A German passport
Photograph by Alex Grimm — Getty Images
By Michal Addady
February 29, 2016

If you’re planning on traveling internationally, one nation’s passport will open more doors for you than any other.

Residence and citizenship planning firm Henley & Partners released its 2016 Visa Restriction Index in cooperation with the International Air Transport Association to determine which countries have the most travel freedom, based on the number of countries someone can visit either without a visa or by receiving a visa once they arrive, rather than requesting one before embarking.

Germany was identified as having the strongest passport for the third year in a row with 177 visa-free travel destinations available to its citizens. It was closely followed by Sweden’s 176. The U.K. came in third place with 175, alongside Finland, France, Italy, and Spain; the U.S. came in fourth with 174, the same as Belgium, Denmark, and the Netherlands.

The worst score went to Afghanistan, with just 25 countries allowing visa-free travel. Pakistan was a few steps up at 29, Iraq at 30, Somalia at 31, and Syria at 32. These numbers are a reflection of the countries’ diplomatic relationships.

This is the 11th year Henley & Partners has published its Visa Restriction Index. The report evaluated 199 passports and 219 possible travel destinations. The highest possible score is 218.


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