AMSTERDAM - The Dutch passport is the fourth most valuable in the world, according to the Henley Passport Index for 2022. The index ranked 199 different passports based on how easily a person can travel with one of them to 227 different destinations, based on data from the International Air Transport Authority (IATA).
Japan and Singapore tied for the most valuable passports in the world. With these passports, travelers could access 192 travel destinations visa-free. Germany and South Korea came in second place with 190 destinations, followed by Finland, Italy, Luxembourg, and Spain in third place at 189. The Netherlands tied in fourth place with Austria, Denmark, France, and Sweden with 188 destinations.
At the bottom of the list are conflict-torn countries Afghanistan (26 destinations), Iraq (28), and Syria (31).
London-based global citizenship and residence advisory firm Henley & Partners has been keeping track of the world's most travel-friendly passports since 2006. This year the firm noted that travel restrictions introduced due to the Covid-19 pandemic resulted in the broadest global mobility gap it's ever seen, CNN reports.
The travel bans wealthy countries imposed on predominantly African nations after South Africa identified the Omicron variant late last year shone a light on the growing divide between more prosperous countries and poorer ones, the firm said in its latest report.
Discounting pandemic-related restrictions, travel freedoms expanded over the past decades. In 2006, an average individual could travel to 57 countries without a visa. This year that is 107 destinations. Though these freedoms are mainly enjoyed by Europeans, Americans, and residents of the richer Asian countries.
Passport holders from South Africa, the highest African country ranking in 51st place, can travel to 104 countries visa-free. Residents of Botswana, the next African country on the list, can only visit 86 countries without applying for a visa in advance. Passport holders from nations like Angola, Cameroon, and Liberia can only visit about 50 destinations.