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The World’s Least Powerful Passports in 2024



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This map shows the least powerful passports in 2024.

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The World’s Least Powerful Passports in 2024

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Freedom to travel is correlated to a country’s economic progress.

For highly unstable countries, mobility is limited due to diplomatic tensions abroad. In many cases, these countries also have low economic output. Not only that, the consequences of having a weak passport go beyond traveling: the openness of borders encourage economic integration, investment, and talent exchange.

The above graphic shows the least powerful passports in 2024, based on the Henley & Partners Passport Index.

The Most Restrictive Passports

Below, we show the weakest passports in the world based on the number of destinations that citizens can travel to visa-free:

RankingCountryNumber of Countries
with Visa-Free Access
104🇦🇫 Afghanistan28
103🇸🇾 Syria29
102🇮🇶 Iraq31
101🇵🇰 Pakistan34
100🇾🇪 Yemen35
99🇸🇴 Somalia36
98🇵🇸 Palestinian Territory40
98🇳🇵 Nepal40
98🇱🇾 Libya40
97🇰🇵 North Korea42
97🇧🇩 Bangladesh42
96🇱🇰 Sri Lanka43
96🇪🇷 Eritrea43
95🇸🇩 Sudan45
95🇳🇬 Nigeria45
95🇱🇧 Lebanon45
95🇮🇷 Iran45
94🇸🇸 South Sudan46
94🇨🇩 Democratic Republic of the Congo46
93🇪🇹 Ethiopia47
92🇲🇲 Myanmar48
91🇩🇯 Djibouti50
90🇱🇷 Liberia51
90🇱🇦 Laos51
90🇧🇮 Burundi51
89🇹🇲 Turkmenistan52
89🇨🇬 Republic of the Congo52
88🇨🇲 Cameroon53
88🇦🇴 Angola53
87🇻🇳 Vietnam55

Afghanistan, with the least powerful passport, has access to just 12% of countries globally.

By contrast, top-ranking passports such as Japan, have visa waivers to 85% of the world. This imbalance can be explained by political factors, including the Taliban’s return to power in 2021, along with economic reasons.

Often, countries with high economic instability face greater difficulty in traveling internationally since there may be greater risk of staying beyond the length of their visa. The reverse is seen with high GDP countries, where countries open their borders due to higher economic dividends through tourism and trade.

Syria is the second-lowest ranking country, falling closely behind Afghanistan. Since the war broke out in 2011, nearly half the population, which was 22 million at the time, have fled. Adding to this, the Assad government has notoriously used billions of dollars through the illicit drug trade to fund activities.

Even North Korea, with visa waivers to 42 countries, has greater mobility than these countries, although citizens rarely leave the country because they must have government approval in order to travel.

Biggest Declines Over the Decade

Which countries have fallen the most in the passport rankings since 2014?

CountryDrop in Passport Ranking
🇻🇪 Venezuela-21
🇳🇬 Nigeria-16
🇾🇪 Yemen-15
🇹🇷 Türkiye-14
🇸🇾 Syria-14
🇷🇺 Russia-13
🇸🇳 Senegal-13
🇿🇦 South Africa-12
🇲🇱 Mali-12

Since the crisis unfolded in 2015, Venezuela has witnessed increased travel restrictions from neighboring countries.

After millions of Venezuelans fled due to economic collapse and rampant inflation, Ecuador, Chile and Peru heightened border restrictions amid political upheaval. By comparison, Colombia still provides visa-free access, although diplomatic relations between the countries are rocky.

Russia has also fallen sharply following the invasion of Ukraine. Not only have Canada, the U.S., and the European Union restricted Russian carriers from their airspace, many no longer issue visas to Russian citizens. On the other hand, countries are allowing greater freedom of movement for Ukrainians, with some dropping visa requirements entirely.

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