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This Country Has the Most Powerful Passport in the World, and It’s Not the US

This Country Has the Most Powerful Passport in the World, and It’s Not the US


Of the many travel accessories you could possibly have, your passport is one that’s not only important but also extremely essential. You want to make sure that you have enough blank pages in your passport for visas and entry and exit stamps ahead of your trip, as well as ensure that it hasn’t expired (which it might much sooner than you think). Not all passports, however, are created equal.

As foreign policy varies from country to country, so do passport privileges. Not every passport gets you access to every country, and visa requirements and restrictions can also vary depending on your nationality. As a result, some passports have more “power” than others, and The Passport Index keeps an updated ranking of the world’s most powerful passports. While you’d think the United States would be at the top of the list, it actually ranks fifth — tied with seven other nations. The country with the most powerful passport is actually a city-state you might not expect: Singapore.

Singapore, itself one of the world’s most exciting travel destinations, leads the list with a Visa-Free Score, or VFS, of 164, which means Singaporean passport holders either don’t need a visa or will receive a visa upon arrival in 164 countries. The island country pushed South Korea, which has a VFS of 163, out of the top spot once it was granted visa-free access by Angola starting on March 30, 2018. After South Korea, Germany and Japan are tied for the third most powerful passports, with their citizens being granted visa-free access or visa on arrival by 163 nations.

The Passport Index takes a look at the passports of 193 United Nations members, as well as six territories, for a total of 199 passports. In addition to the Visa-Free Score of a country, the ranking takes into consideration how much of that score is made up of visa-free access versus visa on arrival. If a tie-breaker is needed, they also utilize the United Nations Development Program Human Development Index, a measure in which countries are scored based on life expectancy, education, and income per capita.

This index really does prove that the color of your passport does have a significant effect on your privileges as a traveler. It’s very important to be aware of which countries don’t require you to get a visa beforehand and which do so that you can have the right documentation before you travel — just remember to keep copies among all the travel necessities you need to pack.


​Sweden Now Has The Most Powerful Passport In The World

Meanwhile the UK passport's position in the rankings has improved significantly on last year. In 2019 a British passport was ranked tied 27th, whereas now it's tied 11th, just missing out on the top 10.

T h e Nomad Passport Index ranks 199 citizens h ips for a 'deeper understanding of w h at it means to be a citizen' , in turn h ig h lig h ting t h e best citizens h ips in t h e world.

T h is year's index h as seen Sweden take t h e coveted number one spot, wit h Nomad Capitalist saying: " Sweden previously ranked #2 on t h is Index, but h as climbed its way to t h e very top t h anks to visa-free travel to 186 countries, h ig h level of personal freedom, and an excellent global reputation."

W h ile Luxembourg and Ireland tec h nically came out wit h t h e same score, t h ey took second and t h ird place respectively after Sweden was deemed to h ave 't h e world's best passport overall' .

Stockholm, Sweden. Credit: PA

"Luxembourg's small size not only grants its citizens h ig h levels of freedom, but excellent passport perception as a country t h at bot h ers no one," Nomad Capitalist said.

"And fortunately for ex-pats living t h ere, it recently became easier to naturalize as a citizen."

Of Ireland, it adds: "Ireland offers one of Europe's lowest corporate tax rates, yet its passport's visa scores are among t h e h ig h est.

"Due to its opt-out from Europe's Sc h engen Area, Iris h passports h ave slig h tly lower visa-free scores t h an mainland EU countries, h owever t h e country's excellent reputation makes traveling as an Iris h citizen generally h assle-free."

Switzerland's passport came in at number four, followed by Belgium, Finland, Portugal, Singapore, the Czech Republic and Malta to complete the top 10.

Denmark, South Korea, Austria, Germany, the United Kingdom, Italy, France, New Zealand, Iceland and the Netherlands found t hemselves in the in the top 20.

A British and German passport. Credit: PA

The United States passport came in 40 th place due to 'global taxation of citizens', with Afghanistan's travel document coming out as the worst overall, with access to just 26 countries.

While Japan just missed out being among the top 20, earning a spot at 21, it was considered the best passport for travelling, with access to 191 countries.

