What Are the Most Powerful Passports? 2020 Edition

A passport is essential to travel, but not all passports are alike. Some passports are more powerful than others. According to the Henley Passport Index, there has been a major reshuffling in the global ranking of world passports.

At the start of 2019, there were 27 countries in the top ten of the index. During the last quarter of 2019, four more countries have been added to the list. While some countries have joined the ranks of the most powerful passports in the world, others such as India have even slipped from their positions of privilege.

Here is the final list of countries with the most powerful passports as of 2020.

Most Powerful Passports in the World

I- The Most Powerful Passports of 2020

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1. Japan (191)

Japan has had the honor of being the country with the most powerful passport for the third time in a row. Japanese passport holders can travel to 191 countries visa-free. Previously, Germany was at the top spot, offering its citizens visa-free access to over 176 countries, it has now dropped to the 3rd position.

2. Singapore (190)

In addition to Japan, Singapore continues to be ahead of all the other passports of the world in the ranking for the most travel-friendly passport. Singaporean passport holders enjoy visa-free access to 190 countries.

3. South Korea, Germany (189)

In 2009, South Korea came in at 12th place in global passport rankings with visa-free access to 144 countries. In the past ten years, it has jumped 10 places up the rank and now comes in at the 3rd place, tying with Germany.  Each of these countries offers visa-free access or visa on arrival to 189 countries around the world.

Germany was previously at number 1 in passport rankings, offering visa-free access to 176 countries. However, it was replaced by Japan and Singapore last year. Nevertheless the German passport continues to be one of the most sought-after passports for several years now.

4. Finland and Italy (188)

Passports of Italy and Finland tie for the fourth place in 2020. They both grant visa-free stay in a total of 188 countries across the globe.

Finland jumped two spots in 2019. This change can partly be attributed to recent changes in Pakistan’s formerly restrictive visa policy. As of 2020, Pakistan offers visas on arrival to citizens of over 50 countries, including Finland.

5. Spain, Denmark, and Luxembourg (187)

The European countries Spain, Denmark, and Luxembourg tie for the fifth place in the global passports ranking. Each of these countries offers its passport holders visa-free access or visa-on-arrival to 187 countries.

6. France, Sweden (186)

France and Sweden dropped to the sixth position in the global ranking of the most powerful passports.

Each of these countries offers visa-free access or visa-on-arrival to 185 countries.

7. Austria, Netherlands, Switzerland, Ireland, and Portugal (185)

Austria, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Ireland, and Portugal tie in at seventh place in the global passport rankings. Each of these countries offers its citizens with visa-free access or visa-on-arrival to 185 countries.

8. The UK, USA, Greece, Norway, and Belgium (184)

The UK, the USA, Greece, Norway and Belgium reach the 8th rank in the global passport rankings in 2020.

According to a press release from the Henley Passport Index in July, the UK’s exit from the EU leaves its once-powerful position in the world uncertain.

If you have a passport from any one of these countries, you can visit 184 countries all over the world without applying for a visa or by getting a visa-on-arrival.

9. Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Czech Republic, and Malta (183)

These 5 countries tie for the ninth position this year by providing their citizens with visa-free access or visa-on-arrival to 183 countries.

Last year Canada was able to provide access to 184 countries to its citizens. But in 2020 they lost one country so Canada position dropped to the ninth, the worst ranking Canada got this past 10 years!

10. Lithuania, Slovakia, Hungary (181)

Hungary, Lithuania, and Slovakia are at the tenth rank in global passport rankings. Their passports allow visa-free access or visa-on-arrival to 181 countries.

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II- What Is the Henley Passport Index?

Henley & Partners

Henley & Partner’s list is one of the several indexes created by financial organizations to rank global passports according to the access and benefits they provide to their citizens.

This index is created with a lot of precision and the process used to create it is extremely accurate, and this index is revised every year.

The Henley Passport Index is based on the exclusive information provided by the International Air Transport Authority (IATA), the world’s largest and most accurate travel database. The index covers 199 passports and 227 different countries.

It is updated in real-time throughout the year, using extensive research and online data and when visa policy changes come into effect.

III- What Are the Benefits of Having a Powerful Passport?

Passport with boarding pass

There is only one primary benefit of having a powerful passport – the ability to travel hassle and stress-free! If you belong to a country that is on the top ten global rankings of the most powerful passport, you can travel to countless travel destinations without having to worry about getting a visa.

If your passport is powerful enough, you may not even need a visa! Or worst-case scenario, you may have to apply for a visa upon arrival in the new country. But at least you will not be deterred from traveling because of a lack of visas.

