The 21 Most Powerful Passports In The World

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Leanna Garfield

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If you have citizenship in Sweden, you have a great deal of traveling power — Swedes can fly to 187 countries without a visa. This makes international travel cheaper and easier than it is for citizens of many other countries. Citizens of Afghanistan can fly to just 30 countries without a visa.

These stark differences are revealed in the Passport Index, which ranks countries based on the number of nations where residents can enter without a visa or obtain a visa on arrival. The citizenship planning firm Henley & Partners compiled government data from 200 nations, territories, and microstates to create the 2018 ranking, which the company updated this week.


Here are the 21 countries with the highest-ranking passports. Many of these nations are tied, which is why we start at #5.

5. (tied) Switzerland — 185 countries

Geneva, Switzerland ITU Pictures/Flickr

5. (tied) Ireland — 185 countries

Dublin, Ireland Shutterstock/Bartkowski

5. (tied) Canada — 185 countries

Ottawa, CanadaVlad G/Shutterstock

5. (tied) Belgium — 185 countries

Anton_Ivanov /

4. (tied) The United States — 186 countries

Los Angeles, CaliforniaShutterstock

4. (tied) The United Kingdom — 186 countries

Bristol, United Kingdom.Madrugada Verde/Shutterstock

4. (tied) Portugal — 186 countries

Évora, PortugalTakashi Images/Shutterstock

4. (tied) The Netherlands — 186 countries


4. (tied) Luxembourg — 186 countries


4. (tied) Austria — 186 countries

vvoe /

4. (tied) Norway — 186 countries

Oslo, Norway Shutterstock/Nenad Nedomacki

3. (tied) Sweden — 187 countries

Stockholm, Sweden Tommie Hansen/Flickr

3. (tied) Spain — 187 countries

T.Slack /

3. (tied) Italy — 187 countries

faber1893 /

3. (tied) South Korea — 187 countries

Seoul, South Korea Public Domain

3. (tied) France — 187 countries

Paris, FranceZheltikov Dmitry/Shutterstock

3. (tied) Finland — 187 countries


3. (tied) Denmark — 187 countries

Copenhagen, Denmark Mapics/ Shutterstock

2. Germany — 188 countries

  1. Shutterstock

    1. (tied) Singapore — 189 countries

  2. Mikhail Yuryev /

    1. (tied) Japan — 189 countries

  3. Shutterstock

    Japan topped this year's Passport Index, surpassing Singapore.

    The two countries were tied at 180 countries until March 2018, when Benin relaxed its visa requirements for Japan. Earlier in the year, Henley also added eight territories and microstates for consideration in the ranking: Greenland, the Faroe Islands, Monaco, Andorra, Liechtenstein, Palestine, Vatican City, and San Marino, all of which Japan passport-holders can access without a visa.

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