How powerful is your passport?

Germany and the UK are the most powerful, the UAE is the best in the Middle East and Lebanon is among the worst in the world.

EDGAR staff October 13, 2015

It has been revealed that British and German nationals have the most powerful passports in the world, while UAE passports are the best in the Middle East and North Africa when it comes to visa-free travel.

The findings come from the annual Henley & Partners Visa Restrictions Index, which ranks countries according to how many destinations their citizens can travel to without having to arrange a visa first. 

The 2015 results have Germany and the UK sharing the top spot, with both of their passports allowing visa-free travel to 173 countries. 

Residents of Finland, Sweden and the US are tied in second place with 172 visa-free destinations, and third place is shared by eight countries including the likes of France, Italy, Netherlands, Japan and South Korea, whose residents can all visit 171 countries without securing a visa. 

In the Middle East, the UAE comes out on top, with 114 visa-free destinations, putting it in 40th place overall. Kuwait is the next highest ranking, with its residents able to visit 78 countries without a visa, followed by Qatar (74), Oman (68) and Saudi Arabia (66).

As well as being the most powerful in the Middle East, the UAE passport is also the most improved in the world, as it climbs 15 places in the rankings from last year, mainly due to the new agreement with the European Union, which allows Emirati citizens visa-free travel to 36 countries including the 26 Schengen area states. 

At the other end of the scale, the worst possible passport belongs to citizens of Afghanistan, with just 25 countries allowing them visa-free travel. Other notable nations towards the bottom end of the rankings are Iraq (29), Pakistan (31), Syria (33) and Lebanon which, with only 37 visa-free destinations, still ranks below the likes of Yemen and North Korea (both 39). 

Find out how powerful your passport is by viewing the full list here