NZ, most powerful passport in Pacific region. For the islands, it’s Samoa
The Pacific tourism sector is confident that 2017 will be their best year yet. It is therefore more than a cursory interest to know which country’s citizens have it easier when making travel plans.
More specifically, which country’s passports open more doors around the world than any other?
It’s quite timely that the latest power ranking for passports was released not too long ago. And the results show that Germany has, again, claimed the Number 1 rank as the world’s most powerful.
German citizens can travel without the need for a visa to 177 countries out of a total of 218.
In the Pacific region, New Zealand has the most powerful passport with a global ranking of 7 (seven) – its holders (which include Tokelauans, Niueans, and Cook Islanders) have visa-free access to 171 countries.
For the Pacific islands, Samoa’s passport is the most powerful of all the independent small island developing states (SIDS).
With a ranking of 44, Samoan citizens have visa-free access to 112 countries. It means a Samoan passport is more powerful than a Russian (48), South African (54), Thailand (67), Saudi Arabian (69), Indonesian (79), Indian (85) and Chinese (87) passports to name a few.
It is also interesting to note that Pacific SIDS are also amongst the highest climbers with Tonga rising 16 spots, Palau by 20, and Timor-Leste the highest climber of all with an increase of 33 (from 90 to 57).
The ranking index produced by citizenship and planning firm Henley & Partners takes into account how many countries an individual can visit without applying for a visa, according to the passport the individual holds.
The world’s least powerful passport belongs to Afghanistan citizens, who can visit just 25 countries without a visa.
Visa restrictions are imposed by countries to control the crossing of their borders and almost all countries require visas from certain non-citizens who wish to enter or to leave their territory.
The world’s most powerful passports
- Germany, 177 countries can be visited without a visa
- Sweden, 176
- Finland, France, Italy, Spain, United Kingdom, 175
- Belgium, Denmark, Netherlands, United States, 174
- Austria, Japan, Singapore, 173
- Canada, Ireland (Republic of), Korea (Republic of, South), Luxembourg, Norway, Portugal, Switzerland, 172
- Greece, New Zealand, 171
- Australia, 169
- Malta, 168
- Hungary, Czech Republic, Iceland, 167
Pacific island’s passport power ranking
- Samoa (ranked 44, free visa to 112 countries)
- Tonga, Vanuatu (46, 110)
- Palau (49, 104)
- Solomon Islands (56, 86)
- Tuvalu, Timor Leste (57, 82)
- Fiji (58, 81)
- Nauru (59, 80)
- Kiribati, Marshall Islands (60, 79)
- Papua New Guinea (62, 77)
- Federated States of Micronesia (63, 75)
NOTE: French territories New Caledonia, French Polynesia, and Wallis and Futuna hold the more powerful passport with France ranked 3rd granting holders visa-free access to 175 countries.
The world’s least powerful passports
- Afghanistan, 25 countries can be visited without a visa
- Pakistan, 29
- Iraq, 30
- Somalia, 31
- Syria, 32
- Libya, 36
- Eritrea, Ethiopia, Iran, Nepal, Palestinian Territory, Sudan, 37
- Kosovo, South Sudan, Yemen, 38
- Bangladesh, Congo (Democratic Republic of), Lebanon, Sri Lanka, 39
- Burundi, Korea (Democratic People’s Republic of, North), Myanmar, 42