According to the 2018 edition of the Henley Passport Index, German citizens have the most powerful passport in the world, benefiting from visa-free access to 177 countries.

The annual report, compiled by Henley & Partners, is based on exclusive data from the International Air Transport Association (IATA), which maintains the world’s largest database of travel information.

Second on the list is Singapore, where citizens can travel to 176 countries without a visa. Eight countries share third place – Denmark, Finland, France, Italy, Japan, Norway, Sweden and the UK – with visa-free access to 175 countries each.

Sitting at the bottom of the report are Pakistan, Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan, which are each only able to access 30 or fewer countries without requiring a visa.

The fastest movers on the 2018 index were Georgia and Ukraine, which completed the visa-liberalisation process with the EU in 2017. Georgia gained access to 30 new countries, while Ukraine linked to 32.

Dr Christian H Kalin, group chairman of Henley & Partners, says the need for visa-free access is greater than ever. “Across the economic spectrum, individuals want to transcend the constraints imposed on them by their country of origin and access business, financial, career and lifestyle opportunities on a global scale.”

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