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The world’s most powerful passports for 2024

11.01.2024 04:01 AM
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The world’s most powerful passports for 2024
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The world’s most powerful passports for 2024

 In an unprecedented turn of events, the global passport landscape has experienced a significant shakeup in the latest quarterly ranking of the world's most powerful travel documents for 2024. Six countries – France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Singapore, and Spain – have emerged as leaders, holding the top spot with access to an impressive 194 destinations, marking the highest recorded number since the inception of the Henley Passport Index 19 years ago.

Compiled by the London-based global citizenship and residence advisory firm Henley & Partners, the index utilizes exclusive data from the International Air Transport Association (IATA). For the past five years, Japan and Singapore dominated the No.1 spot, but this year's top-ranking nations signal a triumphant rise for Europe in the global mobility landscape.

Finland and Sweden, tied with South Korea, secured the second position, boasting easy access to 193 destinations. Following closely, Austria, Denmark, Ireland, and the Netherlands share the third spot, offering their citizens the privilege of traveling to 192 destinations.

The fourth position is occupied by Belgium, Luxembourg, Norway, Portugal, and the United Kingdom, with access to 191 destinations. Greece, Malta, and Switzerland take the fifth spot, providing their passport holders entry to 190 destinations around the world.

Australia and New Zealand have made significant strides in their rankings, securing the sixth position alongside Czechia and Poland. The United States and Canada find themselves tied for seventh place, along with Hungary, boasting visa-free access to 188 destinations.

Notable changes have been witnessed over the past decade, with the United Arab Emirates emerging as the biggest climber on the index, adding an impressive 106 destinations to its visa-free score since 2014, securing the 11th position in 2024.

Christian H. Kaelin, chair of Henley & Partners and creator of the passport index, highlights the widening global mobility gap between countries at the top and bottom of the ranking. While the average number of destinations travelers can access visa-free has nearly doubled from 58 in 2006 to 111 in 2024, the top-ranked countries 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.

Several financial firms create indexes to rank global passports based on the access they provide to their citizens. Arton Capital's Passport Index, for instance, considers the passports of 193 United Nations member countries and six territories, providing real-time updates throughout the year. In its 2024 ranking, the United Arab Emirates claims the top spot, followed by five European countries – Germany, Spain, France, Italy, and the Netherlands.

These passport rankings underscore the evolving landscape of global mobility and the varying degrees of access citizens enjoy when venturing abroad. As countries continue to navigate diplomatic relations and international agreements, the dynamics of passport power are likely to see further shifts in the years to come.

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