All passports were not created equal. Due to a variety of factors, the number of countries and territories that you can legally visit without obtaining a visa in advance actually comes down to what type of passport you hold. Passports from certain countries give a person access to much more of the world than other passports, making them more powerful. Read on to find out which passports are the most powerful to have in 2020.

Japan Is The World’s Most Powerful Passport

According to a report published by Business Insider, the most powerful passport that you can have on the planet in 2020 is a Japanese passport. Those with a Japanese passport have access to 191 countries and territories around the world without the need for a visa.


To provide context, a US passport gives holders access to 183 destinations around the world without a visa, therefore coming in eighth place on the list. By comparison, this is still a desirable passport to have. Some passport holders, including Syrians and Iraqis, only have access to fewer than 30 countries around the world.

Japanese tourists are most likely to visit other Asian nations, with statistics showing that the top countries they travel to are Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, Hawaii, and Singapore. In December 2019, there were 1.71 million Japanese travelers overseas. For the entire year of 2019, there were more than 20 million international Japanese travelers.

RELATED: 10 Best Things To Do In Japan

Singapore Is The Second-Most Powerful Passport In The World

A Japanese passport isn’t the only one worth having. The same report reveals that the second-most powerful passport in the world is a Singaporean passport. Anybody with a Singaporean passport can travel to 190 destinations around the world without relying on a visa.

Singapore upholds diplomatic relations with nearly 190 countries around the world and has a particularly strong relationship with China and the United States, for which it acts as a strategic Southeast Asian partner. It’s easy to see why having a Singaporean passport is so beneficial.

Studies show that Singaporeans prefer to visit other Asian nations while traveling. Some of the most visited destinations by Singaporeans include Malaysia, Japan, Taiwan, Indonesia, Hong Kong, and Thailand.

RELATED: Singapore Airlines Named Best Airline For 2019

Those With A German Passport Can Visit 187 Countries Without A Visa

It pays to have a German passport. Anybody with a German passport has access to 189 destinations internationally and they won’t need to apply for a visa. A German passport ties with a South Korean passport for third place on the list.

A Central European country and member of NATO, Germany is the largest economic power in Europe. The country’s role in world relations has changed considerably in the last century, and it is now one of the most valuable partners of the United States in Europe. Holding a German passport, therefore, is a huge benefit to anybody who wishes to travel without relying on visas.

Statistics show that Germany is a nation of travelers, with many Germans opting to explore their own country rather than visit international destinations. But the most popular international countries for Germans to visit include Spain, Italy, Austria, and Turkey.

RELATED: 10 Free Things To Do In Germany

It Pays To Have A South Korean Passport

Good news for those with wanderlust in their hearts and a South Korean passport in their pockets. Tying with Germany, South Korean passports are the third most powerful to have in the world. They give the holder access to 189 countries and territories around the world.

A member of the United Nations since 1991, South Korea maintains diplomatic relationships with more than 190 countries. In particular, it has an evolving relationship with Russia, China, Japan, the United States, and North Korea. South Korean passports have a power that reflects this positive role on the world stage.

It’s possible for a foreigner to become a naturalized South Korean citizen and obtain a South Korean passport, but the process is difficult. Those wishing to work and live in South Korea usually apply for a work visa instead.

Italians And Finns Can Both Visit 187 Destinations Without A Visa

Falling just behind Germany and South Korea on the list are the Italians and the Finns, whose passports are equally valuable. These documents enable their holders to get into 188 destinations around the globe without the need for a visa.

Containing more heritage sites than any other country in the world, Italy is one of the fifth most popular countries for other tourists to visit. A 2017 study concluded that many Italian tourists dream of traveling to the United States, Japan, Peru, Argentina, and Iceland, among other international destinations.

Those with a Finnish passport typically visit countries located in the vicinity, including Estonia and Sweden. Reports show that Finnish tourists also frequently visit Germany, Spain, Russia, and Greece, as well as certain nations in Asia.

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