Japan Has the Most Powerful Passport but Only in a Post-Pandemic World

As vaccination program rollouts gather momentum in certain countries, the resumption of regular international travel is no longer an abstract hope.

The latest results from the Henley Passport Index — the original ranking of all the world’s passports according to the number of destinations their holders can access without a prior visa — provide exclusive insight into what post-pandemic travel freedom might look like as countries around the world selectively begin to open their borders to international visitors.

As the Covid-19 curtain begins to lift, Japanese passport holders will be the most welcome in the world, now able to access to a record 193 destinations visa-free. The race to restore global mobility is on as countries look to vaccine passports, investment migration, and innovative ways to attract skilled talent to revive their broken economies.

Grounded in geopolitical analysis and with a focus on the realities shaping our world, the Henley & Partners Global Mobility Report 2021 Q2 is a unique publication that accompanies the Henley Passport Index, bringing together exclusive commentary from leading scholars and professional experts on the major trends influencing global and regional mobility patterns today.

Looking ahead to what the rest of 2021 holds, experts commenting in the report suggest that adaptability and responsiveness will be critical to the survival and success of countries and individuals alike. Dr. Parag Khanna, Founder and Managing Partner of FutureMap, says the second half of the year may well see millions of people scattering again. “The shifting patterns of migration in the post-Covid world (when it comes) will be non-linear and perhaps unpredictable. They will mimic the reality of a world in which there are many unfolding crises, from pandemics to climate change to political polarization. Countries facing fiscal pressures as well as skilled labor and investment shortages will seek to attract and recruit everyone from start-up entrepreneurs who can stimulate innovation to doctors and nurses who can boost public health services. The global war for talent is now well underway.”

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