U-S-A! U-S-A! U-S-A! U-S-A! and the UK (this time)

USA Passport

Passport of United Kingdom











Passports from the United States and United Kingdom topped the ranking, enabling their citizens to travel to 147 countries and regions without getting a visa in advance.

France shared the second place with South Korea and Germany, allowing visa-free access to 145 countries and regions.

Hong Kong and the Chinese mainland rank 11th and 45th respectively.

The least “powerful” passports on the ranking are those of South Sudan, the Solomon Islands, the Palestinian Territories, Sao Tome and Principe and Myanmar. They tied for the 80th spot, giving access to only 28 countries and regions each without an advance visa.

No word yet on the power rating of a Canadian passport, which I’m surprised didn’t make the top 13, but I imagine is still quite good.

So what are some of your stories about how fast or slow you cleared customs with your nation’s passport?

My all time favorite was clearing Norwegian customs. The line at Gardermoen was horrendous, and my two traveling companions were UK and Russian. They waited in line, I got pulled out of line, only to be waived through (no baggage checks, no questions, nothing), where I had to spend almost two hours waiting for my friends (on the other side), one of whom (the Russian) has LIVED in Norway for the last 13-years and has a Norwegian citizen kid and husband. Nope, they climbed up her skirt with a microscope, like they always do. She was more mad at me than she was at the Norwegian passport control, because I used my American mind control ray, or something. My UK friend cleared pretty quickly, but he still had to wait in line. That’s one of those time when you are traveling and you realize that there is something just a little bit different about being an American.

The flip-side is that Heathrow’s immigration officers HATE me. One walk through at Heathrow (my first time in the UK) and then two inquisitions there (both subsequent times).

Russian passport control isn’t THAT bad, even as an American. Mexico’s passport control coming into Mexico from the USA is absolutely non-existent.