Most countries require foreigners to get visas before entry, but some passports allow visa purchase at the airport, or don’t require a visa at all. Some countries’ passport holders need to apply months in advanced for a visa for travel, and the allowed time period can range from two weeks to two years.
Arab passports tend to be lower on the international scale – as of 2015, Lebanese passport holders can only travel to 39 countries without a visa, the majority of which are from what’s refered to as the developping world. Egyptians can now travel to 52 countries visa-free. In comparison, citizens of the USA can travel to 176 of the 196 countries in the world.
A visa application involves detailing one’s exit and entry plans, registering all the information one might find on a CV, the visitor’s daily itinerary in that country, and a number of other highly personal questions to determine whether or not he or she is allowed in that country. Applications also come with a hefty fee – not always refundable, even if the visa is rejected.
Global financial advisory firm Arton Capital created a passport index that allows you to sort passports for countries around the world by a “passport power rank.” The ranking is calculated by how many countries passport holders can visit without an advance visa, or by purchasing a visa on arrival.
Unsurprisingly, the ranking places the US and UK passports first, with access to the aforementioned 147 countries without a visa. Naturally, the most developed economies dominate the top of the list. The top ten include:
USA (147 countries)
South Korea (145)
The passports with the lowest power rankings are:
Solomon Islands (20 countries)
South Sudan (20)
Sao Tome and Principe (20)
The Palestinian Territories (20)
How powerful is your passport?