In total, eight of the top 10 passports were from within the European Union, while nine of the top 10 were from within Europe.


​Sweden Now Has The Most Powerful Passport In The World

Meanwhile the UK passport's position in the rankings has improved significantly on last year. In 2019 a British passport was ranked tied 27th, whereas now it's tied 11th, just missing out on the top 10.

T h e Nomad Passport Index ranks 199 citizens h ips for a 'deeper understanding of w h at it means to be a citizen' , in turn h ig h lig h ting t h e best citizens h ips in t h e world.

T h is year's index h as seen Sweden take t h e coveted number one spot, wit h Nomad Capitalist saying: " Sweden previously ranked #2 on t h is Index, but h as climbed its way to t h e very top t h anks to visa-free travel to 186 countries, h ig h level of personal freedom, and an excellent global reputation."

W h ile Luxembourg and Ireland tec h nically came out wit h t h e same score, t h ey took second and t h ird place respectively after Sweden was deemed to h ave 't h e world's best passport overall' .

Stockholm, Sweden. Credit: PA

"Luxembourg's small size not only grants its citizens h ig h levels of freedom, but excellent passport perception as a country t h at bot h ers no one," Nomad Capitalist said.

"And fortunately for ex-pats living t h ere, it recently became easier to naturalize as a citizen."

Of Ireland, it adds: "Ireland offers one of Europe's lowest corporate tax rates, yet its passport's visa scores are among t h e h ig h est.

"Due to its opt-out from Europe's Sc h engen Area, Iris h passports h ave slig h tly lower visa-free scores t h an mainland EU countries, h owever t h e country's excellent reputation makes traveling as an Iris h citizen generally h assle-free."

Switzerland's passport came in at number four, followed by Belgium, Finland, Portugal, Singapore, the Czech Republic and Malta to complete the top 10.

Denmark, South Korea, Austria, Germany, the United Kingdom, Italy, France, New Zealand, Iceland and the Netherlands found t hemselves in the in the top 20.

A British and German passport. Credit: PA

The United States passport came in 40 th place due to 'global taxation of citizens', with Afghanistan's travel document coming out as the worst overall, with access to just 26 countries.

While Japan just missed out being among the top 20, earning a spot at 21, it was considered the best passport for travelling, with access to 191 countries.

In total, eight of the top 10 passports were from within the European Union, while nine of the top 10 were from within Europe.


​Sweden Now Has The Most Powerful Passport In The World

Meanwhile the UK passport's position in the rankings has improved significantly on last year. In 2019 a British passport was ranked tied 27th, whereas now it's tied 11th, just missing out on the top 10.

T h e Nomad Passport Index ranks 199 citizens h ips for a 'deeper understanding of w h at it means to be a citizen' , in turn h ig h lig h ting t h e best citizens h ips in t h e world.

T h is year's index h as seen Sweden take t h e coveted number one spot, wit h Nomad Capitalist saying: " Sweden previously ranked #2 on t h is Index, but h as climbed its way to t h e very top t h anks to visa-free travel to 186 countries, h ig h level of personal freedom, and an excellent global reputation."

W h ile Luxembourg and Ireland tec h nically came out wit h t h e same score, t h ey took second and t h ird place respectively after Sweden was deemed to h ave 't h e world's best passport overall' .

Stockholm, Sweden. Credit: PA

"Luxembourg's small size not only grants its citizens h ig h levels of freedom, but excellent passport perception as a country t h at bot h ers no one," Nomad Capitalist said.

"And fortunately for ex-pats living t h ere, it recently became easier to naturalize as a citizen."

Of Ireland, it adds: "Ireland offers one of Europe's lowest corporate tax rates, yet its passport's visa scores are among t h e h ig h est.

"Due to its opt-out from Europe's Sc h engen Area, Iris h passports h ave slig h tly lower visa-free scores t h an mainland EU countries, h owever t h e country's excellent reputation makes traveling as an Iris h citizen generally h assle-free."

Switzerland's passport came in at number four, followed by Belgium, Finland, Portugal, Singapore, the Czech Republic and Malta to complete the top 10.

