By Anna Ellis •
Published: 12 Feb 2024 • 16:01
Spain claims throne as world's most powerful passport. Image: JJFarq / Shutterstock.com.
Spain has taken the crown as the world’s most powerful passport, surpassing Singapore, according to a new index released by VisaGuide.World.
This marks a departure from the Henley Passport Index, where Singapore held the top spot previously.
In VisaGuide.World’s index, Japan is the only non-European country in the top 20, securing the 15th position.
The top ranks are dominated by European nations, with Germany following Spain in third place, followed by Italy, France, the Netherlands, Finland, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Czechia, Portugal, Hungary, and Luxembourg.
Austria ranks 16th, with Switzerland, Belgium, Ireland, and Poland completing the top 20.
Both the Henley Passport Index and VisaGuide.World’s Passport Index assess the number of destinations passport holders can access without a visa.
While Henley’s ranking is yet to be released, VisaGuide.World considers various factors beyond visa-free access to create a ‘destination significance score’ for each country.
This score takes into account entry policy, GDP, global power, and tourism development.
Visa-free access to countries with a higher destination significance score earns more points in the index.
As of December 2023, Spanish passport holders can travel to 160 countries and territories without a visa.
While Singaporean passport holders enjoy access to 164 countries, Spain’s points are bolstered by its ability to visit numerous places with just an ID card under the European Union.
Though Singapore grants visa-free access to 15 countries not accessible to Spain, the reverse is also true for Spain, which has visa-free entry to 11 countries and territories not available to Singapore.
While Germany shares visa-free access to the same 160 countries as Spain, Spain benefits from visa-on-arrival facilities in Papua New Guinea and Togo, which Germany does not have.
These variations in entry options may impact the rankings based on the destination significance score.
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Originally from Derbyshire, Anna has lived in the middle of nowhere on the Costa Blanca for 19 years. She is passionate about her animal family including four dogs and four horses, musicals and cooking.
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