German passport one of the most powerful in the world, new index reveals

German passport one of the most powerful in the world, new index reveals

The annual Henley Passport Index has seen the German passport retain its status as one of the most powerful in the world. The organisation ranked the document, which allows travel to 190 different countries without a visa, in joint third place with Spain.

2023 Henley Passport Index

In its annual passport index Henley & Partners, an investment migration consultancy firm, ranks every passport in the world - all 199 of them. To compile the ranking each passport is awarded a single point for every country or destination the holder can travel to without having to apply for a visa, and any country where only a visa on arrival, visitors permit or an electronic travel authority (ETA) is required.

For every destination where a visa that cannot be claimed at airports, ports or border checkpoints is needed, or for nations where pre-departure government approval is mandatory, the passport receives zero points.

Germany ranked third most powerful passport internationally

In 2023, Germany slumped one place from the company's January 2022 ranking, joining Spain as the world’s third most powerful passport. The country was superseded only by Japan,Singapore and South Korea. Japanese citizens can travel to 193 countries visa free, and in Singapore and South Korea, which ranked joint second, passport holders can travel to 192 countries visa free.

The ranking comes just as the German government has published a draft of its citizenship reform, a new law which will radically change who is eligible to apply for German citizenship. The law could come into force as early as summer 2023, and when it does Germany’s migrant population will be able to hold dual citizenship with their home country.

The passports of Germany’s top four biggest migrant populations - Romania, Poland, Bulgaria and Turkey - were scattered across the ranking, coming in 17th, 9th, 18th and 52nd place respectively. 

Best and worst passports in the world in 2023

According to Henley’s 2023 Passport Index, the most powerful passports in the world are: 

  1. Japan (193)
  2. Singapore, South Korea (192)
  3. Germany, Spain (190)
  4. Finland, Italy, Luxembourg (189)
  5. Austria, Denmark, The Netherlands, Sweden (188)
  6. France, Ireland, Portugal, United Kingdom (187)
  7. Belgium, Czechia, New Zealand, Norway, Switzerland, United States (186)
  8. Australia, Canada, Greece, Malta (185)
  9. Hungary, Poland (184) 
  10. Lithuania, Slovakia (183)

The worst passports in the world for 2023 are: 

  1. Afghanistan (27)
  2. Iraq (29)
  3. Syria (30)
  4. Pakistan (32)
  5. Yemen (34)
  6. Somalia (35)
  7. Palestinian Territory, Nepal (38)
  8. North Korea (40)
  9. Bangladesh, Kosovo, Libya (41)
  10. Democratic Republic of the Congo, Lebanon, Sri Lanka, Sudan (42)

To find out more about the index, and to see how your country’s passport ranked, visit the Henley & Partners website.

Thumb image credit: Cameris /

Olivia Logan


Olivia Logan



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