Travel Tips & News

These are the 6 most powerful passports in the world for 2024

Recently updated on March 19th, 2024 at 04:27 pm

Curious about who holds the most powerful passports in the world? There’s been a shake-up of who holds the top passports in 2024. These coveted travel documents grant their citizens visa-free access to a number of destinations without the hassle of lengthy applications.

The Henley Passport Index has been tracking passports for the past 19 years, and each quarter it releases a report ranking the most powerful passports in the world. In the latest report an unprecedented six countries are tied for top place with access to 194 destinations each. 

United states has one of the most powerful passports in the world

So who holds one of the most powerful passports in the world in 2024?  Whether seeking historical landmarks, breathtaking landscapes, or vibrant cityscapes, these passports unlock a world of possibilities for globetrotters. Read on to discover which nations have the best access to visa-free travel and international air transport.

The most powerful passport in world is… split six ways

Six countries – France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Singapore, and Spain – are tied for the most powerful passports in the world this year, according to the latest rankings. Citizens of these nations can travel visa-free or obtain a visa upon arrival to an impressive 194 out of 227 destinations globally. Most notably, Japan has held the top spot for an impressive six consecutive years.

How does one passport gain access to more countries? It all comes down to the economy and diplomatic ties. The list changes as new deals are signed, and access may be offered as part of agreements between two nations.

Mt Fuji - Japan is the world's most powerful passport

YOUR NEXT TRIP: Splendours of Japan

Second place: Finland, South Korea, Sweden 

Hot on the heels of the top six are Finland, South Korea, and Sweden, holding the title of joint second most powerful passports in the world. Citizens of these nations can travel visa-free or obtain a visa upon arrival to an impressive 193 destinations across the globe. 

This impressive ranking signifies the ease of travel afforded by these passports, opening doors to a vast array of cultural experiences and travel adventures around the world.

Third most powerful passports in the world: Austria, Denmark, Ireland, Netherlands 

In third position are three European countries: Austria, Denmark and Ireland. These nations offer their citizens visa-free access or visa on arrival to a remarkable 192 destinations worldwide. This signifies a significant degree of travel freedom, allowing passport holders to embark on adventures and explore diverse cultures with relative ease.

YOUR NEXT TRIP: Scenic Scandinavia and its Fjords

Fourth place: Belgium, Luxembourg, Norway, Portugal, United Kingdom 

In fourth place on the list of most powerful passports in the world sit Belgium, Luxembourg, Norway, Portugal, and the United Kingdom. Citizens of these European countries and the UK hold the key to 191 destinations around the world with visa-free travel.

This ranking highlights the significant travel freedom enjoyed by passport holders, allowing them to explore a diverse range of cultures and experiences with minimal bureaucratic hurdles. White these citizens could stay home and enjoy the majestic fjords of Norway, the historical charm of Belgium, or the sun-drenched beaches of Portugal, their passports offer a gateway to easy global adventure and exploration.

YOUR NEXT TRIP: Best of Portugal

Passport with a suitcase

Fifth best: Greece, Malta, Switzerland 

Rounding out the top five most powerful passports are Greece, Malta, and Switzerland. These nations, sharing the fifth position, offer their citizens access to 190 destinations worldwide. This ranking signifies a high degree of travel freedom.

YOUR NEXT TRIP: Best of Greece

Sixth most powerful passports in the world: Australia, Czechia, New Zealand, Poland 

Sixth place is held by two more European countries along with Australia and New Zealand. This ranking is particularly noteworthy for Australia and New Zealand, as their passports consistently rank among the most powerful globally thanks to strong diplomatic and economic ties. It means local citizens and passport holders can travel seamlessly around the globe, unlocking travel to Asia, Europe and beyond.

Two Australian passports with a travel itinerary for Hawaii and the United States

RELATED BLOG: 15 essential packing items for a Europe trip

Seventh place: Canada, Hungary, United States 

While both Canada and the United States have historically held higher positions in the passport rankings, it’s not because they have weakened. Other countries have risen in the ranks of global mobility, pushing these two powerful passports down the coveted list.

Nevertheless, these passports still hold significant weight, facilitating easy visa-free travel and fostering cultural exchange for their citizens to 188 destinations.

Canadian passports with plane tickets

YOUR NEXT TRIP: Historic Highlights

Eighth spot: Estonia, Lithuania

In eighth place are two Baltic states: Estonia and Lithuania. Both European nations offer their citizens access to 187 countries across the globe, giving people access to a strong level of travel freedom.

Ninth best: Latvia, Slovakia, Slovenia

Joining forces in ninth place are three more European countries: Latvia, Slovakia, and Slovenia. Passports from these countries gain their citizens visa-free or on-arrival access to 186 destinations worldwide. This ranking allows locals to explore diverse cultures and geographical regions with relative ease. 

10th place: Iceland

Completing the list of the top 10 most powerful passports in the world is Iceland, with 185 destinations offering visa-free entry or visa-on-arrival to its citizens. This ranking is impressive for a nation with a relatively small population. That highlights Iceland’s strong diplomatic and economic ties with other countries. 

YOUR NEXT TRIP: Iceland including the Blue Lagoon

Passport cover that says "see the world"

The biggest shifts and changes in 2024

Just outside the top 10, the United Arab Emirates claims 11th position this year. But what’s most significant is its rapid climb over the past decade. Since 2014 the UAE has added 106 destinations to its visa-free list, giving it a high position.

Looking at the opposite end of the scale, the gap between those who can travel easily and those who can’t is growing wider. At the very bottom is Afghanistan, whose citizens can access just 28 countries visa-free, and second-last is Syria with 29. 

Many of the countries on this list of the most powerful passports in the world are facing major elections this year. That could shift and change the global landscape and who we’ll see on this list in the near future.

Do you hold one of the world’s most powerful passports? Where are you looking forward to traveling to next? Leave us a comment….

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Want to hear more from us?

Sign up to receive inspiring travel articles, offers & news

"*" indicates required fields

Receive Monthly Emails*
Receive All Brand Communications
Terms and Cons*
Generic filters
Exact matches only
Search in title