Dieses Bild zeigt einen schwarzen Kompass auf zwei Nationalpässen. Die Nationalpässe haben eine braune Farbe. Im Hintergrund befindet sich eine Weltkarte in unterschiedlichen Farben abgebildet.

Why a German passport will change your life a lot!

Ein deutscher Pass gehört zu den wertvollsten und stärksten Pässen auf der Welt. Hierfür gibt es viele Gründe. Entdecken Sie, warum der deutsche Pass so stark ist und warum ein deutscher Pass Ihr Game Changer werden und Ihre berufliche und persönliche Zukunft prägen kann. Erfahren Sie, wohin Sie mit dem Nationalpass visafrei reisen können und welche Rechte und Möglichkeiten Sie mit einem deutschen Pass haben!
Fabian Graske
Fabian Graske

Table of contents

What does a German passport mean worldwide?

A German passport is one of the strongest passports in the world. A very decisive reason for this is the visa-free regime. In various internationally recognized rankings, the German passport performs very well. This is about visa exemption and mobility with the national passport.

Henley & Partners Ranking

Since 2006, Henley & Partners, a consulting firm based on the British Channel Island of Jersey, has been analyzing the visa regulations of all territories and countries in cooperation with the International Air Transport Association (IATA). For each state, the IATA database follows a 5-step system to determine the exact score and strength of each passport. This includes the entry requirements of the respective state when entering all other states, in addition, other queries apply. Based on the queries, the score of each state is equal to the number of visa-free travel opportunities for the citizen.

The top 5 in visa free travel

Japan and Singapore top the Henley & Partners ranking with 193 points. Germany follows in second place with a visa-free score of 192. That works out to 83.7 percent for 227 states. South Korea and Spain follow in third place with a score of 191. Both countries are followed by Finland, Luxembourg and Italy with 190 points each. 5th place is shared by the Netherlands, Austria, Denmark and Sweden.

Countries with high visa requirements

Just as there are countries that do very well in the Henley & Partners ranking and where visa-free travel is quite possible, the opposite also exists. The country with the highest visa requirement is Afghanistan with a score of 27. Afghanistan is followed in second place by Iraq with a score of 29 and Syria with a score of 30.

Pakistan (32 points), Yemen (34 points) and Somalia (35 points) ranked 4th, 5th and 6th, respectively. Nepal (score of 37) and Palestine (38 points) ranked 7th and 8th, respectively. Libya, Bangladesh and North Korea share 9th place with 40 points. With the citizenship of these countries you very often need a visa on entry.

Arton Capital Passport Index

Another recognized ranking on the topic of mobility with passports and visa freedom is the ranking from the Canadian consulting firm Arton Capital. Rankings such as the Arton Capital Passport Index or the Henley & Partners Ranking are indicators of how strong the diplomatic relations of a state are and how much trust is placed in the respective state with its inhabitants.

Also, in the current 2023 Arton Capital Passport Index ranking, the German passport is way up there in second place with a mobility score of 173. Germany shares this position with countries such as Sweden, Finland, Spain and France.

At the top of this ranking is the United Arab Emirates (UAE) with a mobility score of 180. The last places in this ranking are also occupied by Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan.

Freedom of travel and visa

One of the most important advantages of having a German passport is the freedom to travel. Furthermore, the German passport has steadily become one of the strongest passports in the world over the past eleven years. The number of visa-free countries is constantly increasing and must be reviewed again and again.

What does freedom of travel mean?

Freedom of travel is set forth in the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights under United Nations Resolution 217 A (III). This determination can be found in Article 13, which contains the right of a citizen to move freely within a state and to freely choose the place of residence.

This article also states that a citizen has the right to leave the country of his citizenship and always return to it. Thus, freedom of travel means the ability to move freely both in one’s home country and outside the country.

The acquisition of the freedom to travel is also associated with the unrealizable right of residence. As a German, you can therefore no longer be deported to your country of origin. It also means that the stress with the foreigner’s registration office (Ausländerbehörde) and the Federal Ministry for Migration and Refugees (BAMF) has come to an end.

