Years ago, when travel for me was all about amassing passport stamps, many times I had to doff my cap to Wikipedia. But muh sources. Sure, like any website, one has to know how to separate fantasy (new nonstops from O’Hare to Midway) from reality. And generally speaking, the Wikipedia entry requirements travel hack did the job well.
After a while, I had forgotten about the page, since there was a time I was traveling between the same few countries. However, while living in Saudi Arabia in 2017, a Yemeni friend (and passport holder) was asking for help about golden passports, investor visas, and the like. That seemingly forlorn question reminded me of the Wikipedia entry requirements travel hack map:
Whereas there is a legend for these maps on Wikipedia, I will do a little explaining anyway:
Red — country of the passport holder (in this case, Yemen)
Dark Green — visa-free access
Slightly Less-Dark Green — eVisa, or visa on arrival
Light Green — visa on arrival
Bluish — eVisa
As you can probably ascertain from the map above, a Yemeni passport is not powerful. And even when there is a visa-free country — for instance, Ecuador — consider that there’s no nonstop between the two countries. In other words, transit visas would possibly/likely be required.
Let’s compare a Yemeni passport holder map with that of a U.S. passport holder (which isn’t even one of the world’s “best” by a longshot):
Obviously, in this case, dark blue now represents the United States (as opposed to Yemen’s red), but everything else is virtually the same.
Still, one’s interests in where to visit might be antithetical to the power of the passport. In my case, I’ve been wanting to go to certain Muslim-majority countries for years; undoubtedly a Malaysian or Emirati passport is much stronger for those itineraries. Too bad getting either of those isn’t going to happen, lest I rescue leadership from assassination attempts.
Should the U.S. stop meddling in foreign politics, we might shoot up the powerful passport ladder. But that’s clearly never happening. And let’s not forget the visa reciprocity angle; in other words, if you want to go to Brazil, go now!
If you’re as big into maps as I am, and are also looking for (typically) up-to-date information on country entry requirements, then Wikipedia is there to help.