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If you hold a German passport, you're in possession of the most enviable travel document on earth. The Henley Passport Index tells people their position on the global mobility ladder by revealing the strength of the passport held compared to that of other passports / Photo: Wikipedia

Germany has the most powerful passport in the world – again

The annual Henley Passport Index has just been released. It ranks passports according to the number of countries their holders can travel to visa-free. The ranking named Germany as the country with the most powerful passport in the world for the fifth year in a row. Last October a separate ranking put Singapore at the top of the list, but Germany has reclaimed the top spot on that list also.

For the fifth-year running, Germany has the most powerful passport in the world, according to the Henley Passport Index.

The European country narrowly manages to beat rivals Singapore. The city-state received the same title in a similar ranking published in October 2017 by Arton Capital, a Canadian organization.

Germans enjoys visa-free access to 177 countries – rising from 176 in 2017 – according to this year’s index by Henley & Partners, a global residence and citizenship planning firm.

The index ranks nations around the world on how many countries citizens can visit without a visa – something that can be a significant cost or barrier when it comes to international travel. A similar ranking, Arton Capital’s Passport Index, also places Germany in the top spot.

In second place is Singapore, whose citizens can travel visa-free to 176 countries. The third place spot is jointly held by eight countries – Denmark, Finland, France, Italy, Japan, Norway, Sweden and the UK, whose citizens can travel to 175 countries without a visa.

Austria, Belgium, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Switzerland and Spain all tie for fourth place.

Here’s Henley’s top 10 for the year 2018:

This year, the United States improves its score from 172 to 173 countries to visit without a visa, sharing the fifth place with Ireland, Portugal and South Korea.

At the bottom of the ladder, countries in which international mobility is least facilitated are Pakistan, Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan with visa-free access to 30 countries or less.

“On the socio-economic scale, individuals want to transcend the constraints imposed by belonging to a country of origin and access professional, financial, economic and social opportunities on a global scale,” said Christian H. Kalin, who leads Henley & Partners in a statement on Wednesday. 

The Henley Passport Index is based on exclusive data from the International Air Transport Association (IATA), which maintains the world’s largest and most accurate database of travel information.

Sola Jolaoso

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