German citizens possess the world’s most powerful passport, according to a new study, with Britain and the US falling just short of the top spot.
The ranking by Henley & Partners, a citizenship and planning firm, takes into account how many countries can be visited without applying for a visa. German passport holders can travel to 177, out of a possible 218, while Britons can visit 175 and US citizens 174.
The UK topped last year’s rankings, alongside Germany, but ceded the top spot after several countries relaxed visa restrictions to the latter during 2015. It was also leapfrogged by Sweden and now shares third place with France, Italy, Spain and Finland.
Belgium, Denmark and the Netherlands share fourth spot with the US.
The world’s least powerful passport belongs to citizens of Afghanistan, who can visit just 25 countries without a visa.
The world’s most powerful passports
- Germany, 177
- Sweden, 176
- Finland, France, Italy, Spain, United Kingdom, 175
- Belgium, Denmark, Netherlands, United States, 174
- Austria, Japan, Singapore, 173
- Canada, Ireland (Republic of), Korea (Republic of, South), Luxembourg, Norway, Portugal, Switzerland, 172
- Greece, New Zealand, 171
- Australia, 169
- Malta, 168
- Hungary, Czech Republic, Iceland, 167
The world’s least powerful passports
- Afghanistan, 25
- Pakistan, 29
- Iraq, 30
- Somalia, 31
- Syria, 32
- Libya, 36
- Eritrea, Ethiopia, Iran, Nepal, Palestinian Territory, Sudan, 37
- Kosovo, South Sudan, Yemen, 38
- Bangladesh, Congo (Democratic Republic of), Lebanon, Sri Lanka, 39
- Burundi, Korea (Democratic People’s Republic of, North), Myanmar, 42