Travel News

These Two Passports Remain the Most Powerful in the World & Other Passport Shifts

two passports
Written by Charlie

These two passports remain the most powerful in the world and the list contains other changes in the power of countries’ passports around the world.

When it comes to international travel, the passport is not just an essential item but it is also the key to opening up foreign lands to you. Not all passports are created equal, however! Some passports give access to well over 150 countries without having prior approval (in the form of visa or similar) before departure.

These Two Passports Continue to Be the Most Powerful in the World

Link: Henley Passport Index for 2019 Q3

The Henley Passport Index released their 3rd quarter findings on passports in the world and the top countries with the most access worldwide continue to be Japan and Singapore. The passports of those two countries give visa-free access (not counting visa-on-arrival or similar) to 189 countries.

What is new this time around is that South Korea has dropped a spot to join Germany and Finland in having easy entry to 187 countries. Here are the top 10 spots and how many countries they each have access to:

  1. Japan and Singapore – 189
  2. South Korea, Germany, Finland – 187
  3. Denmark, Italy, Luxembourg – 186
  4. France, Spain, Sweden – 185
  5. Austria, Netherlands, Portugal, Switzerland – 184
  6. Belgium, Canada, Greece, Ireland, Norway, United Kingdom, United States – 183
  7. Malta – 182
  8. Czech Republic – 181
  9. Australia, Iceland, Lithuania, New Zealand – 180
  10. Latvia, Slovakia, Slovenia – 179

That adds up to 31 countries in the top 10, separated by a total of 10 countries from 1st place to 10th place in terms of access. Of that list of 31, three are in Asia, and 24 of them are in Europe.

The country with the most limited passport is Afghanistan with just 25 countries allowing them simple access. Iraq, Syria, and Pakistan are just marginally better in terms of access with passports.’

According to Henley, this is the lowest position for US and UK passport holders since 2010. In fact, back in 2014, both countries shared the top spot.

With some of the changes from the whole Brexit issue, I wonder how this will affect the UK passport in the coming years.

Featured image courtesy © Can Stock Photo / viperagp

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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.