“Passports and visas are among the most important instruments impacting on social inequality worldwide as they determine opportunities for global mobility.”
Passport holders from the two countries — which also tied for first place last year— can enter 192 different destinations around the world without a visa, not considering the effect of COVID-19-related restrictions.
They were followed by Germany and South Korea, which tied for second place with access to 190 destinations visa-free.
The Henley Passport Index uses data from the International Air Transport Association (IATA) to compile its rankings.
“Passports and visas are among the most important instruments impacting on social inequality worldwide as they determine opportunities for global mobility,” Dr. Christian H. Kaelin, chairman of Henley & Partners, said in a statement.
“The borders within which we happen to be born, and the documents we are entitled to hold, are no less arbitrary than our skin color. Wealthier states need to encourage positive inward migration in an effort to help redistribute and rebalance human and material resources worldwide, including improving the size and quality of their own workforces.”
The United States and the United Kingdom tied for sixth place with visa-free or visa-on-arrival access to 186 destinations. In 2020, the U.S. came in eighth place.
Belgium, New Zealand, Norway, and Switzerland also tied for sixth place this year.
While some countries rose in the rankings, the company said this year’s index also showed the widest gap in global mobility since it was founded 17 years ago.
On the other end of the spectrum sit countries like Afghanistan, where passport holders can only enter 26 destinations without a visa, 28 for Iraq.
Ranked 98 on the index, Nigeria has visa-less or visa-on-arrival access to 45 countries.