According to a new ranking by a citizenship and planning firm, Henley & Partners, German citizens possess the world’s most powerful passport.
German passport holders can travel to 177, out of a possible 218, while Britons can visit 175 and US citizens 174.
Travelling can be a bureaucratic nightmare for those on restricted passports. A simple definition of the ‘Most powerful’ passport would mean the number of countries a passport holder can visit either without a visa or by obtaining one on arrival.
It also takes into account how many countries that can be visited without applying for a visa.
In 2015, the most powerful passport to have was either British or American. The UK topped alongside Germany, but ceded the top spot after several countries relaxed visa restrictions to the latter during 2015. It was also leapfrogged by Sweden and now shares third place with France, Italy, Spain and Finland.
Belgium, Denmark and the Netherlands share fourth spot with the US. Swedish nationals would however only need to work for one hour in order to afford their passport.
Meanwhile, citizens of Afghanistan have the least powerful passport – with visa-free access to only 25 countries – while Liberians have to work for 278 hours before they can afford theirs.
Portugal, which holds the most attractive residence-by-investment program through its Golden Visa Program, holds 6th position in the 2016 Index, gaining two countries to total 172 countries its citizens may travel to visa-free.
Malta, the EU member country which runs the world’s most successful citizenship-by-investment program has gained visa-free access to another two countries since 2015, making it the 8th most powerful passport in the world.
The leading country in the Caribbean, Antigua and Barbuda, ranked 30th and its passport-holders may now travel to 134 countries visa-free.
Here’s a list of the world’s most powerful passports;
- Germany, 177
- Sweden, 176
- Finland, France, Italy, Spain, United Kingdom, 175
- Belgium, Denmark, Netherlands, United States, 174
- Austria, Japan, Singapore, 173
- Canada, Ireland (Republic of), Korea (Republic of, South), Luxembourg, Norway, Portugal, Switzerland, 172
- Greece, New Zealand, 171
- Australia, 169
- Malta, 168
- Hungary, Czech Republic, Iceland, 167
The World’s least Powerful Passports
- Afghanistan, 25
- Pakistan, 29
- Iraq, 30
- Somalia, 31
- Syria, 32
- Libya, 36
- Eritrea, Ethiopia, Iran, Nepal, Palestinian Territory, Sudan, 37
- Kosovo, South Sudan, Yemen, 38
- Bangladesh, Congo (Democratic Republic of), Lebanon, Sri Lanka, 39
- Burundi, Korea (Democratic People’s Republic of, North), Myanmar, 42