10 countries with the most powerful passports

Narjas Zatat@Narjas_Zatat
Thursday 04 April 2019 16:00
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Picture:(iStock)

How powerful is the British passport when compared with other countries? (Well, pre-Brexit passports…)

New statistics released by the World Economic Forum which looked at the most powerful passports in the world suggest Britain isn’t as strong as it probably thinks it is. Which probably doesn't come as much as a surprise if you've been watching Brexit unfold for the last few years.

The Henley Passport Index looked at data provided by the International Air Transport Authority and open-source data. Researchers compiled 199 passports and 277 travel destinations, and based on those numbers it created an index of the most (and least) powerful passports in the word.

A number of factors were used in order to come up with the list, including checking if there are visa requirements, visa permits and other forms of pre-department government approval to enter a country.

The results are in.

Here are the top ten most powerful passports in the world (some passports share space as they have the same index score):

1. Japan, Singapore, South Korea

2. Germany

3. Denmark, Finland, France, Italy, Sweden

4. Luxembourg, Spain

5. Austria, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Switzerland, United Kingdom

6. United States, Belgium, Canada, Greece, Ireland

7. Czech Republic

8. Malta

9. Australia, Iceland, New Zealand

10. Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Slovakia, Slovenia

With visa-free access to 189 countries, Japan, Singapore and South Korea emerged on top, closely followed in second place by Germany (188).

The United Arab Emirates is one of the fastest growers in the index, up to 21st from 61st ten years ago. It now offers visa-free access to 165 destinations.

The UK passport is steady, having remained in joint fifth place. Although, the number of visa-free access has dropped from 186 to 185 countries.

Iraq is joint last (130th), joining Afghanistan. Both countries offer visa-free access to just 30 countries. Syria, Somalia, and Pakistan offer one of the least powerful passports, offering visa-free access to just 32 and 33 countries respectively.

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