A US passport is now as powerful as one from Rwanda thanks to Covid restrictions.
Each year there are stories about which countries have ‘the most powerful passports’ meaning they grant citizens access to other countries without significant hurdles, like obtaining a visa in advance of travel.
Before the pandemic the two most powerful passports were Japan’s and Singapore’s, but the number of places passports from those countries allow red tape-free travel to has been cut by nearly two-thirds.
In theory, a Singapore passport gets you visa-free, or visa-on-arrival, access to 192 nations, the best score of any country globally after Japan, whose passport ranks No. 1 with hassle-free entry into 193 places.
In practice, taking into account coronavirus limitations, it would permit such entry to only 70 destinations, the data show, equal to having a passport from the Dominican Republic.
In normal times a U.S. passport offers “access [to] 187 destinations around the world.” That’s been cut to “fewer than 60 destinations – a passport power equivalent to that of Uzbekistan. US passport holders have a passport power equivalent to Rwanda.”
If we strip out Covid-19 restrictions then the most valuable passports are:
- Japan (193 destinations)
- Singapore (192 destinations)
- Germany, South Korea (191 destinations)
- Finland, Italy, Luxembourg, Spain (190 destinations)
- Austria, Denmark (189 destinations)
- France, Ireland, Netherlands, Portugal, Sweden (188 destinations)
- Belgium, New Zealand, Switzerland, United Kingdom, United States (187 destinations)
- Czech Republic, Greece, Malta, Norway (186 destinations)
- Australia, Canada (185 destinations)
- Hungary (184 destinations)