What Is The World's Most Powerful Passport?

Tyler Durden's picture

Whether you seek to explore distant lands, or you just want to sit on a remote island beach with a margarita, your passport can be your biggest travel asset. The right document grants you visa-free access to over 150+ countries, and makes applying for entry to the other places a short and easy afterthought.

But, as Visual Cpitalist's Jeff Desjardins notes, a passport can also be your biggest liability. Having a passport from the wrong place means travel is extremely restricted to just a few countries – and these are generally not the places travelers want to go, anyways.

Even worse, passports on the lower end of the spectrum are also heavily scrutinized at entry-points around the world. If you have a document from Afghanistan, Sri Lanka, Lebanon, or several other countries, there may be many hoops for you to jump through to get to your final destination.

(Click image for giant legible version)

Source: Visual Capitalist


According to the Passport Index, the distinction for the world’s most powerful passport actually ends up as a tie between Germany and Singapore. Both have unparalleled access to visa-free entries, each with a list of 159 countries that citizens can go to without any hassles.

Like Germany, most other Western European nations do similarly well in the visa-free department:

In Asia, however, things are quite different. After Singapore and a few other countries (Japan, South Korea, and Malaysia), things drop off faster.


Further down the list in Asia, citizens of certain countries find themselves in even a tougher place, especially if they reside in the Middle East. Countries like Afghanistan (22), Pakistan (25), Iraq (26), Syria (30), and Bangladesh (35) have some of the shortest lists of visa-free countries that citizens have access to.


In North America, the United States and Canada both have powerful passports with 157 and 155 visa-free options respectively.

However, they differ in a few key areas. Americans have visa-free access to Armenia, Equatorial Guinea, Palau, the Marshall Islands, and the Central African Republic, while Canadians have visa-free access to Bolivia, Venezuela, and Gambia.


We alluded earlier to the fact that a passport can also be a traveler’s biggest liability.

Here are some of the countries that you would likely not want to have a passport from:

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Silversides's picture

Yep, Canada and USA works well for me.

Delving Eye's picture

I thought Switzerland would be way up there. Not even listed!

Déjà view's picture

Sovereign men don't need no stinking passports...

Overfed's picture

Yep. Passports are bullshit.

AVmaster's picture

Passports are bullshit, another part of globalism...

Déjà view's picture

Odd...possessing worst passports one can claim asylum...receive a free VISA CC...

False_Profit's picture

So many on this thread are engaging in mental masturbation, think they have it figured out and don't...

Itinerant's picture

This is just a numerical exercise. There is no regard for the quality of the experience.

Tust me. There are a lot of countries where you will be treated better if you have a Canadian passport than an American; likewise, a Dutch or Danish passport will generally result in a far more gracious experience than a German one (loads of people still remember the war).

HRClinton's picture

Is one of them Israeli?

Too-Big-to-Bail's picture

Do you also make 7K a week working part time from home?

Déjà view's picture

Straight...Flushes it down...

HRClinton's picture

If I had the choice of 2, I'd pick a Belgian and Swiss passport:

Unassuming and low key, no flack, no barriers, and not a target for crazies.

As a 3rd, I'd pick a non-extradition country and go native. As Plan Omega.

August's picture

A friend has for many years been receiving welfare payments from both the USA and Canada.

It helps if you can document legitimate variants in your legal name, so they don't obviously represent the same person.

TeraByte's picture

Not all eggs in the same basket.

XBroker1's picture

Kinda hard to read. I'd like to know where the Phils and Thailand ranks among these.

Hongcha's picture

Only a lunatic would Emigrate from Thailand  Good food, no fossil fuels, relatively few ululating Jihadis and a government that is fine with repressing the unruly. For years and years a King who genuinely loved the country. They are relaxed, Theravada Buddhists, rather than neurotic, frenetic, guilt-stricken Xtians shooting themselves in the foot with suicidal immigrant policies.  Perhaps the world's most liberal attitude towards sex  ... firm, friendly and eminently serviceable women everywhere ... I mean who would want to leave?

Sector Catalyst's picture

This man knows what he's talking about.

Son of Loki's picture

Thailand is good if you're above average wealth and don't wander to the southern areas where muzlims routinely kill Thais and foreigners, near the border with Muzlimasia (Malaysia).

Volaille de Bresse's picture

"I mean who would want to leave?"


Gay Thais who move to Europe to be butt-fucked by African invaders... sorry "migrants"?

buttmint's picture

Thailand Passport: if you are professional (doctor, dentist, etc.....no problem). You are awarded your visa very quickly.

If you work in the "skin trade," you can pretty much give up ANY notion of obtaining a visa to USA, why? The simple answer is that kon Tai blew it.

The US Embassy in Bangkok is an amazing place, top notch. I've dealt with them for over 12 years and always---friendly service, a smile and expediency. The embassy itself used to resemble an old school house inside, with wainscoting 4ft up. Felt very warm and cozy. Lotsa remodeling in recent years. The staff is still AMAZING.


