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What Is The World’s Most Powerful Passport?

By VisualCapitalist. Originally published at ValueWalk.

Which passports are travel assets, and which are liabilities?

The Chart of the Week is a weekly Visual Capitalist feature on Fridays.

Whether you seek to explore distant lands, or you just want to sit on a remote island beach with a margarita, your passport can be your biggest travel asset. The right document grants you visa-free access to over 150+ countries, and makes applying for entry to the other places a short and easy afterthought.

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But a passport can also be your biggest liability. Having a passport from the wrong place means travel is extremely restricted to just a few countries – and these are generally not the places travelers want to go, anyways.

Even worse, passports on the lower end of the spectrum are also heavily scrutinized at entry-points around the world. If you have a document from Afghanistan, Sri Lanka, Lebanon, or several other countries, there may be many hoops for you to jump through to get to your final destination.

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The Most Powerful Passport

According to the Passport Index, the distinction for the world’s most powerful passport actually ends up as a tie between Germany and Singapore. Both have unparalleled access to visa-free entries, each with a list of 159 countries that citizens can go to without any hassles.

Like Germany, most other Western European nations do similarly well in the visa-free department:

Global Passport Rank Country Number of Countries (Visa-Free)
#1 (tie) Germany 159
#2 (tie) Sweden 158
#3 (tie) Denmark 157
#3 (tie) Finland 157
#3 (tie) Italy 157
#3 (tie) France 157
#3 (tie) Spain 157
#3 (tie) Norway 157
#3 (tie) United Kingdom 157

In Asia, however, things are quite different. After Singapore and a few other countries (Japan, South Korea, and Malaysia), things drop off faster.

Global Passport Rank Country Number of Countries (Visa-Free)
#1 (tie) Singapore 159
#2 (tie) South Korea 158
#3 (tie) Japan 157
#5 (tie) Malaysia 155
#16 Hong Kong 142
#18 Israel 138
#19 (tie) Brunei 136
#24 UAE 128
#30 Taiwan 121

Further down the list in Asia, citizens of certain countries find themselves in even a tougher place, especially if they reside in the Middle East. Countries like Afghanistan (22), Pakistan (25), Iraq (26), Syria (30), and Bangladesh (35) have some of the shortest lists of visa-free countries that citizens have access to.

North America

In North America, the United States and Canada both have powerful passports with 157 and 155 visa-free options respectively.

However, they differ in a few key areas. Americans have visa-free access to Armenia, Equatorial Guinea, Palau, the Marshall Islands, and the Central African Republic, while Canadians have visa-free access to Bolivia, Venezuela, and Gambia.

Don’t Own These Passports…

We alluded earlier to the fact that a passport can also be a traveler’s biggest liability.

Here are some of the countries that you would likely not want to have a passport from:

Global Passport Rank Country Number of Countries (Visa-Free)
#89 (tie) Sri Lanka 36
#89 (tie) Nepal 36
#89 (tie) Iran 36
#89 (tie) Yemen 36
#89 (tie) Sudan 36
#90 Bangladesh 35
#91 Somalia 33
#92 Syria 30
#93 Iraq 26
#94 Pakistan 25
#95 Afghanistan 22

Article by Jeff Desjardins, Visual Capitalist

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The post What Is The World’s Most Powerful Passport? appeared first on ValueWalk.

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