The Henley Passport Index ranks all of the world’s passports according to the number of destinations their holders can access without a visa. The ranking is based on data from the International Air Transport Association (IATA), which maintains a worldwide  database of travel information.  Henley data covers 199 passports and 227 travel destinations and is updated as visa policy changes occur.

As of January 2021, these countries occupy the top 10 positions, including ties, on the list.

1. Japan (191 destinations)

2. Singapore (190)

3. South Korea, Germany (189)

4. Italy, Finland, Spain, Luxembourg (188)

5. Denmark, Austria (187)

6. Sweden, France, Portugal, Netherlands, Ireland (186)

7. Switzerland, United States, United Kingdom, Norway, Belgium, New Zealand (185)

8. Greece, Malta, Czech Republic, Australia (184)

9. Canada (183)

10. Hungary (181)

The complete list of all 199 countries is here.

If you want to improve your ability to travel visa free, many countries allow foreigners to “purchase” permanent residency and ultimately citizenship usually through making an investment in the local economy. Over 100 countries in the world have some form of investment residency/citizenship legislation in place. The Henley Index website lists these countries and the “cost” they charge. For example, the United States grants permanent residency and eventually citizenship for a minimum investment of $900,000. Most countries do not prohibit having more than one citizenship. However, obtaining citizenship in more than one country is often an expensive, cumbersome, and time consuming process.

Of course for 2021 and perhaps longer, most countries have established additional entry requirements beyond a passport and visa because of the Covid pandemic.

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Proof of Covid vaccination may become a type of health passport. DoD photo

Some countries aren’t allowing foreign visitors under any or only very limited circumstances. Countries often apply the same or modified requirements to their own citizens. The current Covid travel restrictions for each country are here.

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Final Thoughts

I generally try to avoid countries that require a visa other than a visa on arrival or an electronic visa. I have never visited Brazil because it had a visa requirement for U.S. citizens. Is there any country or countries that you have not visited because of a visa requirement?