World’s 10 Most and Least Powerful Passports in 2024

Explore the Henley Passport Index for 2024, revealing the unparalleled strength of passports worldwide. Delve into the rankings to identify the top 10 nations with the most powerful passports, offering their citizens extensive visa-free access. Gain insights into the evolving trends and notable climbers, as well as the contrast with the 10 least powerful passports, reflecting the varying degrees of global mobility.
Advertisement

In the dynamic landscape of international travel, passport strength plays a pivotal role in determining the extent of global mobility for citizens. The Henley Passport Index, utilizing exclusive data from the International Air Transport Association (IATA), serves as a compass for discerning the power of passports.

The 2024 edition has witnessed unprecedented development, with six countries sharing the top spot, boasting visa-free access to a record-breaking number of destinations.

Let’s delve into the top 10 most and least powerful passports in 2024, offering insights into travel freedom in the present day.

World’s 10 Most Powerful Passports in 2024

France Most Powerful Passports

In an impressive display of global influence, six nations France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Singapore and Spain lead the pack, enabling their citizens to traverse 194 destinations without a prior visa.

Advertisement

Notably, Japan and Singapore have maintained their stronghold in the top position for the past five years.

Furthermore, South Korea, Finland, and Sweden share the second spot with visa-free access to 193 destinations. While, Austria, Denmark, Ireland, and the Netherlands jointly hold the third position with access to 192 destinations.

The Top 10 is predominantly filled with European nations, where the UK climbed two ranks to secure the fourth spot, offering visa-free entry to 191 destinations, compared to 188 the previous year.

Australia and New Zealand passport holders now sit in 6th place with 189 visa-free destinations, while the United States maintains its 7th position with access to 188 destinations.

Advertisement
CountriesRank in 2024Visa-Free Access
France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Singapore, Spain1st194
Finland, South Korea, Sweden2nd193
Austria, Denmark, Ireland, Netherlands3rd192
Belgium, Luxembourg, Norway, Portugal, United Kingdom4th191
Greece, Malta, Switzerland5th190
Czechia, New Zealand, Poland6th189
Canada, Hungary, United States7th188
Estonia, Lithuania8th187
Latvia, Slovakia, Slovenia9th186
Iceland10th185
Most Powerful Passports in 2024

Notably, it has been a decade since the UK and the US jointly held the first place on the index in 2014.

Also Read: UAE Retains Title of World’s Most Powerful Passport in 2024 – Passport Index by Arton Capital

Top 10 Least Powerful Passports in 2024

In stark contrast, the least powerful passports offer significantly limited travel freedom. Holders of these passports face restricted movement, often necessitating prior visa applications for most destinations.

The bottom ten are primarily concentrated in the Middle East and Africa, highlighting the geopolitical and socioeconomic factors that impact travel accessibility.

Advertisement

The world’s least powerful passport in 2024, Afghanistan holds the 104th position with access to only 28 destinations, while Lebanon, Nigeria, and Sudan secure the 95th position with 45 visa-free destinations.

CountriesRank in 2024Visa-Free Access
Lebanon, Nigeria, Sudan95th45
Eritrea, Sri Lanka96th43
Bangladesh, North Korea97th42
Libya, Nepal, Palestinian Territory98th40
Somalia99th36
Yemen100th35
Pakistan101st34
Iraq102nd31
Syria103rd29
Afghanistan104th28
Least Powerful Passports in 2024

Key Trends and Insights

Dr Christian H. Kaelin, Chairman of Henley & Partners, notes a historical trend towards increased travel freedom, with the average number of destinations nearly doubling from 58 in 2006 to 111 in 2024.

However, the mobility gap between top and bottom-ranked countries has widened. The leading nations can now travel to 166 more destinations visa-free than Afghanistan, which sits at the bottom of the ranking, with access to just 28 countries without a visa.

Noteworthy Climbers and Fallers

Biggest Climber: United Arab Emirates (UAE)

  • Visa-Free Score Increase (Past Decade): 106 destinations
  • Rank Change (Past Decade): 44 places (from 55th to 11th)

The UAE stands out as the most significant climber over the past decade, showcasing an impressive leap of 106 destinations in its visa-free score and ascending 44 places in the ranking.

Advertisement

Ukraine and China: Notable Improvements

  • Net Rank Gain (Past Decade): 21 places each

Ukraine and China have emerged as standout performers over the past ten years, both securing a net gain of 21 places. In the latest ranking, Ukraine holds the 32nd position with 148 visa-free destinations, while China is placed 62nd, with access to 85 destinations without a prior visa.

Russia: Stable Performance

  • Net Destination Gain (Past Decade): 24 destinations

While Russia has experienced a net gain of 24 destinations over the past decade, its visa-free score and ranking have seen minimal shifts since 2017. Currently holding the 51st position, Russia offers access to 119 destinations without a visa.

Conclusion

The 2024 Henley Passport Index offers a snapshot of the ever-evolving landscape of global mobility. With freedom of movement becoming increasingly crucial in today’s interconnected world, understanding passport power dynamics is vital for travellers and policymakers alike.


Follow and connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and Google News for the latest travel news and updates!

Advertisement

Advertisement

Manish Khandelwal
Manish Khandelwal

Manish Khandelwal, a travel-tech enthusiast with over a decade of experience in the travel industry. Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Travelobiz.com, he's passionate about writing.

Articles: 6079