German passport ranked most powerful in the world in Henley Index 2024

German passport ranked most powerful in the world in Henley Index 2024

According to the first Henley Passport Index of 2024, the German Reisepass is now the most powerful passport in the world. But not all the glory goes to Germany, the passport has been awarded joint first place alongside six other nations.

The Henley Passport Index 2024

Making a claim as the “original and most authoritative ranking”, every year the Henley Passport Index considers 199 passports and 227 travel destinations across the world to rank which nationalities can travel internationally with the greatest ease. While the official ranking is published by the law firm every January, it is updated quarterly. 

Passports are awarded one point for every country holders can travel to without requiring a visa, or if the traveller can obtain a visa, a visitor's permit, or an electronic travel authority (ETA) upon arriving at their destination. On the other hand, for every destination where a pre-arranged visa or pre-departure government approval is required, the passport receives zero points. The index calls this assessing where a passport ranks of the “global mobility spectrum”.

In the first quarterly ranking of 2024, the law firm assessed French, German, Italian, Japanese, Singaporean and Spanish citizens to have the greatest travel mobility in the world. These six countries shared joint first place, with citizens able to enjoy visa-free travel to 194 countries.

German passport ranked 1st in Henley’s 2024 index

After several years of havering between third and second place in the ranking, the German passport has moved back into the top spot in the Henley ranking for the first time since 2017. The ascension comes just as the country is expected to introduce a historic law liberalising the path to citizenship for long-term residents. 

In its current form, the new law - which could face a decisive Bundestag vote in January - will allow people who have been resident in Germany for just five years to apply for German citizenship. They will also be able to keep their original nationality and have dual citizenship, and in cases of particularly impressive achievements in their work and developing their German skills, the wait time for prospective citizens will be just three years.

With a law on dual citizenship always stringently opposed by the previous Merkel government, the development is expected to see thousands of international people who have already lived in Germany for many years, finally become citizens.

While the travel advantages considered to compile the Henley Passport Index will come as a bonus for German citizens, finally having a German passport will also grant them new rights at home, such as voting in German federal elections and the most secure residence status.

The most and least powerful passports in 2024

According to the latest edition of the Henley Passport Index, these passports offer holders the most options for low-bureaucracy travel:

  1. France (194)
  2. Germany (194)
  3. Italy (194)
  4. Japan (194)
  5. Singapore (194)
  6. Spain (194)
  7. Finland (193)
  8. South Korea (193)
  9. Sweden (193)
  10. Austria (192)

Passport holders of the following countries, however, are faced with much greater bureaucratic hurdles before travelling:

  1. North Korea (42)
  2. Libya (40)
  3. Nepal (40)
  4. Palestinian Territory (40)
  5. Somalia (36)
  6. Yemen (35)
  7. Pakistan (34)
  8. Iraq (31)
  9. Syria (29)
  10. Afghanistan (28)

To see which countries can be visited without a visa with a German passport, check out Henley's list. For more information about the report, check out the Henley & Partners website.

Thumb image credit: Sergey Shik /

Olivia Logan


Olivia Logan



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