Not only is it inconvenient to apply and wait weeks until you receive your visa, applying for a visa can also become pretty expensive. When you take into account the cost of the ticket and the expenses you are likely to face while traveling, it is a blessing to be able to save on at least the visa.

So if you are a citizen of one of the few lucky countries on this list, be grateful for your good fortune and happy traveling!

IV- Full List Of The World’s Passports With Their Ranks

CountryRankAccess
Japan1191
Singapore2190
South Korea3189
Germany3189
Italy4188
Finland4188
Spain5187
Luxembourg5187
Denmark5187
Sweden6186
France6186
Switzerland7185
Portugal7185
Netherlands7185
Ireland7185
Austria7185
United States8184
United Kingdom8184
Norway8184
Greece8184
Belgium8184
New Zealand9183
Malta9183
Czech Republic9183
Canada9183
Australia9183
Slovakia10181
Lithuania10181
Hungary10181
Slovenia11180
Latvia11180
Iceland11180
Estonia12179
Malaysia13178
Liechtenstein13178
Poland14176
Monaco15175
Cyprus16174
Chile16174
Romania17172
United Arab Emirates18171
Bulgaria18171
Brazil19170
Argentina19170
Hong Kong (SAR China)20169
Croatia20169
San Marino21168
Andorra22167
Brunei23166
Barbados24160
Israel25159
Mexico26158
St. Kitts and Nevis27154
Bahamas27154
Uruguay28153
Seychelles29151
Antigua and Barbuda30150
Vatican City31149
Trinidad and Tobago31149
Costa Rica31149
Taiwan (Chinese Taipei)32146
St. Vincent and the Grenadines32146
Mauritius32146
St. Lucia33145
Macao (SAR China)34144
Paraguay35142
Grenada35142
Panama36140
Dominica37139
Peru38135
Serbia39133
Honduras39133
El Salvador39133
Venezuela40132
Guatemala40132
Solomon Islands41131
Samoa41131
Vanuatu42130
Ukraine43128
Nicaragua43128
Tuvalu44127
Colombia44127
Tonga45125
Montenegro46124
North Macedonia47123
Marshall Islands48122
Kiribati48122
Moldova49120
Palau Islands50119
Russian Federation51118
Micronesia51118
Bosnia and Herzegovina52117
Georgia53116
Albania54114
Turkey55111
South Africa56100
Belize56100
Timor-Leste5795
Kuwait5795
Qatar5893
Ecuador5991
Nauru6088
Guyana6088
Fiji6088
Maldives6185
Jamaica6185
Papua New Guinea6284
Botswana6284
Bahrain6382
Oman6479
Thailand6578
Suriname6578
Bolivia6578
Saudi Arabia6677
Namibia6776
Kazakhstan6776
Belarus6875
Lesotho6974
Eswatini (Swaziland)7073
Malawi7172
Kenya7271
Indonesia7271
China7271
Zambia7370
Tanzania7370
Tunisia7469
Gambia7568
Philippines7667
Azerbaijan7667
Uganda7766
Cape Verde Islands7766
Ghana7865
Cuba7865
Zimbabwe7964
Dominican Republic7964
Sierra Leone8063
Morocco8063
Kyrgyzstan8063
Mongolia8162
Benin8162
Armenia8162
Sao Tome and Principe8261
Mozambique8261
Rwanda8359
Burkina Faso8359
Tajikistan8458
Mauritania8458
India8458
Uzbekistan8557
Cote d’Ivoire (Ivory Coast)8557
Senegal8656
Gabon8656
Togo8755
Guinea8755
Vietnam8854
Niger8854
Mali8854
Madagascar8854
Cambodia8854
Guinea-Bissau8953
Equatorial Guinea8953
Comores Islands8953
Chad8953
Bhutan8953
Turkmenistan9052
Jordan9151
Central African Republic9151
Laos9250
Algeria9250
Liberia9349
Haiti9349
Egypt9349
Cameroon9349
Burundi9349
Angola9349
Myanmar9447
Congo (Rep.)9447
Nigeria9546
Djibouti9546
South Sudan9643
Ethiopia9643
Sri Lanka9742
Iran9841
Eritrea9841
Congo (Dem. Rep.)9841
Bangladesh9841
Lebanon9940
Kosovo9940
Sudan10039
North Korea10039
Palestinian Territory10138
Nepal10138
Libya10237
Yemen10333
Somalia10432
Pakistan10432
Syria10529
Iraq10628
Afghanistan10726
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