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Why an American Passport Is Less Powerful in 2019

Travel Passport Usa Citizenship Max Pixel

A United States passport may not be the golden ticket it once was. Passports from the United States seem to be getting less powerful with each year. The latest version of the Henley Passport Index shows that the United States has slipped down all the way to sixth place when it comes to passport power to gain access into other countries.

The United States passport had been in fifth place just last year. Travelers with passports from the United States can currently enter a total of 185 countries around the world without visas or visas upon arrival. The United States is tied with Austria, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Switzerland and the United Kingdom when it comes to roaming power.

Certain parts of the world are seeing bigger growth when it comes to passport power in 2019. Many countries in Asia are rising in the Henley ranking. In fact, the country with the strongest passport in the world right now is Japan. This is the second year in a row that Japan has taken the top spot. Citizens of Japan can use their passports to enter 190 different countries around the world. South Korea and Singapore are tied for second place.

However, there’s one powerhouse Asian nation that isn’t a powerhouse when it comes to its passport. China comes in at 69 out of all the countries in the world. However, the Chinese passport has actually taken a dramatic leap in recent years. The Chinese passport has managed to jump 20 places on the Henley Passport Index in just two years.

There’s no denying that Asian passports are gaining power. However, European nations still hold most of the top spots. France and Germany are tied for third place this year. Denmark, Italy, Finland and Sweden are all tied for fourth place.

The good news for Americans is that a United States passport is still exceptionally powerful in the grand scheme of things. It’s not uncommon for nations to move up and down a few notches when it comes to passport power. However, geopolitical events can cause a country’s passport holders to lose access to other nations in the blink of an eye.

Avid travelers may be disappointed to discover that their passports can’t get them everywhere. Travelers from Japan can currently enter five more countries than travelers from the United States. You’re out of luck if you were planning to increase your travel potential by applying for a Japanese passport. Obtaining Japanese citizenship is an incredibly difficult process that will require you to renounce your existing citizenship.

[Image: Max Pixel]

Comments are Closed.
Xnuiem February 6, 2019

A US Passport slipped "all the way to 6th" from 5th...Long slip? Also, a US passport did not become less powerful, someone else became slightly more powerful. Typical FT click bait.

makrom February 5, 2019

I just noticed that this is a very weird ranking When you put several contestands on the same place, you usually skip these ranking numbers for the following ranks. So when Singapore and South Korea are both sharing second place, France can't be on 3rd place since there are more than 2 countries with a higher ranking. In case of the US, there are 11 countries with a higher ranking.

makrom February 5, 2019

The correct link is https://www.henleypassportindex.com/passport-index

dvs7310 February 5, 2019

2 of the ones Japanese passports get visa free entry to that the US doesn't are China and Vietnam. The Vietnamese visa is easy now and relatively cheap since they implemented e-Visa last year, however China is still a major PITA even though they give US passport holders 10 years now. They regularly deny people (US passport holders) visas for arbitrary reasons, suspicion of being a journalist is a common one.

eknock007 February 4, 2019

So you can step right in with a Japanese passport into countries like Venezuela, Iran, and Myammar amongst a group that a US passport cannot. But at least with a US passport, you can step right into the Central African Republic, Burkina Faso, and Gambia. Take that Japanese passport.