A ranking shows which passports are the “most powerful” worldwide, ie how easy it is to obtain a visa or even enter countries without a visa
Imagine if you had to ask for a visa in advance for almost every trip, meet strict requirements and even expect your application to be rejected in the end. What fortunately remains the exception for Germans and Europeans is the rule for many people worldwide. Depending on your nationality, the freedom to travel is more or less restricted.
The Passport Index website , operated by consulting firm Arton Capital, regularly analyzes states’ visa requirements. She then creates a ranking from the data. For the Global Passport Power Rank 2022, the company compared a total of 199 countries and territories to determine which passports bring the most advantages and disadvantages when traveling. Passports that allow entry without a visa (visa-free in the narrower sense), or apply for and receive one upon arrival (visa-free in the broader sense), receive one point for each country where this is possible.
As for the methodology, the Passport Index website says: “The data is based on official government information, updated in real-time with information gathered through crowdsourcing and supplemented with our own research from highly credible sources.”
The “most powerful” passports in the world
Surprisingly at number 1 of the most powerful passports: the United Arab Emirates. These include Abu Dhabi, Ajman, Dubai, Fujairah, Ras al-Khaimah, Sharjah and Umm al-Qaiwain. If you have a passport from one of these emirates, you can currently enter 159 countries without a visa or with a “visa on arrival”. In last year’s ranking, the UAE did not appear in the top ten at all.
Germany, Finland and Italy share second place . German passport holders can enter 151 countries without a visa or with a “visa on arrival”. This is 17 countries more than in the previous year. In 47 countries, German travelers currently have to apply for a visa in advance or cannot enter as a tourist at all.
For comparison: Afghanistan and Iraq, in 91st place, enjoy visa-free travel in just 34 countries around the world. The index did not take into account the restrictions imposed by the corona pandemic.
In addition to the Global Passport Power Rank, the British consulting firm Henley & Partners also analyzes the freedom to travel offered by the various passports. There, Germany ranks second with South Korea in the current Passport Index. According to Henley & Partners, Germans can enter 190 countries without a visa. Japan and Singapore jointly occupy first place in this ranking. The differences result, among other things, from which territories are considered states.
The ranking of the countries with the most useful passports in the world
|placement||Country countries||Number of countries that can be visited without a visa|
|1.||United Arab Emirates||159|
|2.||Germany, Finland, Italy||151|
|3.||Denmark, Sweden, Austria, Luxembourg, Switzerland, South Korea, New Zealand||150|
|4.||Netherlands, Belgium, Portugal, Spain, Australia||149|
|5.||France, Czech Republic, Malta, Norway, Poland, Hungary, Ireland, USA||148|
|6.||Greece, Slovakia, United Kingdom, Canada||147|
|7.||Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Iceland, Slovenia, Japan||146|
|10||Bulgaria, Cyprus, Bulgaria||143|
The most travel-free passports in the world
How much travel freedom does which passport offer?
he German passport is one of the documents with which you can enjoy the greatest freedom to travel worldwide this year. In the Henley Passport Index of the London-based consulting firm Henley & Partners, Germany again ranks second, sharing this position with South Korea. Japan and Singapore are at the top of the current ranking.
The Henley Passport Index , which was called the Visa Restriction Index up to and including 2017, is based on data from the International Air Transport Association (IATA). To do this, the experts analyze how freely and unhindered by visa regulations and entry restrictions the citizens of a country can move around the rest of the world thanks to their passport.
The result: Germans, like South Koreans, can currently enter 190 countries without having to apply for a visa beforehand. Only citizens of Japan and Singapore can travel to more countries visa-free, namely 191.
The index did not take into account the global travel restrictions caused by the corona pandemic.
Passports of European countries dominate the top
Fourth to seventh places in the Henley Passport Index are exclusively occupied by European countries: Italy, Finland, Spain and Luxembourg (all 3rd place) with 189 countries that can be visited without a visa. Denmark and Austria share fourth place with 188 countries each. This is followed by Sweden, France, Portugal, the Netherlands and Ireland (5th place) with 187 countries. In general, Northern and Western European countries are at the top of international rankings for freedom to travel.
Not surprisingly, citizens from many African and Asian countries as well as crisis and war regions are very limited in terms of freedom of travel. The bottom five places are occupied by Afghanistan (116th, 26 visa-free countries), Iraq (115th, 28 countries), Syria (114th, 29 countries), Pakistan (113th, 31 countries) and Yemen (112th place, 33 countries).
In addition to the Henley Passport Index, the consulting firm Arton Capital also analyzes the freedom to travel offered by the various passports. There, Germany ranks second in the Global Passport Power Rank 2022 , together with Finland and Italy. Accordingly, Germans can enter 151 countries without a visa. The differences arise, among other things, from which territories are considered states.
The 10 passports with the greatest freedom to travel
- Japan, Singapore: 192
- Germany, South Korea: 190
- Italy, Finland, Luxembourg, Spain: 189
- Denmark, Austria: 188
- France, Sweden, Ireland, Netherlands, Portugal: 187
- Switzerland, Belgium, New Zealand: 186
- Greece, Malta, Czech Republic, Norway, United Kingdom, USA: 185
- Australia, Canada: 184
- Hungary: 183
- Lithuania, Poland, Slovakia: 182
Note: Article based on January 2022 ranking. The Henley Passport Index is regularly updated to reflect changing visa regulations around the world.