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Powerful passports

With Germany recently being ranked as having the world’s most powerful passport, the opportunities citizens of powerful passport countries have is continuing to grow. It’s not necessarily the colour of the passport that helps to make a passport powerful, but the legal ties of the country from where the passport is obtained from can dictate the visa-free movement of its citizens. A passport can represent more than just a travel document, and for some countries can actually act as a barrier when it comes to global mobility. Here at Santa Fe Relocation, we’re taking a closer look at the world’s most powerful passports in 2018.


According to the 2018 Henley Passport Index, Germany now has the world’s most powerful passport. German citizens can now visit 177 countries visa-free, which is one up from last year, and one more than Singaporeans. Germany has improved its positions dramatically, overtaking the United Kingdom which topped the index in 2015, after several countries relaxed its visa restrictions.


Alongside the German passport, a Singaporean passport allows its citizens to travel to a total of 159 countries, visa-free. With Paraguay removing restrictions in 2017, Singapore actually topped the index last year, marking the first time an Asian country has the most powerful passport according to the Index. Described as “a testament of Singapore’s inclusive diplomatic relations and effective foreign policy,” by managing director of Arton Capital’s Singapore office, Philippe May, this passport is far more than simply a travel document issued by the country’s government, but in fact represents diplomacy to a new degree.

Denmark, Finland, France, Italy, Japan, Norway, Sweden, the United Kingdom

The next most powerful tiers of passports are those belonging to Denmark, Finland, France, Italy, Japan, Norway, Sweden and the United Kingdom. Whilst British citizens getting German passports has surged as a result of Brexit, Denmark, Finland, France, Italy, Japan, Norway, Sweden passports have remained in the third powerful tiers of passports based on the number of countries their holders can visit visa-free.

Austria, Belgium, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Spain, Switzerland

Following Denmark, Finland, France, Italy, Japan, Norway, Sweden and the United Kingdom is Austria, Belgium, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Spain and Switzerland. In addition to this, Belgium joined the new electronic passport project in 2014, making it one of the few countries to power the electronic pass programs across the globe.

Ireland, South Korea, Portugal, the United States

Ireland, South Korea, Portugal and the United States are also among the most powerful passports in the world, ranking fifth. Even though the United States has recently undergone an extensive policy debate over passports and visa requirements, the country still received a visa-free score of 154, enabling the country to be considered as one of the top powerful tiers of passports based on the number of countries their holders can visit visa-free. However, since the election of Donald Trump, some countries such as Turkey and the Central African Republic, have revoked the country’s visa-free access showing how much influence politics can have over global mobility.

If you are considering relocating abroad, and you would like to discuss how we can help you, do not hesitate to get in touch with a member of our expert team, today.

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