Ever wondered which nation boasts the most potent passport? A report from Henley & Partners entitled 'The Henley & Partners Visa Restrictions Index 2016' can tell you just that.
Freedom of movement and the ability to travel the world has opened up over the last few decades, but of course it’s still limited to a degree by the passport you carry.
Ranking 199 countries according to the freedom of travel afforded to their citizens, the British immigration and citizenship corporation revealed the German passport holds the top spot, with access to an incredible 177 countries. That may come as a surprise to Americans and Brits, who often lay claim to this title.
Gathering intel from the International Air Transport Association (IATA), an organization the index claims has the largest travel information database, each country was awarded one point per country their citizens could enter freely without the necessity of a visa, as of January 1, 2016.
The top 10 are as follows:
1. Germany — 177
2. Sweden — 176
3. Finland, France, Italy, Spain, United Kingdom — 175
4. Belgium, Denmark, Netherlands, United States — 174
5. Austria, Japan, Singapore — 173
6. Canada, The Republic of Ireland, South Korea , Luxembourg, Norway, Portugal, Switzerland — 172
7. Greece, New Zealand — 171
8. Australia — 169
9. Malta — 168
10. Hungary, Czech Republic, Iceland — 167
China, meanwhile, occupies 87th place on the list alongside Cambodia, allowing free access to just 50 countries. That's less than Uzbekistan (85th – 52 countries) and Thailand (67th – 71 countries).
Greater China regions ranked significantly higher, with Hong Kong sitting in 20th place achieving a score of 154 and Macau in 40th with 120.
The country hitting the bottom of the list as the most restrictive went to Afghanistan at 104th, which has access to just 25 countries, followed closely by Pakistan and Iraq at 29 and 30 respectively.