Lonely Planet Writer

Discover what countries hold the most powerful passports in the world for visa-free travel

Avid travellers will know that the process of getting a visa to visit another country can be tedious. But for passport-holders from certain countries, needing a visa is a rare occurrence.   

visa-free travel
Some passports are more powerful than others. Image by labsas/Getty Images

Germany has come out on top of the Global Passport Power Rank 2017, created by Arton Capital. The list ranks countries based on how many other destinations its passport-holders can visit without a visa, or with the ability to receive a visa on arrival. Germans can visit a total of 158 countries, according to the ranking, followed closely by passport-holders from Sweden and Singapore, who can visit 157.

Denmark, Finland, France, Spain, Switzerland, Norway, United Kingdom and the USA are all in third, as citizens of those countries are able to visit 156 countries. Passport-holders from Italy, Netherlands, Belgium, Austria, Luxembourg, Portugal, and Japan can visit 155, and people from Malaysia, Ireland, Canada and New Zealand can visit 154.

Packing for the next trip.
Packing for the next trip. Image by FilippoBacci/Getty Images

While many European and Asian countries rank high on the list, some countries in the Middle East fall at the very end. The lowest-ranking passport on the list is Afghanistan, where residents can visit only 23 countries without a visa. Residents of Pakistan can visit 26, while people from Iraq can visit 28 and residents of Syria can visit 29.

As relations between countries evolve, some places around the world have managed to greatly increase their ranking since 2016. The Marshall Islands added 35 countries to its visa-free score, Palau added 34, and the Solomon Islands and Tuvalu added 33 over the past year.

To see how your passport ranks, and what countries you can visit visa-free, see the full list here.  

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