The dwindling power of the Canadian passport

It’s probably no surprise that when it comes to universal access, the US and UK passports are the best in the world. But you might be shocked to find out Canada’s passport isn’t as powerful as you might have thought.

Arton Capital has built a “Passport Index”, which ranks all the world’s passports based on the ease of travel they offer, counting all the countries a passport holder can visit either without a visa, or with a visa they can obtain on arrival. The US and UK passports provide direct access to 147 countries.

Technically, Canada has a rank of 7 on the Passport Index because our passport provides access to 140 countries. But there are actually 18 countries whose passports provide better access without visa restrictions, including some surprising ones like South Korea, Luxembourg and Portugal.

We shouldn’t worry too much about the waning power of our passport, though; it’s apparently still the document of choice for “for spies, state-sponsored assassins, terrorists and just about anyone else seeking to be plausibly ordinary across a range of languages, ethnicities and religions,” according to the Globe and Mail.

Aside from Canada’s dwindling powers of global access, the Passport Index is fun to browse as it lets you sort by ranking, nation, and even colour.

Arton’s rankings looked at the 193 UN member countries and 6 territories for a total of 199. Territories belonging to other countries were excluded.

For the visa-free count, Arton consulted IATA's Timaticweb platform and other sources.