A country’s passport is deemed ‘Powerful’ on the basis of its freedom of traveling to other countries. In order to rank the passports in accordance with the travel freedom a country’s citizens enjoy, a London-based consulting firm named Henley & Partners have come up with the data of Visa Restriction Index for the year 2016.
The index is produced in cooperation with the International Air Transport Association (IATA), which maintains the world’s largest database of travel information, and is published annually. Countries are ranked according to the total number of other countries which they can access visa-free, which simply means that a citizen can visit the destination by just showing up and getting a landing visa at the airport.
Here are the countries that have the most powerful passports:
#1. Germany, with access to 177 countries
#2. Sweden, with access to 176 countries
#3. Finland, France, Italy, Spain and the UK with access to 175 countries
#4. Belgium, Denmark, Netherlands and the United States with access to 174 countries
#5. Austria, Japan and Singapore with access to 173 countries
Here are the countries that have the weakest or we can just say, ‘worst’ passports:
#1. Afghanistan, with access to 25 countries
#2. Pakistan, with access to 29 countries
#3. Iraq, with access to 30 countries
#4. Somalia, with access to 31 countries
#5. Syria, with access to 32 countries
Wonder where does Nepal’s passport stand in the index? It is the seventh weakest passport as Libya’ stands on sixth spot and Nepal’s shares the seventh weakest spot with Eritrea, Ethiopia, Iran, Palestinian Territory and Sudan with access to just 37 countries.
Talking about our neighbors, India’s passport ranks 85th along with Mali and Uzbekistan with access to 52 countries and China’s passport shares the 87th spot with Cambodia with access to 50 countries.
The Henley & Partners Visa Restrictions Index was created with visa regulations effective on 1 January 2016, including any temporary visa regulations applicable on that date. There are 219 destination countries (territories) in total. The maximum attainable score is 218 (points are not assigned for a national traveling to their own country).