The World Most Powerful Passport Has Been Revealed for 2018

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Food Editor
Updated: 14 January 2018
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Are you German? Do you have a passport? If so, you’ve just become one of the most enviable travellers in the world.

Germany has just claimed first place for the fifth year in a row on the Henley Passport Index, which ranks countries based on the number of locations its holders can visit visa-free.

Germany has the world’s most powerful passport

If you hold a German passport, you can get across the border of 177 countries – up from 176 last year.

Singapore grabs second place on the list, with visa-free access to 176 countries.

Eight countries – Denmark, Finland, France, Italy, Japan, Norway, Sweden, and the UK– tie for joint third place, giving their holders access to 175 countries without needing a visa.

And Austria, Belgium, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Switzerland, and Spain rank jointly fourth, with 174 countries.

A German passport-holder can visit 177 countries visa-free

As in 2017, Afghanistan, Syria, Iraq, and Pakistan are at the bottom of the table, and are able to access only 30 countries or fewer without needing a visa.

The list is based on data from the International Air Transport Association (IATA), an organisation which maintains the world’s largest and most accurate travel information database.

The countries that moved most up the list this year were the Ukraine and Georgia, who both completed the EU’s visa liberation process and gained visa-free access to 32 and 30 countries respectively.

Syria and North Korea both lost visa-free access to any countries at all.

Anyone want to move to Germany?

Group Chairman of Henley & Partners, Dr. Christian H. Kälin, said: ‘There is no denying that a global mobility divide exists.

‘We are also seeing a growing tendency towards a more isolationist, immigration-hostile policy among traditional migrant-receiving countries such as the US, and 2018 will bring further uncertainty, with the UK still in the grip of ongoing Brexit negotiations.

‘Nonetheless, only a small minority of countries on the Henley Passport Index lost visa-free access in 2018.

‘By and large, countries either improved or maintained their access compared to 2017.

‘These findings reflect the fact that, while certain countries are tightening their borders, most are in fact becoming more open, as they seek to tap into the immense economic value that tourism, international commerce and migration can bring.’

So: Anyone want to move to Germany and get a German passport? Those 177 countries are calling our name…

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