Jan 12, 2024 - World

Passport ranking 2024: The countries with most and least visa-free travel

German and U.S. passports

U.S. and German passports. Photo: Marvin Joseph/The Washington Post via Getty Images

A handful of European and Asian countries dominate a new global ranking of the world's most powerful passports, with citizens of those nations able to travel most freely throughout the world.

Why it matters: The list, released this week by Henley & Partners, highlights the growing divide between the travel privileges that people from different countries enjoy — sometimes referred to as "passport privilege."

The big picture: Despite a general trend toward more travel freedoms in the last 19 years, the mobility gap between the countries at the top and bottom is "now wider than ever," Christian Kaelin, chairman of Henley & Partners, said in a press release Wednesday.

  • Since 2006, the average number of destinations travelers can access without needing a visa has nearly doubled, Kaelin said.
  • However, the top-ranked passports can access 194 countries visa-free — 166 more than the lowest-ranked passport, from Afghanistan, which gets access to only 28.

Details: The ranking is based on data from International Air Transport Association.

10 most powerful passports

1. France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Japan, Singapore

2. Finland, South Korea, Sweden

3. Austria, Denmark, Ireland, Netherlands

4. Belgium, Luxembourg, Norway, Portugal, United Kingdom

5. Greece, Malta, Switzerland

6. Australia, Czechia, New Zealand, Poland

7. Canada, Hungary, United States

8. Estonia, Lithuania

9. Latvia, Slovakia, Slovenia

10. Iceland

10 least powerful passports

1. Afghanistan

2. Syria

3. Iraq

4. Pakistan

5. Yemen

6. Somalia

7. Palestinian Territory, Nepal, Libya

8. North Korea, Bangladesh

9. Sri Lanka, Eritrea

10. Sudan, Nigeria, Lebanon, Iran

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