A passport is essential to travel, but not all passports are alike. Some passports are more powerful than others. According to the Henley Passport Index, there has been a major reshuffling in the global ranking of world passports.
At the start of 2019, there were 27 countries in the top ten of the index. During the last quarter of 2019, four more countries have been added to the list. While some countries have joined the ranks of the most powerful passports in the world, others such as India have even slipped from their positions of privilege.
Here is the final list of countries with the most powerful passports as of 2020.
I- The Most Powerful Passports of 2020
Life is short and the world is wide, the sooner you start exploring the better.Simon Raven
A great inspirational travel quote.
1. Japan (191)
Japan has had the honor of being the country with the most powerful passport for the third time in a row. Japanese passport holders can travel to 191 countries visa-free. Previously, Germany was at the top spot, offering its citizens visa-free access to over 176 countries, it has now dropped to the 3rd position.
2. Singapore (190)
In addition to Japan, Singapore continues to be ahead of all the other passports of the world in the ranking for the most travel-friendly passport. Singaporean passport holders enjoy visa-free access to 190 countries.
3. South Korea and Germany (189)
In 2009, South Korea came in at 12th place in global passport rankings with visa-free access to 144 countries. In the past ten years, it has jumped 10 places up the rank and now comes in at the 3rd place, tying with Germany. Each of these countries offers visa-free access or visa on arrival to 189 countries around the world.
Germany was previously at number 1 in passport rankings, offering visa-free access to 176 countries. However, it was replaced by Japan and Singapore last year. Nevertheless the German passport continues to be one of the most sought-after passports for several years now.
4. Italy, Finland, Spain, and Luxembourg (188)
Passports of Italy, Finland, Spain, and Luxembourg tie for the fourth place in 2020. They all grant visa-free stay in a total of 188 countries across the globe.
Finland jumped two spots in 2019. This change can partly be attributed to recent changes in Pakistan’s formerly restrictive visa policy. As of 2020, Pakistan offers visas on arrival to citizens of over 50 countries, including Finland.
5. Denmark and Austria (187)
The European countries of Denmark and Austria tie for the fifth place in the global passports ranking. Each of these countries offers its passport holders visa-free access or visa-on-arrival to 187 countries.
6. Sweden, France, Portugal, the Netherlands, and Ireland (186)
France and Sweden dropped to the sixth position in the global ranking of the most powerful passports.
Each of these countries along with Portugal, the Netherlands, and Ireland offers visa-free access or visa-on-arrival to 186 countries.
7. Switzerland, USA, the UK, Norway, Belgium, and New Zealand (185)
The 6 countries tie in at seventh place in the global passport rankings. Each of these countries offers its citizens with visa-free access or visa-on-arrival to 185 countries.
8. Greece, Malta, Czech Republic, and Australia (184)
Greece, Malta, Czech Republic, and Australia reach the 8th rank in the global passport rankings in 2020.
If you have a passport from any one of these countries, you can visit 184 countries all over the world without applying for a visa or by getting a visa-on-arrival.
9. Canada (183)
Last year Canada was able to provide access to 184 countries to its citizens. But in 2020 they lost one country so Canada position dropped to the ninth, the worst ranking Canada got this past 10 years! But Canada still offers the possibility to its citizen to visit 183 countries without the need for a visa.
10. Hungary (182)
Hungary reaches the tenth rank in global passport rankings. The Hungarian passport allows visa-free access or visa-on-arrival to 182 countries around the world.
II- What is the Henley Passport Index?
Henley & Partner’s list is one of the several indexes created by financial organizations to rank global passports according to the access and benefits they provide to their citizens.
This index is created with a lot of precision and the process used to create it is extremely accurate, and this index is revised every year.
The Henley Passport Index is based on the exclusive information provided by the International Air Transport Authority (IATA), the world’s largest and most accurate travel database. The index covers 199 passports and 227 different countries.
It is updated in real-time throughout the year, using extensive research and online data and when visa policy changes come into effect.
III- What Are the Benefits of Having a Powerful Passport?
There is only one primary benefit of having a powerful passport – the ability to travel hassle and stress-free! If you belong to a country that is on the top ten global rankings of the most powerful passport, you can travel to countless travel destinations without having to worry about getting a visa.
If your passport is powerful enough, you may not even need a visa! Or worst-case scenario, you may have to apply for a visa upon arrival in the new country. But at least you will not be deterred from traveling because of a lack of visas.
Not only is it inconvenient to apply and wait weeks until you receive your visa, applying for a visa can also become pretty expensive. When you take into account the cost of the ticket and the expenses you are likely to face while traveling, it is a blessing to be able to save on at least the visa.
So if you are a citizen of one of the few lucky countries on this list, be grateful for your good fortune and happy traveling!