Estonia has the 12th most powerful passport in the world

The Estonian passport is the 12th most powerful one in the world, granting visa-free access to 181 countries and territories, according to the 2022 Henley Passport Index.

In 2022, Estonia was ranked tenth, but the number of countries and territories stayed the same. Last year, Estonia shared its rank with Latvia and Slovenia; however, in the 2023 index, Latvia and Slovenia are ranked 11th with visa-free access to 182 countries.

The most powerful passport in the world is Japan’s (193 countries), followed by Singapore and South Korea (192), Germany and Spain (190), Finland, Italy and Luxembourg (189), and Austria, Denmark, the Netherlands and Sweden (188).

However, the number of countries any given passport gives visa-free access to is somewhat inflated as it lists Puerto Rico, the US Virgin Islands, American Samoa and Guam as separate countries – even though they’re territories of the United States and their entry requirements are the same as the rest of the US’s.

Lithuania is ranked 10th in the 2023 index (183 countries) and Russia 49th (118).

A page in the Estonian passport. Image by the Estonian Police and Border Guard.

The worst passports in the world are Afghanistan’s (ranked 109th, 27 countries), Iraq’s (108th, 29) and Syria’s (107th, 30).

The index, compiled yearly by the London-based global citizenship and residence advisory firm, Henley & Partners, is based on the data provided by the International Air Transport Association – known as IATA – and the company has been compiling it since 2006.

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