A passport from a country on good diplomatic terms with its peers is a powerful tool, allowing holders to travel across borders with ease.
Financial firm Arton Capital, which specializes in helping wealthy individuals obtain multiple citizenships, sometimes through immigrant investor programs, has put together a ranking of the world's most powerful passports.
The ranking shows which passports give holders the most global mobility, based on how many countries can be visited without a visa, or by getting one upon arrival.
Developed countries with advanced economies fare the best. Tied for first place are U.S. and U.K. passports, which give holders access to 147 countries.
Passports from the world's most populous country, China, offer quick access to 74 countries. Indian passport holders aren't so lucky, with 59 easy destinations. A Russian passport provides 98 country options.
Here are the top-ranked passports, followed by the number of countries they offer access to:
- U.S., U.K. (147 countries)
- France, South Korea, Germany (145)
- Sweden, Italy (144)
- Denmark, Singapore, Finland, Japan, Luxembourg, Netherlands (143)
- Switzerland (142)
And the bottom-ranked passports:
- Congo (Dem. Rep.), Yemen, Central African Republic, Kosovo (41)
- Equatorial Guinea, Bhutan, Comoros, Burundi (40)
- Somalia, Eritrea (39)
- Afghanistan, Djibouti, Iraq, Ethiopia, Nepal (38)
- South Sudan, Solomon Islands, Palestinian Territories, Sao Tome and Principe, Myanmar (28)
The country list is based on 193 United Nations member countries and six territories, and visa data is from the International Air Transport Association and other sources, according to Arton.