Passport at airport
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These Are the World's Most (and Least) Powerful Passports

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Passport at airport
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Passport to the World

If you want to travel internationally, you'll need a passport. But not all passports are equal: Citizens of some nations, such as the United States, can visit far more countries without first seeking clearance by applying for a travel visa than people from nations such as North Korea or Iraq. Consulting firm Henley & Partners compiles a quarterly Global Passport Ranking using International Air Transport Authority data and independent research. Here are the nations where passport holders have the readiest access to the world — the power to easily visit more than 190 countries — and the passports that grant entry to a mere fraction of that number.


Related: Famous People Who Have Given Up Their American Passports

Passport and visas
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Singapore airport. Hand holding Singapore passport and face mask, at luggage check-in
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South Korean Passports
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Passenger holding German passport
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Germany

Rank: 3 (tie)

Countries accessible without a pre-departure visa: 190

Spanish passport
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Spain

Rank: 3 (tie)

Countries accessible without a pre-departure visa: 190

Finnish passport
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Italian Passport
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Italy

Rank: 4 (tie)

Countries accessible without a pre-departure visa: 189

Luxembourg passport isolated on a white background
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Luxembourg

Rank: 4 (tie)

Countries accessible without a pre-departure visa: 189 

Austrian Passport
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Four Danish passports
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Denmark

Rank: 5 (tie)

Countries accessible without a pre-departure visa: 188

passport
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Netherlands

Rank: 5 (tie)

Countries accessible without a pre-departure visa: 188

Swedish passport from the 2012
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Sweden

Rank: 5 (tie)

Countries accessible without a pre-departure visa: 188

Hand holding a french - european passport with luggage in the ba
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France

Rank: 6 (tie)

Countries accessible without a pre-departure visa: 187

Irish EU  Passport in Carry-on
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Ireland

Rank: 6 (tie)

Countries accessible without a pre-departure visa: 187

Man's hand holding Portuguese passport with defocused Portuguese flag in the background. Written in Portuguese: European Union Portugal. Passport.
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Portugal

Rank: 6 (tie)

Countries accessible without a pre-departure visa: 187

United Kingdom Passport and European Health Card
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United Kingdom

Rank: 6 (tie)

Countries accessible without a pre-departure visa: 187

Passport Problems
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What About the U.S.?

Citizens of the United States enjoy a fairly robust passport, too, able to visit 186 countries visa-free. That puts the U.S. in seventh place, tied with Belgium, New Zealand, Norway, and Switzerland.


Related: 18 Places to 'Travel Abroad' Without Leaving the Country

visa stamp
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The Least Powerful Passports

Some world citizens can visit comparatively few places without jumping through extra hoops. The following passports are ranked lowest on Henley's list, making them the least powerful in the world.


100. Ethiopia, Nigeria (46 countries accessible without a pre-departure visa)

101. Eritrea, South Sudan (44 countries)

102. Iran (43 countries)

103. Democratic Republic of Congo, Lebanon, Sri Lanka, Sudan (42 countries)

104. Bangladesh, Kosovo, Libya (41 countries)

105. North Korea (40 countries)

106. Nepal, Palestinian Authority (38 countries)

107. Somalia (35 countries)

108. Yemen (34 countries)

109. Pakistan (32 countries)

110. Syria (30 countries)

111. Iraq (29 countries)

112. Afghanistan (27 countries)