Nordic passports the world’s most powerful

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Only Germany’s and Singapore’s passports do it better

The Danish, Swedish, Norwegian and Finnish passports all open the door to 175 countries around the globe in terms of visa-free access.

That makes them the world’s most powerful, except for the leaders Germany (177 countries) and Singapore (176), according to the new 2018 Visa Restriction Index published this week by the US-based global citizenship and residence advisory firm Henley & Partners.

Also on the same level as the Nordic passports are France, Italy, Japan and the UK, followed by Austria, Belgium, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Spain and Switzerland, all on 174.

Shortly behind these are Ireland, South Korea and the US (all 173), Canada (172), Australia (171), Iceland (170), Brazil (158), Mexico (144), Russia (110), China (60) and India (49).

But, at the other end of the scale, Afghanistan’s passport is the least potent, permitting access to just 24 countries, behind Iraq (27), Syria (28) and Pakistan (30).

Mobility divide
“There is no denying that a global mobility divide exists. We are also seeing a growing tendency towards a more isolationist, immigration-hostile policy among traditional migrant-receiving countries such as the US, and 2018 will bring further uncertainty, with the UK still in the grip of ongoing Brexit negotiations,” said Christian H Kälin, group chairman at Henley & Partners.

“Nonetheless, only a small minority of countries on the Henley Passport Index lost visa-free access in 2018. By and large, countries either improved or maintained their access compared to 2017.”

He added: “These findings reflect the fact that, while certain countries are tightening their borders, most are in fact becoming more open, as they seek to tap into the immense economic value that tourism, international commerce and migration can bring.”

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