European passports dominate top ten list of world’s most powerful passports

European passports dominate top ten list of world’s most powerful passports


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According to the latest global mobility data, Europeans will benefit more than any other citizens worldwide in terms of restriction-free travel from 1st July onward, as the threat from COVID-19 begins to lift.

With the global pandemic essentially bringing global mobility to a grinding halt –international travel has changed beyond recognition- yet Europe now dominates the top 10 with the UK, Ireland, Switzerland and France all leading the way in terms of reopening international travel to the public and their citizens being able to enjoy visa-free travel to the greatest number of destinations.

The shifting sands of global mobility are ever-changing and over the past five years, this has largely been positive – with world openness growing year on year. However, the global health pandemic has thrown order into chaos, and the face of global travel has changed significantly – and will continue to do so as countries unlock their borders and passengers can board planes once more.

The data points to a near level playing field at the top of the rankings, with the number 1 ranked (Belgium) having access to just one more country without a pre-arranged visa than the 15th ranked (Norway).

The difference that separates the index’s top 15 nations is how many countries they can visit totally visa-free; whilst Belgium in first place can visit 81 countries without any visa requirements, Switzerland, despite being able to visit the same number of countries without a pre-arranged visa, can only access 77 countries visa free.

Below is the rankings of the 10 most powerful passports now, as the COVID-19 restrictions begin to gradually lift.

The mobility score [MS] is a measure used to track the number of countries which any nation has agreements with to allow visa unrestricted / visa on arrival travel (all figures adjusted for current COVID-19 restrictions).

Visa Free [VF] represents the number of countries which passport holders can visit totally visa free, with no need for a pre-arranged visa or a visa on arrival.

Rank Country Reopening Date MS VF
1 Belgium 1 July 113 81
2 Finland 1 August 113 80
3 Austria 1 July 113 80
4 Luxembourg 1 July 113 80
5 Spain 1 August 113 78
6 Ireland 1 July 113 78
7 UK 15 July 113 78
8 Switzerland 1 July 113 77
9 Sweden 1 July 112 80
10 Netherlands 1 July 112 80

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