The 2024 Ranking: World’s Top Powerful Passports

An unprecedented six nations are deadlocked for the top place for the most desirable travel papers for 2024, upending a quarterly rating of the strongest passports in the world.

The 2024 Ranking: World’s Top Powerful Passports
Photo by Spencer Davis on Unsplash

The Henley Passport Index has been monitoring international travel freedoms for 19 years, and the current total of 194 places worldwide are accessible to citizens of France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Singapore, and Spain without the need for a visa. Using unique data from the International Air Transport Association (IATA), Henley & Partners, a London-based global citizenship and residency advice business, established the index.

For the last five years, Japan and Singapore, two Asian countries, have occupied the top slot; nevertheless, Europe has made a stunning comeback to rank fifth. With easy access to 193 locations, Finland, Sweden, and South Korea tie for second position, while Austria, Denmark, Ireland, and the Netherlands come in third (with 192 destinations).

Greece, Malta, and Switzerland are ranked No. 5, while Belgium, Luxembourg, Norway, Portugal, and the United Kingdom are ranked No. 4.

Together with Poland and Czechia at No. 6, Australia and New Zealand have risen in the rankings. In contrast, with visa-free travel to 188 locations, the US, Canada, and Hungary are tied for eighth position.

Expanding disparity

After adding an astounding 106 locations to its visa-free score since 2014, the United Arab Emirates has continued to be the index's highest climber, coming in at number 11 this year.

The passport index's inventor, Christian H. Kaelin, chair of Henley & Partners, said in a statement that while there has been a general trend over the last 20 years toward more travel freedom, the difference in global mobility between people at the top and bottom of the index is currently larger than it has ever been.

According to Kaelin, "the average number of places visitors are able to visit without a visa has nearly doubled from 58 in 2006 to 111 in 2024." But compared to Afghanistan, which is at the bottom of the list with just 28 countries accessible without a visa, the top-ranked countries may now visit an astounding 166 more locations without a visa. Syria is ranked second-lowest, with visa-free travel to only 29 places. Pakistan has access to 34, and Iraq has 31.

Financial businesses have developed a number of indices, including Henley & Partners' list, to rate international passports based on the level of access they provide to its residents.

Several indexes

The passports of 193 UN members as well as six UN territories—Taiwan, Macao, Hong Kong, Kosovo, the Palestinian territories, and the Vatican—are included in Arton Capital's Passport Index. Annexed territories of other nations are not included.

It is updated continuously throughout the year, however the way its data is collected is by closely observing the portals of various governments. It’s a tool “for people who travel, to provide accurate, simple-to-acess information for their travel needs,” Arton Capital’s founder Armand Arton told CNN in 2022.

With a visa-free/visa-on-arrival score of 180, the United Arab Emirates is ranked #1 on Arton's Global Passport Power Rank 2024.

Five European nations—Germany, Spain, France, Italy, and the Netherlands—are tied for second position.

The US and the UK are down in fifth and sixth position, respectively, while Sweden, Finland, Luxembourg, Austria, and Switzerland are ranked third.

Albania was identified as a "rising star" in Arton Capital's 2023 roundup, which also highlighted the increase in global mobility gains made by regional powerhouses like Monaco, Macao, and Hong Kong last year.  According to a statement from Arton Capital, "governments are lining up to make it easier for Albanians to live and work in their countries, as demand for its renowned hardworking citizens has dramatically increased."

Global passport rankings for 2024:

• Belgium, Luxembourg, Norway, Portugal, United Kingdom (191 destinations); • Austria, Denmark, Ireland, and the Netherlands (192 destinations).

• Greece (190 locations), Malta, and Switzerland

• Poland, New Zealand, and the Czech Republic (189 destinations)

• 188 destinations: Canada, Hungary, and the United States

• Estonia and Lithuania (187 routes)

• Iceland (185 destinations) • Latvia, Slovakia, and Slovenia (186 destinations).


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