In the 2024 ranking of the most powerful passports, six countries-France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Singapore, and Spain-lead jointly, offering visa-free access to 194 destinations.

This is the highest number in the 19-year history of the Henley Passport Index. The index reflects global travel freedoms and uses data from the International Air Transport Association. European countries have seen a notable rise in their rankings.

Most Powerful Passports of 2024 - Which One Tops the List for Global Travel Freedom?
(Photo : Rudy and Peter Skitterians from Pixabay)

Most Powerful Passports in 2024: A Global Ranking

In the latest global ranking, the most powerful passports for 2024 have seen a major change. For the first time, six countries share the top spot. France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Singapore, and Spain now have the most powerful passports. People from these countries can visit 194 places without a visa or get one when they arrive. 

According to CNN, this is the highest number since the Henley Passport Index, which tracks travel freedoms, started 19 years ago. The index uses data from the International Air Transport Association (IATA) and is made by Henley & Partners, a firm in London.

Japan and Singapore were the top holders for the last five years. Now, European countries are rising. Finland, Sweden, and South Korea are second, reaching 193 places. Austria, Denmark, Ireland, and the Netherlands are in third place with access to 192 destinations. Belgium, Luxembourg, Norway, Portugal, and the UK are fourth. Greece, Malta, and Switzerland followed in fifth place.

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Australia, New Zealand, Czechia, and Poland are in sixth place. The United States and Canada are tied in seventh place, along with Hungary. They can go to 188 destinations without a visa. The United Arab Emirates has made the biggest leap in the past ten years. It added 106 places to its visa-free score and is now eleventh.

Christian H. Kaelin, the chair of Henley & Partners, noted that travel freedom has generally increased. However, the gap between the top and bottom of the index is wider than ever. Afghanistan is at the bottom, with access to only 28 countries without a visa.

Here is the list of the world's most powerful passports, according to Skift:

Qualifying Countries in 2024Number of Nations Providing Visa-Free Access
1. France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Singapore, and Spain 194
2. Finland, South Korea, and Sweden 193
3. Austria, Denmark, Ireland, and Netherlands 192
4. Belgium, Luxembourg, Norway, Portugal, and UK 191
5. Greece, Malta, and Switzerland 190
6. Australia, Czechia, New Zealand, and Poland 189
7. Canada, Hungary, and the United States 188

Meanwhile, in a big win for the Philippines, the country's passport has become stronger in 2024. Filipinos can now travel without a visa to 69 places around the world. Panay News reported that this is three more than last year, moving the Philippines up to the 73rd spot. They share this rank with the Cape Verde Islands and Uganda.

This news shows a big change in how easy it is for people to travel around the world. The Philippines' progress is a sign of this change.

Read Also: Thailand Welcomes Chinese Tourists with Visa-Free Entry to Boost Tourism