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Every year, the list of powerful passports around the world is released to inform the world of which countries enjoy the most—and least—freedom in movement in terms of visa-free arrangements and limitations.

The release of the latest Henley Passport Index highlights little change in the top 10 most powerful passports compared to the last ranking. Keep reading to find out the Henley Passport Index ranking for the year 2024.

World passport latest news & updates 2024

Japan, which was knocked down to third place, is back to its former first position for holding the record for being the most powerful passport in the world, according to the Henley Passport Index

Singapore climbed the ranks last year to number one and remains there along with France, Germany, and Italy, which have moved up from third position.  

Citizens of all the countries ranked number one will enjoy visa-free access to 194 destinations out of 227 all around the world.

World’s top 20 powerful passports in 2024

According to the Henley passport index, the strongest passports in the world are as follows:

  1. France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Singapore, Spain (tied)
  2. Finland, South Korea, Sweden (tied)
  3. Austria, Denmark, Ireland, Netherlands (tied) 
  4. Belgium, Norway, Portugal and Luxembourg, UK (tied)
  5. Greece, Malta, Switzerland (tied)
  6. Australia, Czechia, New Zealand, Poland (tied)
  7. Canada, Hungary, United States (tied)
  8. Estonia, Lithuania (tied)
  9. Latvia, Slovakia, Slovenia (tied)
  10. Iceland 
  11. United Emirates
  12. Cyprus, Liechtenstein, Malaysia (tied)
  13. Bulgaria, Croatia, Romania (tied) 
  14. Monaco
  15. Chile
  16. Argentina
  17. Brazil
  18. San Marino
  19. Andorra, Hong Kong SAR (tied)
  20. Brunei
  21. Israel
  22. Barbados
  23. Mexico

World’s 10 least powerful passports in 2024

Some of the least powerful passports are:

  1. Iran, Lebanon, Nigeria (tied)
  2. Eritrea, Sri Lanka, Sudan (tied)
  3. Bangladesh, North Korea (tied)
  4. Nepal, Libya, Palestinian Territory (tied)
  5. Somalia
  6. Yemen
  7. Pakistan
  8. Iraq
  9. Syria
  10. Afghanistan

What is the Henley Passport Index?

The Henley Passport Index is an authoritative ranking of all the world’s passports according to the number of destinations their holders can access without a prior visa. The index is based on exclusive data from the International Air Transport Association (IATA) – the largest, most accurate travel information database, and enhanced by Henley & Partners’ research team. Similar to the Henley Passport Index, there are other global passport ranking systems in place, such as the Passport Index.

As per the Henley Passport Index for the year 2024, minor changes have been highlighted among the top 10 most powerful passports compared to the last ranking. The passport holders of France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Singapore and Spain now enjoy unrestricted access to 194 destinations out of 227 around the world visa-free. The passports of Finland, South Korea, and Sweden are tied for the second place on the index, permitting visa-free access to 193 destinations, while Austria, Denmark, Ireland, and the Netherlands are in third position with visa-free access to 192 destinations worldwide. The UK now holds the 4th position in the index, enjoying visa-free access to 191 destinations along with Belgium, Norway, Portugal and Luxembourg. 

The UAE has now climbed up to rank 11 from the previous rank of 13, which is the highest spot the Arab world’s second-largest economy has achieved since the index was launched in 2006. Qatar and Kuwait hold 53rd and 55th ranks on the Henley passport power index, respectively, and Saudi Arabia is ranked 61st. With the UK’s new ETA scheme beginning this year, all GCC state nationals will enjoy visa-free travel across the UK.

What is the methodology of passport ranking?

The Henley Passport Index analyses passports based on visa-free travel possibilities, as well as how hospitable countries are to international visitors.

  • for each travel destination, if no visa is required for passport holders from a country or territory, then a score with value = 1 is created for that passport.
  • a score with a value = 1 is also applied if passport holders can obtain a visa on arrival, a visitor’s permit, or an electronic travel authority (ETA) when entering the destination. These visa types require no pre-departure government approval because of the specific visa-waiver programs in place.
  • where a visa is required, or where a passport holder has to obtain a government-approved electronic visa (e-Visa) before departure, a score with value = 0 is assigned.
  • a score with value = 0 is also assigned if passport holders need pre-departure government approval for a visa on arrival, a scenario which is not considered ‘visa-free’.

For instance, Singapore, which is tied for the first position on the index along with France, Germany, Italy, Japan, and Spain, has a record-high visa-free or visa-on-arrival score of 194, as the passport holders of those countries can visit 194 countries without having to obtain prior visa documents. This is also the reason why Iceland, which holds the 10th position, has a lower visa-free/visa-on-arrival score of 185 destinations.

What does it mean to have a powerful passport ranking?

It simply refers to a passport with fewer limitations, such as not requiring visas for vacation excursions. A powerful passport gives you a lot of flexibility when it comes to travel. Many nations will let you enter if you have a strong passport, and you may frequently do so without paying any visa fees. For instance, if you hold a European passport, for example, you can travel to any Euro Zone nation without a visa.


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