These are the most powerful passports of the world - October 21, 2018

These are the most powerful passports of the world

What makes a passport powerful? Mostly visa-free or visa-on-arrival travel for citizens holding the passport, but there might be other factors too. We collected the three biggest indices that rank passports by strenght. Developed western countries usually top the lists.

Travelling around the globe became a lot easier in the last decade with the rise of low-cost. There’s another thing that can help travel with ease, though. A powerful passport.

What makes a passport powerful?

Passports are continuously ranked by several organizations to decide which one is the most powerful. The Henley & Partner's list is based on visa-free or visa-on-arrival travel opportunities for citizens holding a passport. The more country a citizen can enter visa-free or visa-on-arrival, the stronger the passport they have. The Henley Passport Index covers 199 passports and 227 destinations, and it’s based on data from International Air Transport Authority (IATA).

Henley Passport Index 2018

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Arton’s Passport Index is based on the same data, but it weighs visa-free and visa-on-arrival differently. What’s more, if there’s a tie between countries, they factor in UNDP Human Development Index to decide which passport is stronger. Nomad Capitalist’s Passport Index not only shows passport strength, but (as they write) “it is designed to show the best citizenships in the world to hold on”. To do this, next to visa-free travel they add international taxation, perception, dual citizenship and personal freedom to create the ranking.

What are the most powerful passports?

Since there are several indices that measure the strength of a passport, there are different top lists. Henley & Partner just compiled their index where Japan topped the list. Japanese citizens can enter 190 countries visa free. With this, they beat Singapore by 1 country. Not that long ago Germany was on the top spot with 188 travel destinations, but now they are only third tied with France and South Korea.

Nomad Passport Index 2018

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On Arton’s Passport Index Singapore takes the lead, while Germany is close second. Denmark, Sweden and Finland follow them on the top spots, but many other countries – like the United States – are in the top tiers. Nomad Passport Index shows a similar image: Sweden tops their list, Belgium comes second, and Spain follows tied with Italy.

Some spots remain, some change

The first places change on the different lists year by year, but generally developed and open countries top the indices. The United States and the United Kingdom for example are holding their elite positions, but constantly changing their ranks. The US was number 1 in 2014, but in the last two years its “only” at the 5th place. Western European countries also constantly switch places, but Austria, France, Germany, Spain are holding on to their top 10 positions for years among many other developed countries.

Arton Passport Index 2018

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There are significant changes on the lists, too. Russia for example had a bit of a fall-off since last year, and now it’s located at the 47th position on the Henley Passport Index. (On Nomad Passport Index its 82nd while on the Passport Index it’s in the 37th rank.) China on the other hand climbs the ladder fast as it focuses more and more on its global role. The same can be said of the United Arab Emirates. The UAE was 62nd in 2006, now it’s 21st worldwide, and it’s the first in the Middle East region. As Dr. Christian H. Kälin, Group Chairman of Henley & Partners wrote in their press release for the index: these two countries excel “purely as a result of the strong relationships they have built with partner countries around the world” .

Disclaimer: This analysis is for general information and is not a recommendation to sell or buy any instrument. Since every investment holds some risk, our main business policy is based on diversification to minimize threats and maximize profits. Innovative Securities’ Profit Max has a diversified portfolio, which contains liquid instruments. This way, our clients can maintain liquidity, while achieving their personal investment goals on the long term.