“I travel not to go anywhere, but to go. I travel for travel’s sake. The great affair is to move.”
Penned the great travel writer and novelist Robert Louis Stevenson in the year 1878. Today, 137 years later our horizons are broadened and we are a part of the great nexus that covers our Planet. We live in a generation of globetrotters who are bitten by the travel bug, afflicted by what can only be defined by the term ‘Wanderlust’. You can look up its meaning in any dictionary, but you can not possibly understand, just by reading it. The most important and powerful tool in a traveller’s backpack is the passport! The sad thing is, not all countries have equally effective passports. Some are, in many ways, more powerful than others.
Here’s a list of fifteen most influential and powerful passports. Their effectiveness is determined by the time in which the citizens can obtain their Passport and the number of countries that provide Visa free access or Visa-upon-arrival facility to the Passport holder.
To have one of these, and not travel would indeed be a sin.
- Norway – Norwegian Passport
One of the quickest Passport service in the entire world. It takes a maximum of three hours to get it issued! Now that is quick! Not only that, it also provides a Visa on Arrival access to about 141-171 countries. Though the number of countries varies each year as new ones are added to the list while few leave, it generally hovers around 150.
- South Korea – South Korean Passport
South Korea provides Visa-Free Access service to about 150 countries and at quite a cheap price. It’s one of the few countries from Asia to make the list.
- Japan – Japanese Passport
Even though, the Visa-Free Access is available to only about 143 countries in comparison to Norway and South Korea, yet it’s ranked higher because of the less waiting time and smaller fees. This is amongst the most powerful traveller’s Passport in the world.
- Portugal – Portuguese Passport
One of the most efficacious European passports, it provides the Visa on Arrival facility to about 141-172 countries and can be issued in a time frame of 19 hours. As compared to other European countries, Portuguese Passport is one of the most affordable ones. Also, Portuguese government provides this service to other countries or country’s provinces that it had ruled during colonial times.
- France – French Passport
French Passport is one of the most powerful passports. It ranks in the second bracket of power rank by passportindex.org a global rating agency for countries. Not only it provides the Visa-Free Access to about 144-172 countries, it can be obtained in less than 10 hours and for about 100$. French are one of the most travel addicted folks in the world.
- Netherlands – Dutch Passport
With about 157 countries available for Visa-Free touring, the Dutch Passport books its place on the top fifteen slots. It can be easily issued in under eight hours and the fee is also considered affordable from their cost of living perspective.
- Belgium – Belgian Passport
Belgium is surrounded by France and Germany. It’s a cultural hub, surrounded by culturally affluent countries. About 170 countries are available for travelling through Visa free touring for Belgian people. At the minimal fees of about 70$, the passport can be obtained in approximately eight hours.
- Italy – Italian Passport
With 172 countries marked on it as Visa Free Access, the Italian Passport is one of the most privileged amongst the 195 sovereign states of the world. With such a large number of countries available for its citizens to travel to, its rank would have been higher if not the for the waiting time, which is close to 24 hours.
- Spain – Spanish Passport
Citizens of Spain can apply for a Spanish passport and receive the authorized papers in less than five hours. Spanish Passport provides the Visa on Arrival connectivity to about 172 countries, which is one of the highest in the entire world.
- Canada – Canadian Passport
It is one of the costliest passports on this list. Canadian passport can be promptly procured in under fifteen hours and provide a Visa on Arrival service for about 173 countries. Owing to the ethnic diversity of the people, especially with European roots, a large chunk of Canadian overseas travel is dominated by outbound trips to Europe.
- Germany – German Passport
One of the most affluent countries in Europe, Germany provides Visa on Arrival facility to its citizens in about 174 countries. It costs about 70$ to register for the passport and it might take five to ten hours to process it. Even though, there are countries who provide a faster service with passport-document processing, Germany’s passport ranks extremely high on the list due to its high ratings by organizations such as Passport-Index.
- Finland – Finnish Passport
The Finns are the most travelled people in the world! On an average, a Finnish person takes about eight trips a year. Not only Finland provides Visa Free Access to its citizen for 174 countries but has one of the lowest passport issuing time of five hours! Also, Finnish passport’s charge comes close to 50$ which extremely affordable.
- U.S.A. – American Passport
The United States of America enjoys the third rung on this table. It is also connected to 174 countries through Visa on arrival facility. The paperwork takes about 19 hours to process, after which the citizen is issued the passport booklet. The U.S.A. passport is one of the costliest, charging more than 130$.
- The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland – British Passport
Yes, citizens of United Kingdom i.e. England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland enjoy the Visa Free Access to 174 countries. One has to invest about eleven hours to get hold of their passport and at a quite cheaper price than that of USA.
- Sweden – Swedish Passport
Surprised? Well, it’s true! Sweden has not only got about 174 countries registered for Visa Free Access but has the shortest service time of all. A citizen can get hold of a passport in less than an hour and even the second passport, in case one loses the first, can also be issued quickly enough. One of the cheapest Passport service in Europe, no wonder that Swedes have been found out to be the most travel hungry people on earth!
Our own country enjoys a relatively good stand on the travelling domain. About 55 countries are available for us, for which we do not require any Visa at all! Though in comparison to the top fifteen countries this does look a tiny bit bad but let’s not forget that we haven’t yet explored the fifty-five sovereign states accessible to us! Let’s pack that bag, head to the airport and fly away.