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The best passport – how many countries can you visit?

September 16, 2016 Headline News No Comments Print Print Email Email

egtmedia59Which is the strongest passport to hold, in terms of the numbers of countries you can visit visa-free?

A list has been drawn up for 2016: The Henley & Partners Visa Restrictions Index. It’s a global ranking of countries according to the travel freedom that their citizens enjoy.

For more than a decade, Henley & Partners has analysed global visa regulations to present an index ranking each country and territory in the world by the number of countries that their citizens can travel to visa-free.

The index is produced in cooperation with the International Air Transport Association (IATA), which maintains the world’s largest database of travel information, and is published annually.

The world’s best passport to hold, on the basis of visa-free access to the most countries, is that of Germany. Its holders can visit 177 countries without restriction.

Queue at immigration

Queue at immigration

Australians can visit 169 countries visa-free, which puts Australia eighth on the list, one point behind New Zealand and Greece (which tie in seventh place) and just ahead of Malta, which comes ninth.

Here are the top 20 in the list, with many countries drawing equal in the number of countries their citizens can visit visa-free. The number of countries passport holders can visit visa-free is printed in brackets.

1 Germany (177) 

2 Sweden (176) 

3 Finland (175)

France

Italy

Spain

United Kingdom 

4 Belgium (174)

Denmark

Netherlands

United States 

5 Austria (173)

Japan

Singapore 

6 Canada (172)

Ireland (Republic of)

Korea (Republic of, South)

Luxembourg

Norway

Portugal

Switzerland 

7 Greece (171)

New Zealand 

8 Australia (169) 

9 Malta (168) 

10 Hungary (167)

Czech Republic

Iceland 

11 Slovakia (165) 

12 Liechtenstein (164)

Malaysia

Slovenia 

13 Latvia (163) 

14 Estonia (162)

Lithuania 

15 Poland (161) 

16 Monaco (160) 

17 Cyprus (159) 

18 San Marino (156) 

19 Chile (155)

 20 Hong Kong (SAR China) (154)

Australian passport.

Australian passport.

The worst passport to hold, on the same basis, is that of Afghanistan. Holders can visit only 25 countries without a visa.

There are 219 destination countries (territories) in total. The maximum attainable score is 218 (points are not assigned for a national travelling to their own country). The amount of nationalities (passports) evaluated is 199.

And here, for comparison, are the worst passports to hold, in terms of freedom to travel.

94 Liberia (43)

95 Burundi (42)

Korea (Democratic People’s Republic of, North)

Myanmar

96 Bangladesh (39)

Congo (Democratic Republic of)

Lebanon

Sri Lanka

97 Kosovo (38

South Sudan

Yemen

98 Eritrea (37)

Ethiopia

Iran

Nepal

Palestinian Territory

Sudan

99 Libya (36)

100 Syria (32)

101 Somalia (31)

102 Iraq (30)

103 Pakistan (29)

104 Afghanistan (25)

Written by Peter Needham

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