In a newly published global ranking of countries according to the travel freedom that their citizens enjoy, the German passport came in first position, offering visa-free travel to 177 countries, out of a possible 218.
The Germans dethroned the Americans who held the first position last year and in 2014, according to the Henley & Partners Visa Restriction Index, released recently.
The Swedish passport features in second place with visa-free travel to 176 countries, followed by a joint third place for the UK, Finland, France, Italy and Spain. Holders of these countries’ passports gain unfettered access to 175 countries.
The Belgian passport offers visa-free travel to 174 countries. Belgium shares the fourth spot with Denmark, the Netherlands and the US. Some other top rankings include Austria (fifth), Canada, Luxembourg, Portugal and Switzerland (sixth), Greece and New Zealand (seventh) and Australia (eighth).
In collaboration with the International Air Transport Association, and based on official data from their global database, Henley & Partners, a citizenship and planning firm, has analysed the visa regulations of all the countries and territories in the world since 2006.