Which countries are visa-free with the German national passport?

A German passport gives you the opportunity to travel visa-free in many countries worldwide. Nevertheless, in each case there are different points to consider when entering the country and the length of stay.

Travel visa free in Europe

A German passport allows you to travel visa-free to all European countries except Russia. In all EU countries and in Turkey, Norway, Iceland and Switzerland, an identity card is also sufficient for entry.

In Belarus, visa-free entry for Germans is also possible if you enter via the airport of the capital Minsk. In this case, you can stay in Belarus without a visa for 30 days. Germans entering Ukraine or Turkey can stay in the country visa-free for 90 days within 180 days.

You can travel to Georgia visa-free for 360 days with a German identity card. Nevertheless, you should ask the airline whether an identity card is sufficient or whether a German passport is more useful as a travel document. State regulations of Georgia sometimes differ from the regulations of the respective airlines.

The following applies to Great Britain: A German passport is mandatory for travel. Entry with an identity card no longer works. If you are a German planning a business trip, a vacation of 180 days, you do not need to apply for a visa for this in the UK and can travel visa-free for this period.

Visa-free travel to the USA, Canada or Australia

A German passport, for example, also brings visa-free entry to Japan, South Korea or even Australia and New Zealand. The same applies to Canada, South Africa, Namibia, or any country in South America. As a German citizen you can also travel visa-free to Mexico, Costa Rica, Singapore, Thailand and Indonesia.
A German passport offers the option of visa-free entry into the United States. Here you can also enter via the ESTA system. However, one must be careful not to stay in the U.S. for more than 90 days, as from then on one is in the U.S. illegally.
Those who want to stay longer than 90 days in the USA can apply for a tourist visa, which has a duration of 180 days. The same principle as in the USA exists in Australia and Canada. German citizens can enter New Zealand without a visa for 90 days.

Travel UAE and Palestine Visa Free

When traveling to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) for tourism, business (without working) and visits, German citizens do not need a visa for 90 days within a 180-day period. Important necessity is a German passport. The local authorities may extend the visa beyond the 90-day period even after the application has been filed.
The same principle that applies to the United Arab Emirates also applies to German citizens entering the Palestinian territories. For 90 days you can travel to these territories visa-free. In the event of an extension, the authorities in the Palestinian territories must be contacted in advance. In certain cases, a visa of up to one year may also be issued.

Travel visa free to Morocco and China

You can enter Morocco visa-free for 90 days. A valid German passport is required upon entry. If one is not in possession of a valid document, one must travel back.
If you want to stay in Morocco for more than 90 days, you have to report it to the Aliens Police in Morocco. Here, one must present proof of financial means and possibly show an employment contract in Morocco. In any case, one must explain by application why a longer stay in Morocco is necessary.
A German passport brings you the opportunity to travel through China visa-free for 72 hours. You must specify it before your flight and you will receive an appropriate form. The opportunity to travel visa-free for 72 hours in China should provide a chance to get to know the country in a fast way. If you are planning a longer stay in China, you have to apply for a visa at the Chinese embassy before your trip.

In which countries is there a visa on arrival with a German passport?

There are some countries where a German passport favors a so-called visa on arrival upon entry. Countries with visa on arrival include, for example, Egypt, Ethiopia, Zimbabwe, Philippines, Nepal or even Cambodia. Upon arrival at the airport, you can apply for a visa for a specified period of time for a fee.

Visa on arrival in Ethiopia and the Philippines

In Ethiopia, it is possible to obtain a visa when entering the country through the airport of the capital Addis Ababa. The visa costs between 50 and 80 US dollars. When traveling to Egypt, one can obtain a 30-day visa upon arrival. The visa fee is 25 US dollars.
In the Philippines, upon confirmation of a return ticket, the entrant will receive a 30-day visa free of charge. It’s the same with a trip to the Philippines as it is with a vacation to the Maldives. Again, for a fee, you can get a visa for 30 days and stay on the islands for that period.

