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The last thing you want to worry about at the airport is that you’ve somehow forgotten to get a visa for your trip. Fortunately, US-issued travel docs rank near the top of a list of most powerful passports, offering holders visa-free access to 174 countries. There are a few notable exceptions, such as Brazil (although this will be waived in Brazil leading up to the 2016 Summer Olympics) and China (which allows a visa waiver for up to six days of transit). German and Swedish passport holders come out on top with no visas required for 177 and 176 countries, respectively.
The 11 countries with the most powerful passports are listed below, along with the number of countries which its holders can visit visa-free:
1. Germany: 177
2. Sweden: 176
3. Finland, France, Italy, Spain and United Kingdom (5-way tie): 175
4. Belgium, Denmark, Netherlands and United States (4-way tie): 174
Opposite the countries with the most access are those that fall to the bottom of the list, usually poorer and more unstable countries — Afghanistan passport holders can only enter 25 countries, while those with passports from Pakistan and Iraq are granted access to 29 and 30 countries, respectively.
If you do find yourself needing a visa to visit a foreign country, it’s not too hard to get one with a bit of preparation. We recommend using third-party visa services like Allied Passport & Visa — mention The Points Guy on your order form to get a $5 discount just for TPG readers.
For more on how to maximize your passport, check out our guide to getting free TSA PreCheck and Global Entry with your credit card. And if you’re renewing your passport soon, make sure the government doesn’t accidentally botch your replacement passport before a big trip!
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