Which country is the most welcoming? It’s all down to visas, according to this new index

Which country is the most welcoming? It’s all down to visas, according to this new index

Which country is the most welcoming?

From the friendliness of the locals to the availability of tourist infrastructure, there are plenty of ways to answer this question.

It’s a subjective query, too. Pose this puzzle to a dozen expatriates and you’re likely to get a dozen different responses.

But according to the Passport Index, there is a way to answer this seemingly impossible question.

The most welcoming country is the one with the fewest border restrictions.

Which country is the most welcoming?

21 countries tie in first place for the ‘most welcoming’ title in the newest Passport Index ranking.

Angola, Bolivia, Burundi, Cambodia, Comoros, Côte D’Ivoire, Djibouti, Ethiopia, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Gabon, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Malawi, the Maldives, Micronesia, Nigeria, Rwanda, Somalia, South Sudan, Timor-Leste and Tuvalu all welcome travellers from 198 countries without a visa (or issue a visa on arrival).

At the other end of the spectrum Afghanistan, North Korea and Turkmenistan are tied in 83rd place.

These three countries do not offer visa-free travel to any countries.

North Korea does not offer visa free travel to visitors from any country.canva

Which European country is the most welcoming?

In Europe, the most welcoming country is Armenia, which extends relaxed visa rules to travellers from 135 countries, placing it in 26th place in the overall leaderboard.

Kosovo offers this welcome to 109 countries, while Moldova does to 103.

Most European countries are a little stricter, offering visa-free or visa-on-arrival travel to 92 countries.

35 nations in Europe tie for 45th place in the middle of the friendliness leaderboard. This is due to Schengen Area rules that see many of these countries negotiate visa arrangements en masse.

Which countries have the most powerful passports?

The global passport index is better known for its ranking of the world’s most powerful passports.

There is a huge mobility gap between different countries. United Arab Emirates passport holders can travel visa-free – or ‘visa-on-arrival’ – to 180 countries. Citizens of Afghanistan can do so to just 38.

The most welcoming countries may open up their borders to most travellers – but the favour is seldom returned.

Ethiopian travellers get visa free or visa-on-arrival travel to just 53 countries, for example.

According to Passport Index’s latest update, every country bar Vanuatu saw an increase in travel freedom last year.

On average, passport-holders were given access to 16 extra countries this year.


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