Which countries have the best passports?

We all travel for different reasons. For some, it’s about exploring the world, experiencing different cultures and immersing ourselves in a different way of life. For others it’s to see friends or family who live on the other side of the world. And of course there are those whose plans revolve around work – jetting in and out from various locations to try and keep up with a busy schedule of meetings and conferences.

But the ease at which we travel may differ depending on the passport we have. It goes without saying that they’re important documents and we can’t cross international borders without them. But have you ever stopped to think about the degree in which they restrict or allow people from countries all over the world to move around?

It’s true that some passports compare favourably in that regard and to obtain one of these you may need to seek the assistance of an immigration lawyer who specialises in this field. But what exactly makes some passports more powerful than others, and which countries rank the highest on that list? Read on to find out more.

Why are some passports considered stronger than others?

The Global Passport Power Rank looks at the strength of a nation’s passport based on how many other destinations a holder can enter without requiring a visa. It also takes into account whether a holder of that passport can use it to enter another territory and obtain a visa on arrival.

The ranking is based on data gleaned from governmental sources and is updated in real time to inform a relatively straightforward grading system. Essentially, the more destinations you can visit without needing a visa, the higher your passport will be positioned in the table.

Why might someone want to add to their passport portfolio?

You may wish to obtain another passport in order to secure residency in a different country. For some people, there may be tax incentives for this but it is not necessarily the case that the countries whose passports rank the highest are most suitable for this purpose.

Which countries have the best passports?

The global ranking for 2022 sees the United Arab Emirates take top spot with a score of 167 (113 visa-free destinations plus another 54 where you can obtain one on arrival). Germany, Sweden, Finland and Italy stand proud as the highest European nations, alongside South Korea with 163.

The likes of Spain, France, Japan and Australia (162) all feature highly, as do Portugal, Switzerland, Norway and the United States (161). The United Kingdom is not far behind on 160, level with Singapore, Ireland and Canada among others.