Denmark, South Korea, Austria, Germany, the United Kingdom, Italy, France, New Zealand, Iceland and the Netherlands found t hemselves in the in the top 20.

A British and German passport. Credit: PA

The United States passport came in 40 th place due to 'global taxation of citizens', with Afghanistan's travel document coming out as the worst overall, with access to just 26 countries.

While Japan just missed out being among the top 20, earning a spot at 21, it was considered the best passport for travelling, with access to 191 countries.

In total, eight of the top 10 passports were from within the European Union, while nine of the top 10 were from within Europe.


​Sweden Now Has The Most Powerful Passport In The World

Meanwhile the UK passport's position in the rankings has improved significantly on last year. In 2019 a British passport was ranked tied 27th, whereas now it's tied 11th, just missing out on the top 10.

T h e Nomad Passport Index ranks 199 citizens h ips for a 'deeper understanding of w h at it means to be a citizen' , in turn h ig h lig h ting t h e best citizens h ips in t h e world.

T h is year's index h as seen Sweden take t h e coveted number one spot, wit h Nomad Capitalist saying: " Sweden previously ranked #2 on t h is Index, but h as climbed its way to t h e very top t h anks to visa-free travel to 186 countries, h ig h level of personal freedom, and an excellent global reputation."

W h ile Luxembourg and Ireland tec h nically came out wit h t h e same score, t h ey took second and t h ird place respectively after Sweden was deemed to h ave 't h e world's best passport overall' .

Stockholm, Sweden. Credit: PA

"Luxembourg's small size not only grants its citizens h ig h levels of freedom, but excellent passport perception as a country t h at bot h ers no one," Nomad Capitalist said.

"And fortunately for ex-pats living t h ere, it recently became easier to naturalize as a citizen."

Of Ireland, it adds: "Ireland offers one of Europe's lowest corporate tax rates, yet its passport's visa scores are among t h e h ig h est.

"Due to its opt-out from Europe's Sc h engen Area, Iris h passports h ave slig h tly lower visa-free scores t h an mainland EU countries, h owever t h e country's excellent reputation makes traveling as an Iris h citizen generally h assle-free."

Switzerland's passport came in at number four, followed by Belgium, Finland, Portugal, Singapore, the Czech Republic and Malta to complete the top 10.

Denmark, South Korea, Austria, Germany, the United Kingdom, Italy, France, New Zealand, Iceland and the Netherlands found t hemselves in the in the top 20.

A British and German passport. Credit: PA

The United States passport came in 40 th place due to 'global taxation of citizens', with Afghanistan's travel document coming out as the worst overall, with access to just 26 countries.

While Japan just missed out being among the top 20, earning a spot at 21, it was considered the best passport for travelling, with access to 191 countries.

In total, eight of the top 10 passports were from within the European Union, while nine of the top 10 were from within Europe.


​Sweden Now Has The Most Powerful Passport In The World

Meanwhile the UK passport's position in the rankings has improved significantly on last year. In 2019 a British passport was ranked tied 27th, whereas now it's tied 11th, just missing out on the top 10.

T h e Nomad Passport Index ranks 199 citizens h ips for a 'deeper understanding of w h at it means to be a citizen' , in turn h ig h lig h ting t h e best citizens h ips in t h e world.

T h is year's index h as seen Sweden take t h e coveted number one spot, wit h Nomad Capitalist saying: " Sweden previously ranked #2 on t h is Index, but h as climbed its way to t h e very top t h anks to visa-free travel to 186 countries, h ig h level of personal freedom, and an excellent global reputation."

W h ile Luxembourg and Ireland tec h nically came out wit h t h e same score, t h ey took second and t h ird place respectively after Sweden was deemed to h ave 't h e world's best passport overall' .

Stockholm, Sweden. Credit: PA

"Luxembourg's small size not only grants its citizens h ig h levels of freedom, but excellent passport perception as a country t h at bot h ers no one," Nomad Capitalist said.

"And fortunately for ex-pats living t h ere, it recently became easier to naturalize as a citizen."

Of Ireland, it adds: "Ireland offers one of Europe's lowest corporate tax rates, yet its passport's visa scores are among t h e h ig h est.

