Ranked: The World's Most Powerful Passports

The U.S. continues to slip down the rankings.
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Ranked: The World's Most Powerful Passports Getty Images

The 2018 Henley & Partners Passport Index examined the travel policies and international relations of 199 different countries, counting how many travel destinations each citizen could travel to without needing a visa, or by getting a visa on arrival.

Visa requirements are always changing, but as 2018, the U.S. tied with Norway, the United Kingdom, Austria, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and Portugal in fifth place, with visa-free access to 186 destinations. That's a major decline from just a few years ago.

Related: Do I Need a Visa to Travel to Europe?

"With stagnant outbound visa activity compared to Asian high-performers such as Japan, Singapore, and South Korea, it seems increasingly unlikely that the U.S. and the U.K. will regain the Number One spot they jointly held in 2015," the report says.

Benefits of a powerful passport include ease of travel, fewer fees and more overseas employment and study opportunities. Some 143 countries saw more visa-free destinations added to their passport in 2017, while seven countries saw a reduction.

Related: How Will Brexit Affect U.S. Travelers?

Using this data from the Henley & Partners Passport Index, below are the 50 most powerful passports in the world today.

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21. United Arab Emirates. Visa-free access to 161 destinations. Francois Nel/Getty Images