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Dutch passport one of the most powerful in the world

As many expats know, the passport you're born with can have a huge impact on your life. It determines how easily you can travel, which countries you need visas for and where you are allowed to live and work. It can affect relationships and can be a determining factor in your career path and opportunities in life.

There are people who marry for a passport, while some couples or families have to be apart from each other because someone has the "wrong" passport.

More than just unrestricted travel

Some passports put the world at your feet, while others severely limit your options and make you dependent upon stringent immigration regulations and the goodwill of the rich nations.

It may not be fair, since no one can choose where they are born, but some passports are just more useful to have than others. Simply put, they will open more doors for you and are therefore "worth more" than others.

The world's most powerful passports

There are a few different listings out there with slightly different numbers, but what all of them have in common is the general order: rich and peaceful countries at the top; poor, war-torn nations at the bottom.

This list is based on the most recent Henley & Partners Visa Restrictions Index from 2015.

Countries are arranged by how many countries you can visit without requiring a visa, if getting an e-visa is straight-forward, or if you can get a visa upon arrival.

The most powerful passports in the world make it possible for the owner to visit 173, 172 and 171 countries, respectively.

With the exception of a couple of nations in Asia and the United States, the top countries are all Western European. When you have a Dutch passport you are free to travel to 171 countries without having to apply for a visa.

Passports that give access to 173 countries:
Germany
United Kingdom

Passports that give access to 172 countries:
Finland
Sweden
USA

Passports that give access to 171 countries:
The Netherlands
Denmark
France
Italy
Japan
Republic of South Korea
Luxembourg
Norway

The world's least powerful passports

With one of these passports you can visit 35 countries or less:
Ethiopia
Sudan
South Sudan
Eritrea
Nepal
Palestinian Territory
Syria
Pakistan
Somalia
Iraq
Afghanistan

The world's coolest-looking passports

Modern passports are getting increasingly inventive and use art and technology as a way to make life more difficult for counterfeiters.

The Norwegian and Canadian passports, for example, reveal a hidden world of drawings and artwork when exposed to ultraviolet light (see image below).

The Fins took a different approach, and turned their passports into an old-fashioned flipbook that creates the illusion of a running moose, as you can see in the video below.

Thomas

Author

Thomas Lundberg

Born as a Swede in the Netherlands, this life-long expat has spent his time in Belgium, the United States and Amsterdam. He began his professional career as a regional news...

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