"Due to its opt-out from Europe's Sc h engen Area, Iris h passports h ave slig h tly lower visa-free scores t h an mainland EU countries, h owever t h e country's excellent reputation makes traveling as an Iris h citizen generally h assle-free."

Switzerland's passport came in at number four, followed by Belgium, Finland, Portugal, Singapore, the Czech Republic and Malta to complete the top 10.

Denmark, South Korea, Austria, Germany, the United Kingdom, Italy, France, New Zealand, Iceland and the Netherlands found t hemselves in the in the top 20.

A British and German passport. Credit: PA

The United States passport came in 40 th place due to 'global taxation of citizens', with Afghanistan's travel document coming out as the worst overall, with access to just 26 countries.

While Japan just missed out being among the top 20, earning a spot at 21, it was considered the best passport for travelling, with access to 191 countries.

In total, eight of the top 10 passports were from within the European Union, while nine of the top 10 were from within Europe.


​Sweden Now Has The Most Powerful Passport In The World

Meanwhile the UK passport's position in the rankings has improved significantly on last year. In 2019 a British passport was ranked tied 27th, whereas now it's tied 11th, just missing out on the top 10.

T h e Nomad Passport Index ranks 199 citizens h ips for a 'deeper understanding of w h at it means to be a citizen' , in turn h ig h lig h ting t h e best citizens h ips in t h e world.

T h is year's index h as seen Sweden take t h e coveted number one spot, wit h Nomad Capitalist saying: " Sweden previously ranked #2 on t h is Index, but h as climbed its way to t h e very top t h anks to visa-free travel to 186 countries, h ig h level of personal freedom, and an excellent global reputation."

W h ile Luxembourg and Ireland tec h nically came out wit h t h e same score, t h ey took second and t h ird place respectively after Sweden was deemed to h ave 't h e world's best passport overall' .

Stockholm, Sweden. Credit: PA

"Luxembourg's small size not only grants its citizens h ig h levels of freedom, but excellent passport perception as a country t h at bot h ers no one," Nomad Capitalist said.

"And fortunately for ex-pats living t h ere, it recently became easier to naturalize as a citizen."

Of Ireland, it adds: "Ireland offers one of Europe's lowest corporate tax rates, yet its passport's visa scores are among t h e h ig h est.

"Due to its opt-out from Europe's Sc h engen Area, Iris h passports h ave slig h tly lower visa-free scores t h an mainland EU countries, h owever t h e country's excellent reputation makes traveling as an Iris h citizen generally h assle-free."

Switzerland's passport came in at number four, followed by Belgium, Finland, Portugal, Singapore, the Czech Republic and Malta to complete the top 10.

Denmark, South Korea, Austria, Germany, the United Kingdom, Italy, France, New Zealand, Iceland and the Netherlands found t hemselves in the in the top 20.

A British and German passport. Credit: PA

The United States passport came in 40 th place due to 'global taxation of citizens', with Afghanistan's travel document coming out as the worst overall, with access to just 26 countries.

While Japan just missed out being among the top 20, earning a spot at 21, it was considered the best passport for travelling, with access to 191 countries.

In total, eight of the top 10 passports were from within the European Union, while nine of the top 10 were from within Europe.


​Sweden Now Has The Most Powerful Passport In The World

Meanwhile the UK passport's position in the rankings has improved significantly on last year. In 2019 a British passport was ranked tied 27th, whereas now it's tied 11th, just missing out on the top 10.

T h e Nomad Passport Index ranks 199 citizens h ips for a 'deeper understanding of w h at it means to be a citizen' , in turn h ig h lig h ting t h e best citizens h ips in t h e world.

T h is year's index h as seen Sweden take t h e coveted number one spot, wit h Nomad Capitalist saying: " Sweden previously ranked #2 on t h is Index, but h as climbed its way to t h e very top t h anks to visa-free travel to 186 countries, h ig h level of personal freedom, and an excellent global reputation."

W h ile Luxembourg and Ireland tec h nically came out wit h t h e same score, t h ey took second and t h ird place respectively after Sweden was deemed to h ave 't h e world's best passport overall' .

