You may think that the UK and the U.S. have the most powerful passports in the world but, surprisingly, you’d be wrong.
A new index by the British immigration and citizenship firm Henley & Partners suggests that Germans now hold the strongest passports in the world, giving them visa-free access to 177 countries, The Independent reports.
According to the Henley & Partners’ Visa Restrictions Index – the index which ranks countries’ passports – points are awarded based on the number of other countries their citizens can travel to without a visa – using data from the International Air Transport Association (IATA).
Sweden came in second place, with no travel restrictions for 176 countries. The United Kingdom, which held the top spot in the rankings from 2013 to 2015 (twice tying Germany), came in third place along with Finland, France, Italy, and Spain, with 175 countries at passport holders’ fingertips.
The United States dropped from second place in 2015 to fourth place this year, tied with Belgium, Denmark, and the Netherlands, all of which offer access to 174 countries.
As for nations with the least travel options, Afghanistan is ranked dead last in 104th place, with access to just 25 countries. Pakistan is second-worst, with travel restricted to just 29 countries, and Iraq is third from the bottom, restricted to just 30 other countries.
So, basically, Germans and Swedes should definitely be taking advantage and jet-setting whenever they can!