Estonian citizens have the twelfth most powerful passport in the world

According to 2019 Henley Passport Index, Estonian citizens have the 12th most powerful passport in the world with visa-free access to 179 countries.

Estonia is sharing its 12th spot with Malaysia whose passport holders also get visa-free access to the same number of countries.

The most powerful passport holders in the world are the Japanese. Their passport grants them visa-free access to a whopping 190 countries. Japan is followed by Singapore, South Korea, France, Germany, Denmark, Finland, Italy, Sweden, Luxembourg and Spain.

Estonian southern neighbours Latvia and Lithuania are both ranked 11th with visa-free access to 180 countries. Russia is 148th with visa-free access to 119 countries.

In the 2018 index, Estonia ranked 13th with its passport giving its citizens visa-free access to 165 countries.

The world’s least powerful passport is held by the citizens of Afghanistan and Iraq – both get visa-free access to 30 countries only.

The index is based on data provided by the International Air Transport Authority and supplemented, enhanced and updated using in-house research and open-source online data. It includes 199 different passports and 227 different travel destinations.

The compiler of the index, Henley & Partners, is a London-based consulting firm specialising in citizenship services. The International Air Transport Association is a trade association of the world’s airlines, consisting of 278 carriers.


Cover: An Estonian woman holding her passport (the image is illustrative/Shutterstock).

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About the author: Sten Hankewitz

Sten Hankewitz is a lifelong journalist and Deputy Editor at Estonian World. Having lived in Estonia, Spain, the UK and all around the US, he now resides in Chicago, IL. He loves to write and besides working at Estonian World and doing some occasional blogging, he writes books and contributes to other outlets in Estonia, Israel and elsewhere. He has strong convictions and he shows them unashamedly. You can follow him on Twitter, like his page on Facebook or check out his personal blog. You can write to Sten at