If you have one of these passports the world is quite literally your oyster

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Harvey Day
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Find out how to get your hands on one of the strongest passports in the world

As the spectre of Brexit looms over us, our trusty old British passports are becoming a bigger and bigger issue. No longer will we be able to travel as easily through Europe, meaning we need to be much more aware of which countries we can enter without a visa.

And one site that ranks all the passports in the world according to the number of countries their holders can travel to visa-free is the Henley Passport Index. 

Afghanistan and Iraq are languishing at the bottom of the list, so you don’t want to bust a gut trying to get hold of one of their - they won’t be much use to you. 

Currently, the UK isn’t doing too poorly at the minute; unless Brexit changes things, we have visa-free access to 186 countries. 

But which countries’ passports are currently the most powerful?


These are the top 5 passports in the world – and how to get them:

5. France

Visa-free access to 187 countries

How to get one…

If one or both of your parents are French citizens, or if you were born in the country, you have the right to apply for French citizenship.

If this doesn’t apply to you, you need to have been living in France for five continuous years and “can prove you’ve integrated into the French community by speaking French and having a knowledge of French culture and society and the rights and duties of French citizens.”

There are some exceptions, including serving in the French military or contributing ‘exceptional services’ to France – like the famous child-saving Spiderman hero

4. Finland

Visa-free access to 187 countries

How to get one…

You can get a Finnish passport if you were born there or if you mum is a citizen. Otherwise, you need to be at least 18 year old; to have lived in Finland for at least four years; to have not committed offences; to confirm you can pay yourself; and speak either Finnish or Swedish.

3. Singapore

Visa-free access to 188 countries

How to get one…

You can nab a Singaporean passport if either of your parents is from there. Otherwise, you can apply for one if you’re 21 or older, living in the country for at least two years and fully employed. You can also apply if you’ve been married to a Singapore citizen for 2 years or more.


2. Germany

Visa-free access to 188 countries

How to get one…

You can apply for German citizenship if you have German parents or were born in Germany.

To apply for a German passport via naturalisation, you must have lived in Germany for at least 8 years; you be able to speak German; you must be financially able to support yourself and your family; you must be a law-abiding citizen with no criminal record; you have to pass a citizenship test; and you must be prepared to renounce any previous citizenships.

1. Japan

Visa-free access to 189 countries

How to get one…

You can apply for Japanese citizenship if either of your parents was a citizen when you were born.

Or to get a Japanese passport via naturalisation, you need to have lived in Japan for more than 5 years; be over 20 years old; be “of good moral character”; you or your spouse must be financially independent; you would lose your own nationality once you gain Japanese citizenship; and you must not be “involved in political violence against the Japanese government.” Which seems fair, doesn’t it?

Check out the full rankings here.

(Images: Getty)