Stay up to date with notifications from The Independent

Notifications can be managed in browser preferences.

Germany now has the world's most powerful passport

Citizens can now visit 177 countries visa-free

Rosie Fitzmaurice
Business Insider
Thursday 11 January 2018 15:04 GMT
German passport
German passport

Germany has the world's most powerful passport, according to the 2018 Henley Passport Index.

It's the fifth year in a row in which the European country has topped Henley's list, which takes into account the number of countries a passport holder can visit without a visa.

The ranking is based on data from the International Air Transport Association, which maintains the world's largest and most comprehensive database of travel information.

German citizens can now visit 177 countries, up one from last year, according to the report.

In October, a separate list, the Global Passport Power Rank, produced by the advisory firm Arton Capital, named Singapore as having the most powerful passport in the world. But Germany has since reclaimed the top spot in that ranking also, solidifying its standing.

Here are the 15 most powerful tiers of passports, based on the number of countries their holders can visit visa-free, according to Henley:

  1. Germany 177
  2. Singapore 176
  3. Denmark, Finland, France, Italy, Japan, Norway, Sweden, UK 175
  4. Austria, Belgium, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Spain, Switzerland 174
  5. Ireland, South Korea, Portugal, US 173
  6. Canada 172
  7. Australia, Greece, New Zealand 171
  8. Czech Republic, Iceland 170
  9. Malta 169
  10. Hungary 168
  11. Liechtenstein, Slovakia, Slovenia 167
  12. Latvia, Lithuania, Malaysia 166
  13. Estonia 165
  14. Poland 163
  15. Monaco 162

Ukraine (44th) and Georgia (53rd) were the biggest climbers on this year's list, moving up by 15 and 14 ranks respectively, following their recent visa liberalization with the European Union.

Pakistan, Syria, Iraq, and Afghanistan remain at the bottom of the index for the second year in a row, each able to access 30 or fewer countries visa-free.

Dr. Christian H. Kälin, the group chairman of Henley & Partners, thinks the need for visa-free access is greater than ever.

"Across the economic spectrum, individuals want to transcend the constraints imposed on them by their country of origin and access business, financial, career, and lifestyle opportunities on a global scale," he said. "The Henley Passport Index shows individuals where they lie on the spectrum of global mobility, revealing the strength that their passport has in relation to other passports."

• 20 photos that show why Seville was voted 2018's best place to travel
• How often you need to exercise to see results
• A day in the life of the richest person in history

Read the original article on Business Insider UK. © 2016. Follow Business Insider UK on Twitter.

Join our commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies


Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in