Stockholm, Sweden. Credit: PA

"Luxembourg's small size not only grants its citizens h ig h levels of freedom, but excellent passport perception as a country t h at bot h ers no one," Nomad Capitalist said.

"And fortunately for ex-pats living t h ere, it recently became easier to naturalize as a citizen."

Of Ireland, it adds: "Ireland offers one of Europe's lowest corporate tax rates, yet its passport's visa scores are among t h e h ig h est.

"Due to its opt-out from Europe's Sc h engen Area, Iris h passports h ave slig h tly lower visa-free scores t h an mainland EU countries, h owever t h e country's excellent reputation makes traveling as an Iris h citizen generally h assle-free."

Switzerland's passport came in at number four, followed by Belgium, Finland, Portugal, Singapore, the Czech Republic and Malta to complete the top 10.

Denmark, South Korea, Austria, Germany, the United Kingdom, Italy, France, New Zealand, Iceland and the Netherlands found t hemselves in the in the top 20.

A British and German passport. Credit: PA

The United States passport came in 40 th place due to 'global taxation of citizens', with Afghanistan's travel document coming out as the worst overall, with access to just 26 countries.

While Japan just missed out being among the top 20, earning a spot at 21, it was considered the best passport for travelling, with access to 191 countries.

In total, eight of the top 10 passports were from within the European Union, while nine of the top 10 were from within Europe.


​Sweden Now Has The Most Powerful Passport In The World

Meanwhile the UK passport's position in the rankings has improved significantly on last year. In 2019 a British passport was ranked tied 27th, whereas now it's tied 11th, just missing out on the top 10.

T h e Nomad Passport Index ranks 199 citizens h ips for a 'deeper understanding of w h at it means to be a citizen' , in turn h ig h lig h ting t h e best citizens h ips in t h e world.

T h is year's index h as seen Sweden take t h e coveted number one spot, wit h Nomad Capitalist saying: " Sweden previously ranked #2 on t h is Index, but h as climbed its way to t h e very top t h anks to visa-free travel to 186 countries, h ig h level of personal freedom, and an excellent global reputation."

W h ile Luxembourg and Ireland tec h nically came out wit h t h e same score, t h ey took second and t h ird place respectively after Sweden was deemed to h ave 't h e world's best passport overall' .

Stockholm, Sweden. Credit: PA

"Luxembourg's small size not only grants its citizens h ig h levels of freedom, but excellent passport perception as a country t h at bot h ers no one," Nomad Capitalist said.

"And fortunately for ex-pats living t h ere, it recently became easier to naturalize as a citizen."

Of Ireland, it adds: "Ireland offers one of Europe's lowest corporate tax rates, yet its passport's visa scores are among t h e h ig h est.

"Due to its opt-out from Europe's Sc h engen Area, Iris h passports h ave slig h tly lower visa-free scores t h an mainland EU countries, h owever t h e country's excellent reputation makes traveling as an Iris h citizen generally h assle-free."

Switzerland's passport came in at number four, followed by Belgium, Finland, Portugal, Singapore, the Czech Republic and Malta to complete the top 10.

Denmark, South Korea, Austria, Germany, the United Kingdom, Italy, France, New Zealand, Iceland and the Netherlands found t hemselves in the in the top 20.

A British and German passport. Credit: PA

The United States passport came in 40 th place due to 'global taxation of citizens', with Afghanistan's travel document coming out as the worst overall, with access to just 26 countries.

While Japan just missed out being among the top 20, earning a spot at 21, it was considered the best passport for travelling, with access to 191 countries.

In total, eight of the top 10 passports were from within the European Union, while nine of the top 10 were from within Europe.


​Sweden Now Has The Most Powerful Passport In The World

Meanwhile the UK passport's position in the rankings has improved significantly on last year. In 2019 a British passport was ranked tied 27th, whereas now it's tied 11th, just missing out on the top 10.

T h e Nomad Passport Index ranks 199 citizens h ips for a 'deeper understanding of w h at it means to be a citizen' , in turn h ig h lig h ting t h e best citizens h ips in t h e world.

