Where will your passport take you?
When it comes to passports, power resides in their ability to get the traveler into a foreign country without a visa. The more countries a passport holder can visit visa-free, the more power that passport has.
In the end, it’s a matter of trust, a measure of how many countries trust citizens of another country to behave themselves while visiting and not overstay their welcome. Citizens of trusted countries are accorded visa-free entry to many other countries; citizens of distrusted countries must apply for visas, which in some cases can be a lengthy and expensive process.
So, which countries’ passports offer their citizens the most mobility? Here’s the list, compiled by PassportIndex, of passports that offer holders the 10 most visa-free country entries:
- Singapore: (visa-free entry to 159 countries)
- Germany: (158 countries)
- Sweden, South Korea: (157)
- Denmark, Finland, Italy, France, Spain, Norway, Japan, United Kingdom: (156)
- Luxembourg, Switzerland, Netherlands, Belgium, Austria, Portugal: (155)
- Malaysia, Ireland, Canada, United States: (154)
- Australia, Greece, New Zealand: (153)
- Malta, Czech Republic, Iceland: (152)
- Hungary: (150)
- Slovenia, Slovakia, Poland, Lithuania, Latvia: (149)
The ranking considers 193 United Nations member countries, plus six territories. So Singapore’s score, 159, means that the country’s passport holders can visit 80 percent of the world’s countries without a visa or with a visa on arrival. U.S. citizens fare almost as well.
At the other end of the spectrum, Afghanistan passport holders can only visit 22 countries without visas, presumably a reflection of that country’s political and economic instability. Other countries at the bottom of the list: Pakistan and Iraq (26 countries), Syria (29), and Somalia (34).
After 20 years working in the travel industry, and almost that long writing about it, Tim Winship knows a thing or two about travel. Follow him on Twitter @twinship.
This article first appeared on SmarterTravel.com, where Tim is Editor-at-Large.