January 4, 2019

What is the world’s most powerful passport?

Katherine Packer

Certain passports provide more freedom of mobility around the world than others, but which passports are truly the most powerful? And how is that quantified? Generally, the marker of a strong passport is visa free access to a large number of countries. By this mode of measurement, Japan is currently the front-runner as the most powerful passport in the world with visa-free access to 190 countries, after adding Myanmar to the list recently. Singapore is a close second with 189 followed by a three-way tie between Germany, France, and South Korea at 188.

The United Kingdom and the United States aren’t far behind tied in fifth place with visa-free access to 186 countries. They share this ranking with five other countries, all in Europe. The significance of visa-free access is that travel is not only easier, but significantly cheaper. Visas can be quite cost prohibitive simply to acquire, not to mention the risk that your visa could be denied, sometimes at with very little notice necessitating last minute rearrangements or complete cancellation of your trip.

Having freedom and flexibility to travel without the necessity of acquiring a visa beforehand is a highly coveted position to be in and one that requires careful negotiation between the two countries, so count yourself lucky if you’re in possession of one of the passports on this list!

Statista: The world's most powerful passports

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