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These Are The Most Welcoming Countries In The World According To New Study

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Not all countries accept travelers from every nationality, and the rules regarding visas, e-visas, and other entry requirements can be very strict or different at certain destinations. Every nation has its own criteria and offers visitors different travel experiences, but… which countries are the most welcoming? Where can travelers with different nationalities cross borders easily?
A new study has the answer: 

Tourists in front of temple in cambodia

Passport Index recently shared the Welcoming Countries Rank 2023, showing valuable information regarding which countries are more open to international visitors and which countries have more restricted access for foreign travelers. 

The interactive platform showcases 83 positions —certain countries rank in the same position—, from the most welcoming in the first places to the least welcoming in the last places. Each country has a score that represents how open its borders are to visitors and how simple entry is upon arrival.

It's important to note ‘most welcoming' refers to how easy it is for travelers to travel to these destinations, not how welcoming the environment or people there may be.

The United States ranked in position 70, closer to the least welcoming countries, and, not too far, Canada ranked in position 68. These are the highlights of the study:

Smiling woman walking at the airport with passport in hand

The Most Welcoming Countries

Certain nations seem to feel more comfortable hosting and receiving foreign guests. The most welcoming countries have simple entry systems or are visa-free for almost 200 nations. These are the nations that ranked higher in the 2023 index:

  • First place: Tuvalu, Ivory Coast, Malawi, Bolivia, Guinea, Somalia, Angola, Samoa, Maldives, Comoros, Timor-Leste, South Sudan, Ethiopia, Nigeria, Micronesia, Congo, Gabon, Guinea Bissau, Rwanda, Djibouti, and Cambodia. 

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Woman walking by the beach in Bora Bora

This group has a welcoming country score of 198, meaning that citizens from 198 nations can easily enter these countries.

  • Second place: Seychelles, Suriname, Togo, Mauritania, Cape Verde, and Uganda.
  • Third place: Madagascar, Dominica, Palau. 

Among the popular destinations for American travelers—besides the Maldives as part of the most welcoming nations— Barbados made it in position 11 with a welcoming score of 179, Ecuador —now offering visas for digital nomads— in position 15 with a welcoming country score of 164, and Jamaica in position 28 with a welcoming score of 121. 

travelers at busy airport in New York

Travelers who make acquaintances with people of different nationalities and remote teams can use this information to choose the most inclusive destination for events and gatherings. 

The Least Welcoming Countries

Travelers who own powerful passports can easily dismiss their privileges. Not all nationalities have easy processes for crossing borders, and there are certain countries that make it really hard for foreign visitors to enter, even with good passports in hand. 

Person Giving Fingerprint During Screening Process At Airport Border Control Or Check In, International Travel

These are the least welcoming countries featured in the index:

  • Position 83: Afghanistan, Turkmenistan, and North Korea, with a welcoming country score of 0.
  • Position  82: Libya, and Bhutan with a welcoming country score of 3.
  • Position 81: Equatorial Guinea with a welcoming country score of 4.
security guard airport

Mexico got 60th place, along with Japan and Paraguay, with a welcoming country score of 67. The United States —on position 70— has a welcoming country score of 45 and Canada 54. 

Travelers Can Use The Index To Learn And Compare

The platform launched by Passport Index to feature data on the welcoming countries ranking this year also allows travelers to compare passports and destinations and see the entry requirements for different destinations.

passports and social security documents

Users can select their passports and see which countries are visa-free—and for how many days—if they need a pre-visa on arrival, a pre-enrollment, a tourist card, a regular visa, or an eVisa. For example, American citizens can easily see that they can stay for up to 120 days without a visa in Fiji, that they need a visa for Cameroon, an eTA for New Zealand valid for 90 days, and a tourist registration for Seychelles.

Tourist with a backpack and mountain panorama in New Zealand

With a U.S. passport, travelers can enter 113 countries without a visa, 54 with a visa on arrival, 6 with eTA, and for 25, they must get a visa. Travelers with multiple nationalities can also use the index to see with which passport they have easier entry.

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