T h is year's index h as seen Sweden take t h e coveted number one spot, wit h Nomad Capitalist saying: " Sweden previously ranked #2 on t h is Index, but h as climbed its way to t h e very top t h anks to visa-free travel to 186 countries, h ig h level of personal freedom, and an excellent global reputation."

W h ile Luxembourg and Ireland tec h nically came out wit h t h e same score, t h ey took second and t h ird place respectively after Sweden was deemed to h ave 't h e world's best passport overall' .

Stockholm, Sweden. Credit: PA

"Luxembourg's small size not only grants its citizens h ig h levels of freedom, but excellent passport perception as a country t h at bot h ers no one," Nomad Capitalist said.

"And fortunately for ex-pats living t h ere, it recently became easier to naturalize as a citizen."

Of Ireland, it adds: "Ireland offers one of Europe's lowest corporate tax rates, yet its passport's visa scores are among t h e h ig h est.

"Due to its opt-out from Europe's Sc h engen Area, Iris h passports h ave slig h tly lower visa-free scores t h an mainland EU countries, h owever t h e country's excellent reputation makes traveling as an Iris h citizen generally h assle-free."

Switzerland's passport came in at number four, followed by Belgium, Finland, Portugal, Singapore, the Czech Republic and Malta to complete the top 10.

Denmark, South Korea, Austria, Germany, the United Kingdom, Italy, France, New Zealand, Iceland and the Netherlands found t hemselves in the in the top 20.

A British and German passport. Credit: PA

The United States passport came in 40 th place due to 'global taxation of citizens', with Afghanistan's travel document coming out as the worst overall, with access to just 26 countries.

While Japan just missed out being among the top 20, earning a spot at 21, it was considered the best passport for travelling, with access to 191 countries.

In total, eight of the top 10 passports were from within the European Union, while nine of the top 10 were from within Europe.


​Sweden Now Has The Most Powerful Passport In The World

Meanwhile the UK passport's position in the rankings has improved significantly on last year. In 2019 a British passport was ranked tied 27th, whereas now it's tied 11th, just missing out on the top 10.

T h e Nomad Passport Index ranks 199 citizens h ips for a 'deeper understanding of w h at it means to be a citizen' , in turn h ig h lig h ting t h e best citizens h ips in t h e world.

T h is year's index h as seen Sweden take t h e coveted number one spot, wit h Nomad Capitalist saying: " Sweden previously ranked #2 on t h is Index, but h as climbed its way to t h e very top t h anks to visa-free travel to 186 countries, h ig h level of personal freedom, and an excellent global reputation."

W h ile Luxembourg and Ireland tec h nically came out wit h t h e same score, t h ey took second and t h ird place respectively after Sweden was deemed to h ave 't h e world's best passport overall' .

Stockholm, Sweden. Credit: PA

"Luxembourg's small size not only grants its citizens h ig h levels of freedom, but excellent passport perception as a country t h at bot h ers no one," Nomad Capitalist said.

"And fortunately for ex-pats living t h ere, it recently became easier to naturalize as a citizen."

Of Ireland, it adds: "Ireland offers one of Europe's lowest corporate tax rates, yet its passport's visa scores are among t h e h ig h est.

"Due to its opt-out from Europe's Sc h engen Area, Iris h passports h ave slig h tly lower visa-free scores t h an mainland EU countries, h owever t h e country's excellent reputation makes traveling as an Iris h citizen generally h assle-free."

Switzerland's passport came in at number four, followed by Belgium, Finland, Portugal, Singapore, the Czech Republic and Malta to complete the top 10.

Denmark, South Korea, Austria, Germany, the United Kingdom, Italy, France, New Zealand, Iceland and the Netherlands found t hemselves in the in the top 20.

A British and German passport. Credit: PA

The United States passport came in 40 th place due to 'global taxation of citizens', with Afghanistan's travel document coming out as the worst overall, with access to just 26 countries.

While Japan just missed out being among the top 20, earning a spot at 21, it was considered the best passport for travelling, with access to 191 countries.

In total, eight of the top 10 passports were from within the European Union, while nine of the top 10 were from within Europe.


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