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Portuguese passport among Top 5 of world’s “most powerful”

Portuguese travel document gives direct access to 187 countries

A Portuguese passport is now among the Top 5 passports considered “the most powerful in the world”.

This ranking comes from the ‘Henley Passport Index’ – a rating system measuring global travel freedom in terms of access to visa-free or visa on arrival countries, based on data from IATA (the international air transport association).

Set up 17 years ago, this passport index has seen all kinds of changes. This year, for example, Singapore’s is the passport that grants access to the most countries without prior visa, and Japan has fallen from first to third place after five years ‘leading the field’.

Second place is shared by Germany, Spain and Italy (all offering access to 190 countries); 3rd by Austria, Finland, France, Japan, Luxembourg, South Korea, and Sweden (access to 189 countries), 4th to Denmark, Ireland, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom (188 countries) and finally 5th to Portugal, Belgium, Czech Republic, Malta, New Zealand, Norway and Switzerland.

According to the press release published about the ranking, the average number of destinations travellers can access without a visa has almost doubled in the last 17 years, “but the gap between the top and bottom of the table has never been wider”. Citizens of Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria can only visit 27, 29, and 30 countries respectively without a visa, while the United Arab Emirates has added 107 destinations to its list of visa-free countries since 2013.