So...what happened? The Vietnam War (called "American War") in SE Asia is winding down. USA built SEVEN military bases in the Land of Smiles (Thailand). The main US Army base

was as Chacoengsao. 40,000 American servicemen brought back 38,000 kon Tai (Tai person) to USA. Tiger Woods was part of this exodus that few are aware of. Tiger's mother is from a moobahn (village) from outside Udon Thani. The complaints began hard and fast. this is mid-1970s. Google it yourself. Kon Tai despised America due to 1) Lousy food 2) Isolation, 3) Cold weather. Kon Tai freak out when it hits 87F and don winter jackets. See a problem? 

This list could be expanded, but the Numero Uno reason kon Tai flipped out living in USA: TorTahaan. What? TorTahaan in Tai means "soldier"----SOLDIERS in Thai society rank at the very top of their social pecking order. All the Tai women thought they were marrying the cream of the crop of American society. They arrive USA and face it---America treats its soldiers like garbage after they have faithfully served their duty. It rankled the Thai women that their American soldiers were on the level of janitor. Spat upon while returning from active duty as the Vietnam War wound down and wounds began to heal.

Kon Tai are VERY class conscious.

The Thai women squawked, screamed, petitioned and finally came to an agreement with US State Dept and US Army and involved agencies: Each couple were extensively interviewed, screened and re-interviewed. The USA picked up the tab and relocated 37,000 of the initial 38,000 that were brought over back to their beloved moobahn. Most of the US soldiers and their Thai wives and kids relocated to areas around Udon Thani and Ubon Rathchatani. They are still there to this day. Most of the dudes are in their 70s, speak and write fluent passah Thai and are quite the characters.

Part of the relocation deal? US State Department SLAMMED the door on kon Tai trying to arrive USA. Hey---they were given a golden chance and pissed it away. Very little chance of obtaining a visa to USA. The Thai police do an extensive research on your sweetie's past life. Not many get the green light. Save your Visa Application fee.

Now you know......If you are a punter of whatever age and find yourself in Thailand and fall madly in love with a Tai woman (it happens), then YOU master passah Thai, YOU learn their culture and YOU stay in Thailand. To remove a Thai female from her beloved food carts and lifestyle is not only rude, but stupid. Envision snaring an orchid out of a greenhouse and take it outside anywhere into harsh weather---what happens? The orchid, once beautiful and vibrant withers and dies.

The US Embassy KNOWS all this. Now you do as well. Act smart.

Crush the cube's picture

The US Government can't dictate to any US citizen who they can marry, they can't legally stop a real marriage, any where, any time.  There is a process for a legal marriage to a foreign national, and if you follow it, its as good as done.  Period.  Thailand is no exception to the Law.   

Huntley Haverstock's picture

So me and my ladyboy bride are SOL?

Mimir's picture

"Lousy food" says all we need to know. 

WorkingClassMan's picture

click on the picture and click again to zoom in closely.

Global Douche's picture

FWIW, if going to Philippines stay the fuck away from their southern islands. Thailand is very modern in many ways. I can hook you up with an excellent hostel in Bangkok who teaches expats what they need to know to live there. One of the guys lived here in America for 7 years and college educated, so he knows the slang - but he's native Thai and knows his shit!

BandGap's picture

I'm not going anywhere right now.

What a total bullshit read. The last thing anyone needs is to be somewhere they are not familiar with when the shit hits the blades.

DC Exile's picture

So true. I don't recognize my country anymore. And I'm an American. I better get another passport fast.

Mimir's picture

Stay in your village.

Ben A Drill's picture

Don't have one, don't want one. There's no place like home. USA. I'M PROUD TO BE A AMERICAN!

Son of Loki's picture

Esp now when Trump is making it great again!

sgorem's picture

BEST GODDAMN PASSPORT IN THE WORLD IS, DRUM ROLL PLEASE...............................GOLD! yeah baby, that's what the fuck i'm talkin' about!!!!!!!!!!!!


Slingsby's picture

Yeah. Ok. You take 50 oz. of gold and I'll take my passport and we'll book tickets and meet in Madrid tomorrow. Guess who will be eating tapas first.

Hint: You will be interrogated in a dimly lit room by some serious guys and will not get your AU back. EVAR.

Don't get me wrong. There's a place for it as a SHTF security blanket but it's not exactly the easiest means of exchange in that situation. I would go with lead, petrol and booze. In that order. Oh, antibiotics and bleach are handy too.


syzygysus's picture

i don’t think there are 156 other countries I want to be in when SHTF.

Just got off a cruise ship...they have mad redundancies....water desalination, frozen foods, 3 areas of canned and dried foods around the ship for ‘safety’ and emergencies according to cruise ship tour guide...multiple types of fuel they can use..
But when the fuel is gone, it would be a ship of horrors after a couple of weeks.

James TraffiCan't's picture

It's good to have options!

Beam me up!

HRClinton's picture

You got friends on the Enterprise?  Impressive! 

foodstampbarry's picture

I fart in the general direction of my Canadian passport. The American one I'll keep.

Déjà view's picture

Odd...Chicom "Farts" on U.S. passport not Canadian when applying for a very simple uncomplicated on-the-spot...SHENZHEN VISA...

Nick13_ro's picture

It's Shenghen. Shenzen is where they're coming from. They dont need a visa