The World's Best Passports to Have

The ability to pass through countries visa-free helps determine which passports are more powerful than others.
The ability to pass through countries visa-free helps determine which passports are more powerful than others.

In the world of international travel, some passports are more valuable than others. The world's most powerful passports will allow you to travel the globe relatively hassle-free, while the weakest passports can effectively prohibit your movements. Although advances in mobility and technology have created a world that feels smaller and more interdependent than ever before, there is still a major disparity among different countries in regards to levels of travel freedom. The Passport Index ranks global passport power in each of the world's countries by assignment of a world openness or "visa-free" score: a comparison of how much travel freedom their citizens enjoy. The strongest passports in the world are from the United Arab Emirates, Finland, Luxembourg, and Spain. 

5. Fifth Place

  • Lithuania
  • Iceland
  • United Kingdom
  • Canada

The world's fifth best passports belong to citizens of Lithuania, Iceland, the UK, and Canada. These documents allow travellers access to 165 countries relatively hassle-free. Many of these countries are also among the world's best countries to live in.

4. Fourth Place

  • Sweden
  • Singapore
  • France
  • Belgium
  • Malta
  • Greece
  • Norway
  • Japan
  • United States

These countries all have the world's fourth most powerful passport, including the United States. Citizens of the aforementioned places can travel up to 166 countries without a visa. Countries that require US citizens to obtain a visa include Afghanistan, Bhutan, Burundi, Eritrea, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, North Korea, and Sudan.

3. Third Place

  • Denmark
  • Italy
  • Germany
  • Netherlands
  • Austria
  • Portugal
  • Switzerland
  • South Korea
  • Ireland

Tied for third place are the above countries. Aside from South Korea, they are all located in Europe. All of these countries have the power to travel to 167 countries without needing a visa. It's not coincidence, then, that some of these countries travel more than any other country in the world. South Korea has the strongest passport in Asia after the UAE.

2. Second Place

  • Finland
  • Luxembourg
  • Spain

Tied for the world's second strongest passports: Finland, Luxembourg, and Spain. Citizens of these countries, all of which are in the European Union, can enjoy travel to 168 of the world's countries, hassle-free.

1. First Place

The United Arab Emirates currently issues the strongest passport in the world, with visa-free travel to 173 out of the world's 195 countries. The Emirati passport has seen tremendous growth in its power over the past ten years, mostly thanks to an improvement in the country's reputation and bilateral relations.

The World's Most Powerful Passports

Rank´╗┐CountryVisa-Free Travel
1United Arab Emirates173
12South Korea167
22United States 168
25United Kingdom165

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