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 2019.
I- The Most Powerful Passports of 2019
1. Japan and Singapore (190)
Japan has had the honor of being the country with the most powerful passport for the second time in a row. Japanese passport holders can travel to 190 countries visa-free. Previously, Germany was at the top spot, offering its citizens visa-free access to over 176 countries.
This year, in addition to Japan, Singapore is also at first place in the ranking for the most travel-friendly passport. Like Japan, Singaporean passport holders also enjoy visa-free access to 190 countries.
2. South Korea, Germany, and Finland (188)
Finland jumped two spots in 2019. This change can partly be attributed to recent changes in Pakistan’s formerly restrictive visa policy. As of January 2019, Pakistan offers visas on arrival to citizens of over 50 countries, including Finland.
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 2nd place, tying with Germany and Finland. Each of these countries offers visa-free access or visa on arrival to 188 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 this year. The German passport continues to be one of the most sought-after passports for several years now.
3. Denmark, Italy, and Luxembourg (187)
The European countries Italy, Denmark, and Luxembourg tie for the third place in global passport rankings. Each of these countries offers its passport holders visa-free access or visa-on-arrival to 187 countries.
Both Italy and Denmark were previously on the fourth rank and climbed up to the third rank while Luxembourg rose from the fifth rank to the third rank.
4. France, Sweden, and Spain (186)
France, Sweden, and Spain all tie-in for the fourth position in the global ranking of the most powerful passports. While Sweden retained its fourth rank, France dropped one place and Spain climbed up one place.
Each of these three countries offers visa-free access or visa-on-arrival to 185 countries.
Just five years ago, the UK and the USA came in at number four. Both of these countries have now slipped down to the sixth place, the lowest rank either country has held since 2010.
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.
5. Austria, Netherlands, and Portugal (185)
Austria, the Netherlands, and Portugal tie in at fifth place in the global passport rankings. Each of these countries offers its citizens with visa-free access or visa-on-arrival to 185 countries.
6. The UK & USA, Greece, Norway, Belgium, Ireland, Canada, and Switzerland (184)
Canada, Ireland, Greece, and Belgium climbed one spot to reach the sixth rank in global passport rankings. Meanwhile, the US and the UK remained consistent in sixth place. 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.
7. Czech Republic and Malta (183)
The Czech Republic and Malta both tie at the seventh place by providing their citizens with visa-free access or visa-on-arrival to 183 countries.
8. New Zealand (182)
The New Zealand passport proudly holds the eighth rank in global passport rankings this year, offering visa-free access or visa-on-arrival to 182 countries.
9. Australia, Lithuania, Slovakia (181)
Australian, Lithuanian, and Slovakian passports offer visa-free access or visa-on-arrival to 181 countries.
10. Hungary, Iceland, Latvia, and Slovenia (180)
Hungary, Iceland, Latvia, and Slovenia are at the tenth rank in global passport rankings. Their passports allow visa-free access or visa-on-arrival to 180 countries.
II- What Is the Henley Passport Index?
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?
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
Download the CSV file here.
|United Arab Emirates||15||172|
|Hong Kong (SAR China)||18||168|
|St. Kitts and Nevis||24||154|
|Antigua and Barbuda||28||149|
|Trinidad and Tobago||29||148|
|Taiwan (Chinese Taipei)||31||145|
|St. Vincent and the Grenadines||31||145|
|Macao (SAR China)||33||141|
|Bosnia and Herzegovina||49||116|
|Papua New Guinea||62||83|
|Cape Verde Islands||76||66|
|Sao Tome and Principe||81||60|
|Cote d’Ivoire (Ivory Coast)||84||57|
|Central African Republic||90||51|
|Congo (Dem. Rep.)||97||42|