Passports are the number one travel accessory, carrying one gives you access to other countries and lets you have all sorts of perks such as visa-free travel
But not all passports are made equal.
What makes a powerful passport?
The most powerful perk of a good passport is the ability to land a country without a visa and just walk through customs (And not be issued a visa on arrival).
With around 193-200 countries in the world (we don’t need to get into the semantics of what is a country in this article), the passport with the highest amount of accessible visa-free countries will be the best.
Thus with all these tallied up, the official ranking of the ‘best passport’ can be made each year. The website ‘The Passport Index’ ranks the United Nations’ 193 member countries and six additional territories taking data from publicly available sources and government agencies.
What is the best passport in the world?
The current best passport in the world is from the United Arab Emirates, which has visa-free travel to 167 countries.
‘Congratulations to the UAE and its people and big thanks to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation’s teams.’ – Dubai leader Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum
This is particularly useful as both Emirates and Etihad seem to fly all over the world, right from the UAE.
Coming in a close second is Singapore and Germany with 166. Singapore, of course, is one of the rare countries that is granted visa-free access and working rights in the USA.
Third place is made up of a large group of; USA, Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Luxembourg, France, Italy, Netherlands, Spain, Norway, and South Korea. They can access 165 countries each.
The UK leads up the fourth best passport group (164 visitable countries), with fellow countries Belgium, Austria, Japan, Greece, Portugal, Switzerland, Ireland, and Canada.
What is the worst passport in the world?
There is also a rank for the worst passports in the world. Currently, the worst possible passport that someone can get is the Afganistan passport. Citizens with this passport can only travel visa-free to just 29 countries.
That being said, it is estimated that there are around 250-500,000 people in the world that are non-citizens, and cannot apply for any passport.
How can you get a new country passport?
There are a variety of ways that you might be able to qualify for a new passport in a different country. You might have had a grandparent that was born elsewhere (Such as Poland), or you might be able to buy a passport (such as St Kitts in the Carribean) for a small fortune.
However, there are some drawbacks to consider:
- You will have to use that passport when traveling to that country. It will cause all types of problems if you try to enter OR leave on a different passport than a one you are a citizen of, in that same country. For example, Australia has an outgoing immigration passport control (Unlike the USA) that requires all Australian’s to ‘check out’ so to speak. If you carry an Australian passport but try to leave on another, you will be denied an exit.
- You might be required to do military service. Many countries have a mandatory service period of 1-2 years and if you join as a new citizen, you might be asked to commit for the same time. This can greatly impact your life plans and be frustrating if your passport is taken away.
What do you think? What is the most useful passport?