25 Most Powerful Passports In The World You Might Want To Possibly Own

How powerful is your passport? Do you know? If you don’t, the day has come for you to find out. In order to measure the strength of a passport the first thing you have to take into account is how freely it lets you travel. In order to do that, we referred to the Visa Restriction Index published annually by Henley and Partners. Many nations, however, ended up with visa free access to the same amount of countries. For example, citizens of both Canada and Denmark can travel to 173 countries. In cases such as these we referred to other factors. For example, is the country part of a larger passport union? How many countries are the citizens allowed to reside within permanently? Every European Union country has an advantage in this respect. Sometimes, however, we had to look at which citizenship is more desirable in terms of travel freedom. Both the United Kingdom and the United States top the list with visa free access to 174 countries. The United States, however, is much bigger. Within its borders, American citizenship allows you to travel and reside within a greater variety of regions. It was considerations such as these that led to the following rankings. These are the 25 Most Powerful Passports In The World You Might Want To Possibly Own.

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25

Malta

MaltaSource: wikipedia, Image: wikipedia

Number of visa free countries – 166

Although a Malaysian passport also allows you to visit 166 countries visa free, because Malta is a member of the European Union its passport allows you free movement and residence within all the nations of the EU/Schengen. This tips the scales in favor of Malta.

24

Australia

AustraliaSource: wikipedia, Image: wikipedia

Number of visa free countries – 168

Australian citizens have access to most of the Americas, Europe, and can stay indefinitely in New Zealand.

23

Greece

GreeceSource: wikipedia, Image: wikipedia

Number of visa free countries – 169

As a member of the EU, the Greek passport allows citizens to live anywhere in Europe and visit 169 countries visa free.

22

Singapore

SingaporeSource: wikipedia, Image: wikipedia

Number of visa free countries – 170

Along with the next two countries on our list (New Zealand and Switzerland), citizens of Singapore can visit 170 countries visa free. Due to the tie, however, Singapore’s small size made its citizenship only slightly less powerful.

21

New Zealand

New ZealandSource: wikipedia, Image: wikipedia

Number of visa free countries – 170

As we mentioned earlier, similar to the EU model, citizens of New Zealand are free to reside indefinitely in Australia. The country’s larger size pushed its passport only slightly passed Singapore due to more lifestyle freedom.

20

Switzerland

SwitzerlandSource: wikipedia, Image: wikipedia

Number of visa free countries – 170

Although it is not a member of the EU and is smaller than New Zealand, Swiss citizenship has a lot of intangible bonuses that push it above Singapore and New Zealand. A combination of its standard of living, neutrality, and lifestyle have led the Swiss passport to be highly coveted. Moreover, Switzerland is a member of the Schengen Zone meaning its citizens can freely live anywhere in Europe.

19

Ireland

IrelandSource: wikipedia, Image: wikipedia

Number of visa free countries – 171

Along with Austria and Norway, Irish citizens are allowed to visit 171 countries visa free. While all three are allowed free movement throughout Europe, the fact that Ireland hasn’t signed the Schengen Agreement puts it slightly lower if only for the fact that its position in the EU is more tentative.

18

Austria

AustriaSource: wikipedia, Image: wikipedia

Number of visa free countries – 171

An Austrian passport will give you just about the exact same possibilities as an Irish passport but being a more incorporated member of the EU made the Austrian passport only slightly more powerful. Furthermore, a wider range of lifestyle choices including bigger cities and more varied topography weigh in Austria’s favor.

17

Norway

NorwaySource: wikipedia, Image: wikipedia

Number of visa free countries – 171

The one thing that pushed Norway above both Ireland and Austria is the fact that it consistently ranks as having the highest standard of living in the world. If all else fails, Norwegian citizenship guarantees you the ability to enjoy that.

