To analyze the concept of “the most powerful passport in the world”, we should take into account all the different parameters that came into play with the emerge of the Covid-19 pandemic.
According to The Henley Passport Index, the most powerful passport in the world in 2020 is - Japanese!
Japan’s passport is described as the document that opens the most doors in the world, 191, which is six more “doors” than the US passport holder can open without the need of a visa or any other travel document (185 visa-free).
What exactly does this mean in practice?
This means that a proud owner of a Japanese passport can enter the territory of most countries without having to go through time-consuming complicated processes needed to obtain a visa.
Afghanistan, on the other hand, ranks worst on the scale with only 26 countries offering visa-free entry to its citizens.
But is a Japanese passport truly the best passport in the world?
Well, from a tourist standpoint it might as well be the best one. However, Covid-19 had a saying on its own. Limited traveling certainly affects the value of the passport, and makes it less valuable.
It is also a well-known fact that Japan is a highly developed country which, if the criterion of nominal GDP is taken into account, is the second most developed country in the world.
But is a Japanese passport the most desirable in the world? What makes a passport desirable? The number of countries you can freely enter with it, or some other factor?
So, where does the US stand?
In 2016, Donald Trump’s motto in the presidential campaign was: Let’s make America great again.
For most of the world, especially those coming from less developed countries than the US, America was and remains great.
According to the Gallup analytics company, 147 million people around the world have expressed a desire to move to the United States.
The same survey suggests that Japan is in ninth place among those who expressed the desire to migrate to the United States.
Given the above, is the visa exemption criterion sufficient to give a passport the title of the most powerful?
Well, more than 147 million people think differently.