stuff

Singapore and Japan have visa-free or visa on arrival access to 193 countries.


Singapore and Japan have visa-free or visa on arrival access to 193 countries.

A small error spotted by Stuff Travel in the worldwide passport rankings has seen one country shuffle up into joint first place.

The Henley Passport Index uses data from the International Air Transport Association for its measurements, covering 199 passports and 227 travel destinations.

However in the most recent indexa change in the visa-free access by Japan had not been reflected in the rankings.

The Asian powerhouse had opened its doors to a host of countries, including New Zealand.

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It means that Singapore, which had slipped to joint second place, is now back on top of the rankings alongside Japan with visa-free or visa on arrival access to 193 countries.

New Zealand now has access to 187 countries and stays in joint 17th place alongside Belgium, the Czech Republic, Norway, Switzerland and the United States. Afghanistan remains at the bottom with 27.


Inside a room at the Department of Internal Affairs is a special machine that takes a blank passport and brings it to life.

Kiwi citizens need a visa to enter 40 destinations listed in the index, including the two countries with the world’s largest populations, China and India.

The website of the High Commission of India in New Zealand states that “all foreigners, except citizens of Nepal and Bhutan (in limited circumstances) need a visa to enter India by air, sea or land”.

Of the other countries in the world that Kiwis need a visa to enter, the vast majority are in Africa, with 23 states needing pre-approval.

The Henley Passport Index is not the only ranking of the legal document.

The Passport Index measures 193 United Nations member countries and six territories. It updates more regularly throughout the year and currently has the United Arab Emirates leading with New Zealand in joint third, or joint 13th depending on how you want to view the rankings.

Henley Index Most Powerful Passports

1. Japan, Singapore (193 visa-free destinations)

3. South Korea (192)

4. Germany, Spain (191)

6. Finland, Italy, Luxembourg (190)

9. Denmark, Netherlands, Sweden, Austria (189)

13. Ireland, Portugal, United Kingdom, France (188)

17. Belgium, Czech Republic, New ZealandNorway, Switzerland, United States (187)

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