With their passport, Germans can travel visa-free to 189 countries around the world – or receive their visa upon entry.
In 2017 they were still top of the list, but were subsequently overtaken by Japan and Singapore.
First place goes to…
Coming in first place are the Japanese with 191 visa-free destinations available to them in 2020. No other nation in the world has as many doors open to them, as the newly published index by the London law firm Henley & Partners shows.
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The law firm evaluated data from the International Air Transport Association (IATA), among other factors, and provided travellers with information on which countries they can travel to with their passports and whether a visa is required.
Singapore snagged second place, as its citizens can travel to 190 countries, and is followed in fourth place by Italy, Finland, Spain and Luxembourg (with 188 countries available to them). South Korea also tied with Germany for third place, as its citizens don't need a visa to travel to 189 countries.
What does this mean during coronavirus times?
The country ranking, however, does not take into account the current travel restrictions resulting from the coronavirus pandemic.
The crisis suddenly called into question the validity of passport holders who were once equally valuable, as the example of Europe shows: travellers from the US and most other countries in the world are still unable to enter Germany and the EU due to strict travel restrictions.
Japan, which claims to have the coronavirus crisis almost under control, is one of only 14 countries on the European Union's list of recommended countries for re-entry, which went into effect on July 1st.
For the US, on the other hand, which ranks seventh in the passport country ranking, the EU's entry restrictions will be maintained.
Who can come to Germany?
Since July 2nd, Germany has been granting unrestricted entry to people from eleven countries outside the EU.
Citizens of Japan, as well as for South Korea and China, however, will only be allowed to come to Germany if Germans are also permitted to enter their countries.
Up to now Japan has – with a few exceptions – not allowed any Germans to enter the country. The Asian nation is also not allowing re-entry for Germans living in Japan with a permanent residence permit.
Japan is the only G7 country to impose such strict entry regulations.
In Germany, all permanent resident holders, as well as students, essential workers and in some cases people visiting for urgent family reasons, are permitted to enter the country.