Most Powerful Passports in the World 2018

The passport which is issued to the citizens of a particular country by the government of that country certifies the holder’s identity and citizenship. With the help of the passport, the individuals can travel to different countries under the government’s protection.

In India, a passport is issued to the citizens as per the Passports Act, 1967. The Consular, Passport and Visa Division of the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) works as the central passport organization and is in charge for issuance of the Indian passport.

Types of Passport issued in India

There are three main types of passports that are issued by the CPV Division under the Passport Act, 1967. They are:

  • Ordinary Passport or Type P passport.
  • Official Passport or Type S passport.
  • Diplomatic Passport or Type D passport.

Ordinary Passport or ‘Type P’ passport - Ordinary passports are those which are basically issued for general purposes that citizens normally use the document for like travelling on holidays or business. It is said to be Type P visa as ‘P’ denotes ‘Personal’.

Official Passport or ‘Type S’ passport - Official passports are issued to people travelling abroad on official government work. It is stated as ‘Type S passport’ because ‘S’ stands for service.

Diplomatic Passport or ‘Type D’ passports - Passports which are issued to people who always travel on official government work are known as Diplomatic passports. They are known as Type D passports as ‘D’ denotes Diplomat.

How does an Indian Passport look like?

Indian passports issued by the CPV Division comes in a deep blue-black cover with the prints on the passport being in golden color. At the center of the front cover, the Emblem of India is printed with the word ‘Passport’ inscribed in Hindi and English printed on top of the emblem. ‘Republic of India’ is inscribed in those two languages below the emblem on the cover page. The standard passport has 36 pages in the passport while if an individual travels frequently he/she can opt for a passport having 60 days.

World’s most powerful passport is possessed by?

Every year, Henley and Partners come up with a Passport Index which ranks all the passports of the world based on the number of countries their holders can travel to without needing a visa. They also use data collected from the International Air Transport Association before releasing the list. For 2018, Japan has emerged as the most powerful passport in the world given that individuals who hold the passport can travel to a total of 189 countries.  Germany and Singapore are placed in the second place with the citizens of the countries being able to travel to 188 countries. Passports issued by Finland, France, Italy, South Korea, Spain, and Sweden are ranked in third place while passports issued by Austria, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, United Kingdom, United States are the fourth most powerful passport in the world. The fifth most powerful passport are of those issued by countries like Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Ireland, and Switzerland. Iraqi and Afghanistani passports are ranked the lowest in the rankings released by Henley and Partners. India’s passport is ranked at the 76th position along with that of Uzbekistan with visa free access to 59 countries.

The list of countries which feature in the top 10 with regards to having a powerful passport is as follows:

Rank Countries Countries they can visit without Visa
First Japan 189
Second Singapore Germany 188
Third Finland France Italy South Korea Spain Sweden 187
Fourth Austria Luxembourg Netherlands Norway Portugal United Kingdom United States of America 186
Fifth Belgium Canada Denmark Ireland Switzerland 185
Sixth Greece Australia 183
Seventh Czech Republic Malta New Zealand 182
Eighth Iceland 181
Ninth Hungary Slovania Malaysia 180
Tenth Latvia Lithunia Slovakia 179

The countries placed in the bottom 5 as per Henley and Partners are:

Rank Countries Countries they can visit without Visa
96th Eritrea Palestinian Territory Sudan 39
97th Yemen 37
98th Pakistan 33
99th Somalia Syria 32
100th Afghanistan Iraq 30

World’s most expensive passports

The world’s most expensive passport is issued by Australia and costs the applicant 282 dollars while the cheapest passport is the Tunisian one which costs a mere 25 dollars. The Australian passport helps the holder to travel to 171 countries without a visa. It needs to be mentioned that the cost of the Australian passport has increased by 41% in the last decade. The next most expensive passports in the world are issued by Canada and New Zealand. The top five expensive passports in the world along with the fees is listed below in a table.

Name of the countries Application Cost
Australia US$282
Turkey US$255.66
Switzerland US$182
New Zealand US$168
Canada US$161


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