10 Most Powerful Passports in 2017

10 Most Powerful Passports in 2017

Travelling can be a ministerial nightmare for those on restricted passports. Whether citizens are able to flash their passport and breeze past customs or if it’s easy to get a visa upon arrival, every single country’s passport has its own unique set of regulations.

The ranking by Henley & Partners, a citizenship, and planning firm has updated the Passport Index, the popular global ranking of the world’s passports.

For the third year in a row, the German passport is the most powerful in the world, giving its citizens the freedom to travel to 176 countries without visas.

German citizens can visit 176 countries without a visa
German citizens can visit 176 countries without a visa

Sweden also remains static in second place with 175 countries, and Denmark, Finland, Italy, Spain and the US jointly rank third, with their nationals enjoying access to 174 countries without a visa.

The UK, has slipped down yet another position this year to fourth, having shared first place with Germany for three consecutive years from 2013–2015.

Christian H. Kälin, group chairman of Henley and Partners, says “We have witnessed several major events recently that are likely to have an impact on global mobility — including Brexit and the election of U.S. President Donald Trump. Both can be interpreted as steps toward restricting movement and creating barriers to entry,”

While the world’s least desirable passport goes again to Afghanistan, with a score of just 23.  Pakistan (26), Sri Lanka (35), and India (46) highlight the continued lack of access for South Asian passports.

Only three Asian countries—South Korea, Japan, and Singapore—made it into the top 10. China, for all its economic clout and intrepid citizens, ranked 85th, far behind Hong Kong and Taiwan.

Here are the countries scored within the top 10 from the Visa Restriction Index:

Rank Country Score
1 Germany 176
2 Sweden 175
3 Denmark 174
Finland 174
Italy 174
Spain 174
U.S. 174
4 Austria 173
Belgium 173
France 173
Luxembourg 173
Netherlands 173
Norway 173
Singapore 173
U.K. 173
5 Ireland (Republic of) 172
Japan 172
New Zealand 172
6 Croatia 171
Greece 171
Portugal 171
Switzerland 171
7 Australia 170
Korea (Republic of, South) 170
8 Iceland 169
9 The Czech Republic 168
10 Hungary 167


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