World's Most Powerful Passports In 2024 - More Than One Country Share the Top 5 Rankings

This year, the title of the most powerful passport in the world belong to not just one, but several contenders. And it’s the same for the top 5 spots, which is unprecedented. Join us as we uncover the passports that offer the most freedom in Feb 2024. Out of 199 passports, can you guess which one made the cut?

The Most Powerful Passports In The World

Japan has been taking the top spot for seven uninterrupted years. Photo Credit: Yu Kawano

In 2024, the world is back on the move, and travellers are open to the idea of international travel once again. The Henley Passport Index will tell us all about the new developments, all based on data from the International Air Transport Authority (IATA).

Check out Henley & Partners' 2024 passport index and see how travel freedom varies in different countries. It’s a powerful database to refer to when you want to know where your passport stands. There’s even a helpful tool called “My Passport” to see which countries require a visa for your citizenship.

Most of the nations made it into the top 10 are European. Asian countries, while few and far between, earned their place in the 1st and 2nd ranking. There are only one or two nations from North America and other parts of the world.

What Are The Top 10 Most Powerful Passports? Here Is Your Answer In Feb 2024:

  1. France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Singapore, and Spain (194 destinations)
  2. Finland, Netherlands, South Korea, and Sweden (193 destinations)
  3. Austria, Denmark, Ireland, Luxembourg, and United Kingdom (192 destinations)
  4. Belgium, Norway, and Portugal (191 destinations)
  5. Australia, Greece, Malta, New Zealand, and Switzerland (190 destinations)
  6. Canada, Czechia, Poland, and United States(189 destinations)
  7. Hungary and Lithuania (188 destinations)
  8. Estonia (187 destinations)
  9. Latvia, Slovakia, and Slovenia (186 destinations)
  10. Iceland (185 destinations).

The Most Powerful Passport(s) In The World: It’s A Six-Way Tie

Six countries can travel to 194 destinations without the hassle of obtaining a visa, which translates into 86% of the globe. Isn’t that amazing? Among the names, two of which are Asian (Japan and Singapore), while the rest comes from Europe (France, Germany, Italy, and Spain).

Most notably, this isn’t the first time Japan and Singapore topped the ranking for the past decade. While Germany enjoyed the number one spot from 2014 to 2017, this marks a premiere for its European counterparts to share the title of the world's most powerful passport.

Second Spot Also Welcomes New Faces

Three European countries (Finland, Netherlands, Sweden) and one Asian country (South Korea) share the second ranking with visa-free access to 193 countries. Remarkably, this is the first instance for the European trio to reach this high, while South Korea has been consistently claiming the 2nd place 4 years in a row.

United Kingdom Joins 4 Other Countries In The Third Place

For the first time since 2016, the UK finds themselves in fourth place with visa-free access to 192 destinations. This is quite a leap from the 6th spot in 2023. Other nations share the same spot, including Austria, Denmark, Ireland, and Luxembourg.

Is The US Passport Powerful?

The US passport ranks sixth globally in 2024, alongside Canada, Czechia, and Poland. This enables travellers visa-free access to 189 destinations.

Top 5 Least Powerful Passports In The World

Least Powerful Passports

The Afghanistan passport is ranked as the least powerful passport in the world in 2023 by the Henley Passport Index. Photo by jorono on Pixabay

Many of the world's least powerful passports come from politically unstable countries and war-torn nations. As travel visas and visa-free access need to be given to travellers with careful consideration to avoid illicit activities and overstays, citizens with the least powerful passports are often flagged.

  1. Afghanistan (28 destinations)
  2. Syria (29 destinations)
  3. Iraq (31 destinations)
  4. Pakistan (34 destinations)
  5. Yemen (35 destinations).

According to the Henley Passport Index, the least powerful passport is Afghanistan, with access to 28 countries out of 227 destinations in the world. This is 166 fewer destinations than the countries in the no.1 ranking. This is a significant wide gap.

What Makes A Passport Powerful?

What Makes A Passport Powerful?

Passport ranking indexes are good sources for you to compare different passport strengths. Photo by Tierney -

Statistically, countries with strong passport rankings tend to be ones with an open economy and high income level. Different factors such as income and fragility score can greatly affect travel freedom and how well a country's passport is ranked. Let's look at the main factors below to understand what influences passport ranking.

