January 13, 2023
SINGAPORE – The Singapore passport remains the second-most powerful in the world – along with South Korea’s – in allowing visa-free entry to 192 destinations.
The Japanese passport continues to rank first for enabling holders visa-free entry to 193 destinations, according to the latest update on Tuesday of a worldwide index compiled by global citizenship and residence advisory firm Henley and Partners.
In October 2021, Singapore and Japan shared the top spot for enabling passport holders to travel without a pre-approved visa to 192 destinations.
The Henley Passport Index includes 199 passports and 227 travel destinations, based on data from the International Air Transport Authority.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, Afghanistan’s passport remains at the bottom of the index, giving easy access to only 27 destinations – 166 fewer than Japan’s – which represents the widest global mobility gap in the index’s 18-year history, Henley and Partners said in a release on Tuesday.
The latest ranking comes as more countries in the Asia-Pacific region open up after the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Global travel is now at around 75 per cent of pre-pandemic levels, the firm said.
Citizens are more likely to make use of that travel freedom again after years of pent-up travel demand.
Since Sunday, China has opened its borders and relaxed entry requirements by scrapping quarantine measures for overseas arrivals after nearly three years of strict pandemic border restrictions.
Travellers only need a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test taken 48 hours pre-flight to enter China.
Previously, travellers were required to quarantine at a hotel or other facility for at least the first five days after arrival, before serving a three-day stay-home notice.
Travel to and from China is poised to restart as curbs ease, and at least four business missions between Singapore and China will take place over the next three months.