Lonely Planet Writer

This passport has just become the most powerful in the world

Singaporean travellers have a reason to rejoice this week; their passport has just become the most powerful in the world, knocking Germany off the top spot.

Singaporeans can head the airport with a smile on their face. Photo by Tang Ming Tung

The news comes from the Arton Capital’s Passport Index, a real-time ranking of how powerful the world’s passports are. The more countries a passport will give you access to without getting a visa, the higher the visa-free score and the more powerful it is deemed to be.

Up until now, Singapore and Germany held joint top spot with visa-free access to 158 countries but a recent decision by Paraguay to remove their visa requirements for Singapore citizens now puts it ahead at 159 countries.

It marks the first time an Asian country has held the top spot and, to the experts, it comes as no surprise, with Singapore consistently increasing its ranking since becoming a fully independent nation in 1965. Arton Capital also credited their foreign policy and diplomacy skills and the fact that it has opted not to join a common travel zone, which can come with inherent restrictions.

This passport is now the most powerful in the world. Photo by ROSLAN RAHMAN/AFP/Getty Images

On the least powerful side of the scale, Afghanistan comes last with visa-free access to just 22 countries, with Pakistan and Iraq following with a score of 26.

Here are the world’s most powerful passports ranked with their visa-free score:

159 – Singapore
158 – Germany
157- South Korea, Sweden
156 – Denmark, Finland, France, Italy, Japan, Norway, Spain, United Kingdom
155 – Austria, Belgium, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Portugal, Switzerland
154 – Canada, Ireland, Malaysia, United States
153 – Australia, Greece, New Zealand
152 – Czech Republic, Iceland, Malta
150- Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia

Singaporeans have the most visa-free travel in the world. Photo by konkrete

As well as ranking the world’s passports, Arton Capital can also help people get passports to different countries. The catch is that you have to be pretty rich as it requires heavy investment in that country’s economy. Or for a simpler option, you could purchase citizenship to Vanuatu for $200,000.