Income And Passport Strength

There is a direct link between a country's economic power and passport strength. According to Henley & Partners, countries with high gross domestic product per capita (GDP) tend to have more travel freedom than countries with lower economic power. 

A strong passport means more than just great freedom to travel. Having a strong passport allows citizens to invest and seek business opportunities aboard as well. 

Fragility and Passport Strength

A country's fragility state is determined by characteristics that can impair a nation's economic and social status. These characteristics include administrative capacity, the level of domestic violence, the history of civil war, social tensions and so on.

According to a study conducted by Henley Passport Index, countries with high fragility are more likely to have lower levels of travel freedom. An explanation for this is that citizens from these countries are on a high-risk list for overstay and asylum.

Aside from having a limited number of visa-free countries available, citizens from highly fragile countries often find it more difficult to obtain travel visas.

Factors To Influence Passport Rankings

Factors To Influence Passport Rankings

The Schengen visa enables travellers to enter and travel freely within the Schengen zone. Photo by Stanisic Vladimir -

Migrant crises, military conflicts, pandemic outbreaks and economic difficulties are all contributing to the world's passport outlook. The safest countries to travel to are usually ranked higher in the passport index.

For example, recent global events such as the COVID-19 pandemic have been reshaping the passport status of countries around the world. By looking at meaningful insights from sources such as Henley Passport Index and International Air Transportation Association (IATA), we can learn more about these influences.

COVID-19 Pandemic And Health-related Issues 

COVID-19 pandemic affected even the world's most powerful passports. Temporary travel bans have been one of the most common and immediate pandemic responses. Countries use travel restrictions to temporarily delay the arrival of infectious pandemics into their country. 

Tensions Between Countries

Global events such as the war in Ukraine influence passport powers in almost every country. Particularly, Ukrainian is approved by the European Union to enter Europe as an emergency measure following the war outbreak with Russia. For Russian passport holders, freedom of movement has been more restricted since the war happened.

History Of Security Breach

Countries whose people are statistically more prone to overstay travel visas and participate in illegal activities often have a lower rank. Countries with good track records, on the other, are ranked higher on the chart.

Aside from travel freedom to visa-free countries, citizens in these countries are subjected to a more complicated visa process. At border security, passport holders of countries with a history of overstay might have to undergo a more involved security screening.

Benefits Of Having A Strong Passport

Benefits Of Having A Strong Passport

Global mobility is on the rise, and having a high-ranking passport allows you to explore the world with more freedom and less hassle. Photo by Angelov on

With global mobility and international travel on the rise, having a strong passport can really open up the world for you. From spontaneous travel to new countries without needing a visa to pursue a new career path on the world stage, the possibility is limitless.

As there is a big gap in mobility between travellers with the most powerful passports and travellers with the least powerful ones, let's look at the benefits of having a strong passport to understand the world of passport better.

Spontaneous Adventures

Your passport can influence how you travel and your imagination of a dream vacation. The list of visa-free countries that you are allowed to go with your current passport influences where you plan to go on vacation. The idea of a spontaneous traveller is captivating for many of us for sure. Get a last-minute deal on hotels, drive to your exciting destination next door or embark on an unexpected weekend getaway with friends.

Save On Visa Application Fees

Getting your visa approved can be costly, especially if you are a frequent traveller and your passport has limited travel freedom. Do you know that the application fee for a common tourist visa to the U.S. is 160 USD? And that is not the most expensive tourist visa yet. To visit the iconic Red Square in Russia, visitors might need to pay up to 270 USD, depending on the visa type and entry. 

Experience the Life Of A Digital Nomad

You can choose your own office place, whether it is a relaxing bungalow by the beach or a coffee shop in a new city. Live out your dream, control your working hours, choose a dream destination, get your travel insurance and be ready to see the world.

Travel The World Better With Your Current Passport

Travel The World Better With Your Current Passport

Visa agents and travel agents can help you get your visa approved with less stress and a lower rate of visa rejection. Photo by Friends Stock on

Having passport privilege is a blessing. However, if you have a passport with limited travel freedom, there are still many great travel options to try. 

