Due to the recent trends of greater protectionism, people of certain nationalities are increasingly finding it harder to travel than others as many tighten visa regulations while the others totally closed off the borders. Last year, the U.S. government banned immigrants from Chad, Iran, Libya, North Korea, Somalia, Syria and Yemen from travelling to its borders.
Meanwhile many other countries have improved their rankings by increasing the number of destinations in their list. According to Henley Passport Index 2018, which ranks the passports according to the number of countries whose holders can travel to visa-free, Germany topped the list of world’s best passports while Afghanistan had the worst passport for travel in 2018.
Regionally, the U.A.E. has been the star performer in terms of mobility it provides their citizens. Over the past 10 years, the U.A.E. has climbed an impressive 28 places on the index. The U.A.E. passport, ranked 33rd in the 2018 edition, offers visa-free travel to 133 countries — up from 121 countries in 2017.
Below are the five countries whose passports have the least strength, most of which have recently been ravaged by wars.
Top Five Worst Passports To Travel In 2018
(Ranked from worst to best)
- Afghanistan: This South Asian country, which has been home to various hard line groups since the 1980’s, features at the bottom of the list of worst passports in the world. Citizens of Afghanistan has visa free access to just 24 countries in the world.
- Iraq: One of the most prominent countries in the Levant area, Iraq too has been the home to conflict for many years. As per the index, Iraqis have visa free access to 27 countries.
- Syria: Home to some of the ancient sites such as Palmyra and Damascus, this Levant country was historically hub for tourism. However, a civil war lasting five years has reduced its appeal to visitors while making travel harder for its citizens. Syrians have visa free access to just 28 countries.
- Pakistan: Out of the bottom five, Pakistan is the only country that has not been war ravaged. However its citizens still find it hard to travel with their passports that provide access to just 30 countries, marginally higher from the bottom three.
- Somalia: This African country’s passport gets its citizens visa free access to 32 countries in the world.
Top Five Best Passports To Travel
(Ranked from best to worst)
- Germany: This country has stayed on the first spot for the last five years, with its citizens enjoying visa-free access to 177 countries in total, up from 176 countries in 2017.
- Singapore: Citizens of these countries have visa free access to 176 countries.
- Denmark, Finland, France, Italy, Japan, Norway, Sweden, and the U.K.: Jointly holding this spot, passport holder of these countries have access to 175 countries.
- Austria, Belgium, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Switzerland, and Spain: These countries provide visa free access to 174 countries.
- The United States Of America: Ranked fifth globally, the U.S. has improved its visa-free score from 172 in 2017 to 173 in 2018.