16

South Korea

South KoreaSource: wikipedia, Image: wikipedia

Number of visa free countries – 172

South Korea brings up the bottom of the next set of countries (there are a lot of them!). The main reason it is at the bottom is primarily due to the fact that the rest of the countries (except for Japan) are all EU members which automatically grants their citizens full access to the entire European Union. South Korea is not a member of any such union and therefore its citizens are more restricted in terms of where they can reside.

15

Japan

JapanSource: wikipedia, Image: wikipedia

Number of visa free countries – 172

Japan is in a similar position to South Korea but a bigger economy and more land area give its citizens more diversity back home.

14

Portugal

PortugalSource: wikipedia, Image: wikipedia

Number of visa free countries – 172

Although members of the European Union, Portugal, Spain, and Italy are all currently experiencing significant issues with their economies which has been leading many of their citizens to relocate to northern Europe. Portugal is the smallest of these countries and therefore ranks slightly lower.

13

Spain

SpainSource: wikipedia, Image: wikipedia

Number of visa free countries – 172

Because Spain’s economy is slightly worse off than Italy’s, it is edged out by its Mediterranean neighbor.

12

Italy

ItalySource: wikipedia, Image: wikipedia

Number of visa free countries – 172

Out of all the south European countries, Italy provides the most desirable situation although unemployment is still an issue.

11

France

FranceSource: wikipedia, Image: wikipedia

Number of visa free countries – 172

Moving farther north, France enjoys all of the benefits of the other EU countries but also has a slightly larger and more stable economy.

10

Belgium

BelgiumSource: wikipedia, Image: wikipedia

Number of visa free countries – 172

Although it is smaller than France, a slightly higher GDP per capita pushed it ahead.

9

Luxembourg

LuxembourgSource: wikipedia, Image: wikipedia

Number of visa free countries – 172

With the average salary being almost six figures, Luxembourg is one of the wealthiest nations in the world and that alone pushes it ahead of both Belgium and France.

8

Netherlands

NetherlandsSource: wikipedia, Image: wikipedia

Number of visa free countries – 172

The final country in this section, the Netherlands highly advanced economy and standard of living make the Dutch passport a very nice asset.

7

Canada

CanadaSource: wikipedia, Image: wikipedia

Number of visa free countries – 173

Along with Denmark, Canadians enjoy visa free access to 173 countries. So why is it behind the Danish? Once again, the EU provides Danish citizens with much more freedom of movement.

6

Denmark

DenmarkSource: wikipedia, Image: wikipedia

Number of visa free countries – 173

Enjoying the benefits of EU membership as well as good international standing, the Danish have a very desirable passport.

5

United Kingdom

United KingdomSource: wikipedia, Image: wikipedia

Number of visa free countries – 174

We have now reached the home stretch. The rest of the countries on this list all have passports that allow visa free access to 174 other nations. So what put the UK slightly behind? The main reason is its potential exit from the EU. The rest of countries on this list are either more integrated EU members or they are so massive that they provide far more opportunities within their borders (United States).

4

Finland

FinlandSource: wikipedia, Image: wikipedia

Number of visa free countries – 174

So Finland comes next. Given that the rest of the countries (except for the US) are EU members, that couldn’t be used to distinguish them. It was the climate, remoteness, and lack of lifestyle choice that pushed Finland back.

3

Sweden

SwedenSource: wikipedia, Image: wikipedia

Number of visa free countries – 174

Once again, similar factors to Finland pushed Sweden below the rest of the countries, but compared to Finland, Sweden is bigger and offers more in the way of lifestyle options.

2

Germany

GermanySource: wikipedia, Image: wikipedia

Number of visa free countries – 174

The largest economy in Europe makes a German passport desirable in and of itself. Membership of the EU is the cherry on top of the cake

1

United States

United StatesSource: wikipedia, Image: wikipedia

Number of visa free countries – 174

Although it is not a member of any free movement union like the EU, the United States accounts for 25% of the world’s GDP. Such size and diversity push the US passport to the top of the list.



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