Prioritising visa-free and visa-on-arrival countries

Before heading to countries that need a travel visa, you can visit visa-free countries and gradually build up your passport for further visa applications. By visiting visa-free countries, you are not only skipping the visa-obtaining process, but you can also save more on your travel expenses since visa-free countries tend to have a lower cost of living.

Research beforehand and take care of your visa in advance

Visa procedures vary between countries. Some countries have a stricter visa application process than others. It is best that you invest time to carefully research and prepare your visa application.

For example, schedule visa appointments in your home country and gather all the required documents such as application form, detailed travel itinerary, and round trip flight tickets in advance.

Learn the importance of proof of funds and proof of employment

Most countries require travellers to provide evidence of their financial capacity before approving visa applications. You can include your proof of investment such as house ownership, proof of financial assets such as stocks or proof of personal finance such as bank statements.

For proof of employment, depending on whether you are an employee, self-employed, students or freelancer, there are different documents that you can use.

Getting help from a travel agent or visa agent

Travel agencies are experienced in handling visa applications. They can help reduce stress and lower your chance of visa rejection. Travel agents can simplify the visa process for you and ensure your visa application is properly submitted, especially if you are having a difficult case.

CABINZERO’s Tips On Passport

CABINZERO’s Tips On Passport

Stay worry-free on your next trip by carefully handling your passport and paperwork beforehand. Photo by Kzenon on

Avoid travel headaches related to your passport on your next vacation. Never miss an exciting opportunity with our tips on passport applications, renewals and taking extra steps to be better prepared in unexpected situations.

Renewing your passport at the last minute is a terrible idea

Most passports are valid for ten years. Most countries do not allow travellers with less than six months of passport validity to enter. On your trip, you might find yourself in an unexpected situation. In your life, you might find travel opportunities come and go in an instant. Do not wait until the last minute and risk overstay or regretting a missed opportunity.

Frequent travellers should consider having a second passport 

Visa applications can be a long process. If you plan to travel more often, you might need to apply for multiple visas on an on-going basis. Use your second passport for visa applications that tend to take a long time.

Aside from lengthy visa waiting times, some countries reject travellers whose passports include visa stamps from certain countries. Having an alternative passport is the solution.

Be prepared for unexpected situations 

Your passport might get stolen, your physical copies of your passport can get lost too. Make copies of your passport. Be sure to always have a backup plan and handle your important travel documents with care. Leave your original passport in the hotel's safe. Have a digital scan of your passport saved in a cloud or a USB.



Personal information such as name, nationality, date of birth, gender and a photo are included in most passports. Photo by bs_k1d on

1. How Does Passport Work?

A passport is an important document for travellers. Travellers need their passports to re-enter their country of citizenship. Foreign governments use passports to identify tourists' original country as well as their identity. Information included in most passports are name, photo, country of citizenship, date of birth, gender and physical characteristics.

2. Why Does Passport Have Power?

Travelling is certainly a privilege. A passport represents travel freedom and learning opportunity as it enables you to explore foreign countries, learn about different cultures and pursue international career paths. To go through border control, apply for a travel visa, obtain an immigrant visa and be entitled to visa waiver, you need a visa. This is why passports have power. 

3. What Is The Most Powerful Passport?

According to the latest passport ranking published by Henley & Partners, Singapore has the most powerful passport in the world. As of 2023, Singaporean passport holders can visit 192 countries without obtaining a visa. Coming close at second with visa-free entry to 190 places are Germany, Spain, and Italy. Japan falls to third place after 5 years of being the title holder.

4. What Is The Least Powerful Passport?

According to the Henley Passport Index in 2023, Afghanistan is ranked as the world's least powerful passport at 104th place. Afghan passport holders have access to 27 visa-free countries. Destinations where Afghanistan passport holders can travel without a visa are island countries located in the eastern Caribbean Sea.

The World’s Most Powerful Passport

In today's world, having the world’s most powerful passport with great travel freedom is more important than ever. However, your passport ranking should not be the sole determinant for future trips. There will always be ways to travel and new destinations to explore. We hope this article showcases you how fascinating the world is. Have fun becoming a global citizen.

Chau Dao

1 comment

  • Vijay KS

    Really nice and informative post. Thanks. Being a frequent traveler myself I can understand how important it is to hold a powerful passport.

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