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The Most Powerful Passports of 2021 – How Good Is Your Passport?

Written by Charlie

Here is a look at the most powerful passports of 2021. How many countries does your passport give you access to, without needing a prior visa?

The Henley Index is out with their first passport ranking of 2021. This list gives you a look at which passports give you access to the most countries without requiring a visa before. Of course, the pandemic has made even normally strong passports somewhat weaker since many countries are banning travelers from some countries that have high viral numbers – or not allowing visitors at all. Here is a look at the most powerful passports of 2021 – so far.

The Most Powerful Passports of 2021

Due to covid-19, a lot of doors have closed (temporarily) to people from around the world. While it does not necessarily mean that the passport itself is weaker, countries are using the passport issuance as a way to prevent travelers from high-risk countries from entering their own nations. This means that some strong passports like US or UK passports are much weaker right now than normal.

But, this list is all about which passports offer access to countries based on the requirement of receiving a visa beforehand. This is a good thing to continue to rank them by since the countries that allow travelers based on covid-19 conditions is constantly changing so would not have been a fair ranking.

Top 10 Ranking of Powerful Passports

  1. Japan (191 countries)
  2. Singapore (190 countries)
  3. South Korea and Germany (189 countries)
  4. Italy, Finland, Spain, and Luxembourg (188 countries)
  5. Denmark and Austria (187 countries)
  6. Sweden, France, Portugal, Netherlands, and Ireland (186 countries)
  7. Switzerland, United States, United Kingdom, Norway, Belgium, and New Zealand (185 countries)
  8. Greece, Malta, Czech Republic, and Australia (184 countries)
  9. Canada (183 countries)
  10. Hungary (182 countries)

To see the full list, click here.

Missing the cut were 4 more European countries that placed in at number 11. According to Henley, the US has slipped from #1 to #7 in the past seven years. Also, take note that only 9 countries (in terms of access without registering for a visa) is all that separates position 1 from position 10 so, depending on the countries that require your passport to get a visa, this isn’t that bad for you (depending on the country passport you hold!).

However, due to the covid-19 situation, US passport holders are currently allowed to access fewer than 75 countries with UK passport holders restricted to fewer than 70. This will change as more of the vaccine is rolled out and if there is some kind of documents that become internationally recognized if someone has the antibodies for the virus already.

So, how did your country do? Remember, this is based solely on the passport and gaining access to countries without needing a prior visa.

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About the author


Charlie has been an avid traveler and runner for many years. He has run in marathons around the world for less than it would cost to travel to the next town - all as a result of collecting and using miles and points. Over the years, he has flown hundreds of thousands of miles and collected millions of miles and points.
Now he uses this experience and knowledge to help others through Running with Miles.

1 Comment

  • That is really interesting! I always thought (or assumed) that Canada would be right up there, and instead its at #9. It’ll be interesting to see how that continues to change after all this.