Passports are issued by a country’s government to affirm the identity of the holder especially for the purpose of international travel.
Certain information like holders name, date and place of birth, signature, and photograph are boldly displayed on Standard passports.
As a measure to counter counterfeit, all countries of the world have begun issuing e-passports with a microchip embedded in the passport making the passport machine-readable.
Certain passports holders are allowed entry into most countries without recourse for a visa or are issued electronic travel documents which are not standard passports but allows the holders entry.
However, securing traveling visas can be an onerous process especially if you have a restrictive passport.
The ranking for the most powerful visas determines the number of countries that the holder can enter without recourse for a visa or getting a visa on arrival.
Asia Steals The Top Spot
It has been a fierce contest to be named the world’s most powerful passport in the world.
Japan and Singapore are joint holders as the world most powerful passport with visa-free entry to 189 countries.
South Korea sits comfortably at second place as 187 countries do not require prior visa arrangement, rubbing shoulders with Germany and Finland.
This report is according to the Henley Passport Index, which ranks countries passport based on access to each passport affords.
Pakistan’s formerly restrictive policy has been lifted, and now offers Electronic Travel Authority (ETA) to 50 countries which include Finland, Malta, Japan, Switzerland, Spain, and the United Arab Emirates excluding the United States and the United Kingdom.
European countries usually dominate the ranking index with Germany stealing the top spot, however, European countries of Denmark, Luxembourg, and Italy sit comfortably in third place with visa-free or visa-on-arrival arrangements to 186 countries.
With access to 185 countries without prior visa France, Sweden and Spain are in the fourth spot.
The United Arab Emirates continues ascending the index entering the top 20 for the first time in the index ranking’s 14- year history.
The United States, Belgium, Canada, Greece, the United Kingdom, Norway, and Ireland have visa-free or visa-on-arrival arrangements with 183 countries.
The World Most Powerful Passports in 2019 Are
- Japan, Singapore: Visa-free access to 189 countries
- Finland, Germany, South Korea: Visa-free access to 187 countries
- Denmark, Italy, Luxembourg: Visa-free access to 186 countries
- France, Spain, Sweden: Visa-free access to 185 countries
- Austria, Netherlands, Portugal, Switzerland: Visa-free access to 184 countries
- Belgium, Canada, Greece, Ireland, Norway, United Kingdom, United States: Visa-free access to 183 countries
- Malta: Visa-free access to 182 countries
- Czech Republic: Visa-free access to 181 countries
- Australia, Iceland, Lithuania, New Zealand: Visa-free access to 180 countries
- Latvia, Slovakia, Slovenia: Visa-free access to 179 countries
The Least Powerful Passports
The following countries have a visa-free or visa-on-arrival arrangements with fewer than 40 countries these include.
- Bangladesh, Eritrea, Iran, Lebanon, North Korea: Visa-free access to 39 countries
- Nepal: Visa-free access 38
- Libya, Palestinian Territory, Sudan: Visa-free access to 37 countries
- Yemen: Visa-free access to 33 countries
- Somalia: Visa-free access to 31 countries
- Pakistan: Visa-free access to 30 countries
- Syria: Visa-free access to 29 countries
- Iraq: Visa-free access to 27 countries
- Afghanistan: Visa-free access to 25 countries