Global citizenship and residence consultants Henley and Partners has compiled the Visa Restrictions Index for 2014, which is an annual index of passports based on the restrictions imposed upon them for international travel. With a growing number of people looking to change their nationality or acquire a second passport, the index provides a useful insight on which passports may be the most beneficial to have.
The index is based on a study of the visa regulations of over 200 countries and territories all across the world, ranking them on the basis of the freedom afforded to their citizens to travel internationally.
In the report, Henley and Partners states, “In today’s globalized world, visa restrictions play an important role in controlling the movement of foreign nationals across borders. Almost all countries now require visas from certain non-nationals who wish to enter their territory. Visa requirements are also an expression of the relationships between individual nations, and generally reflect the relations and status of a country within the international community of nations.”
The top position of the index is held jointly by Finland, Sweden, Germany, the US and the UK, with their citizens being allowed entry to 174 countries around the world without the need of a visa. Canada and Denmark are in second place, with unrestricted access to 173 countries across the world, while nine countries including France, Italy, Belgium, the Netherlands and Spain share the third spot, with access to 172 countries.
The bottom of the rankings is in stark contrast to the top, where for example Pakistani and Somali citizens are only allowed to enter 32 countries without the need for a visa, while Iraqi nationals can enter 31 countries. Afghanistan’s citizens have it worst of all, with visa-free access to just 28 countries allowed.
Henley and Partners compiled the ranking by evaluating visa regulations of 219 countries and territories and listing the number of destinations that their citizens can visit without requiring a visa.
The index was produced in cooperation with the International Air Transport Association (IATA), which maintains the world’s largest annual database of travel information.
Top ranked passports for travel
- Finland, Germany, Sweden, USA, United Kingdom – (Score: 174)
- Canada, Denmark – (Score: 173)
- Belgium, France, Italy, Luxembourg, Japan, South Korea, Netherlands, Spain, Portugal – (Score: 172)
- Austria, Ireland, Norway – (Score: 171)
- New Zealand, Singapore, Switzerland – (Score: 170)
Lowest ranked passports for travel
- Nepal – (Score: 37)
- Palestinian Territory – (Score: 35)
- Pakistan, Somalia – (Score: 32)
- Iraq – (Score: 31)
- Afghanistan – (Score: 28)