Visa on arrival in Saudi Arabia, Iraq and Iran

When traveling to Saudi Arabia, a visa on arrival is possible in principle. Nevertheless, it is recommended to apply for an e-visa in advance. When traveling to Iraq, German citizens receive a visa for 60 days upon entry. If you want to stay longer than 60 days in Iraq, you have to apply at the Iraqi embassy and you will get a visa.
When traveling to Iran, one must check with the Iranian Embassy and Imam Khomeini Airport before traveling to see if a visa on arrival is possible. Otherwise, you can apply for an e-visa, which costs between 35-90 euros depending on the reason for travel.
The visa is valid for 30 days. If you violate the Iranian entry regulations or overstay your visa, you may face penalties from the Iranian side. This may result in delay of return and penalty payment to Iranian Aliens Police.
How does my naturalization (Einbürgerung) work?

Having trouble with your naturalization (Einbürgerung) and getting nowhere? Take our free test! We advise you in a free consultation and check how you can get your naturalization (Einbürgerung) the fastest way!

In which countries can I apply for an e-visa as a German?

When traveling to India, Pakistan but also Angola or Uganda, an electronic visa can be applied for via the Internet. In the respective countries, as in the example of India, there are websites created by the government where you can apply for an electronic visa.

In which countries do Germans need a visa?

A German passport does not allow visa-free entry to all countries. In some states you need to apply for a visa. If you want to travel to Syria, Russia, Yemen, Afghanistan, Sudan, Eritrea, Mali, North Korea, Algeria or Libya, the principle of visa on arrival and also e-visa does not work. The visa must be applied for at the responsible embassy in Germany.

Visa for Syria and Russia

In the case of Syria, the government ended the issuance of e-visas to foreign entrants by law in 2013. Accordingly, the visa for Syria must be applied for through the Syrian Embassy.

Russia is now following the same principle as Syria due to the war in Ukraine. German citizens must apply for the visa through the Russian Embassy. Electronic visas, as was possible before the war, are no longer issued. The general rule for Russia is that the duration is 30 days and if you exceed it, you risk being banned from entering the country.

Visa for Eritrea and Afghanistan

A visa is also required when traveling to Eritrea, this also applies to German citizens who also have Eritrean citizenship. Those traveling with an Eritrean identity card need an exit visa when leaving the country again.

Citizens with both citizenships are considered by the State of Eritrea as Eritrean citizens only. Consular protection by the German embassy is not possible. It is therefore important to check the entry and exit procedures with the Eritrean mission abroad in such a case.

The following applies to travel to Afghanistan: German citizens must apply for a visa at the Afghan Embassy in Berlin before traveling to Afghanistan. The visa can be issued for a single period of 3 months or a single period of 6 months.

Work permit and study

In addition to the free travel and the possibility to travel to very many countries without a visa, a German passport also brings very great advantages in the field of work and study.

This is what a German passport brings you at work

A German passport gives you the freedom to choose your profession. You have more choices than you did before naturalization (Einbürgerung). This includes the fact that with naturalization (Einbürgerung) you have access to the civil service career.

The right of who can aspire to a civil service career is defined in § 7 para. 2 of the Civil Servants Act set. Accordingly, one can only be appointed to a civil service position if one has German citizenship. Access to the civil service career path also gives you completely different opportunities and options financially, and most importantly, career security.

Also a job change within Germany, but also within the EU is no problem for you and can work smoothly with a German passport. You will also have far fewer difficulties starting your own business with a German passport, and it will be even easier for you to take out a loan to start your business.

This advantage has a German passport when studying

A German passport gives you free movement within the EU countries. In addition to the freedom of movement, you also have the possibility of free access to study programs in other EU countries and can thus choose much more freely where you study and also move your residence and center of life to the country of study. At the same time, they always have the option to return to Germany and do not lose any rights.

What does a German passport get you in Europe?

As a German, you can change your place of residence within the EU, and the same applies to your job or studies. You can therefore freely choose your place of residence in the EU and save yourself complicated administrative procedures. A German passport is not only the door to German citizenship, but also makes you an EU citizen. You can then immediately access the EU rights and obligations.

German basic rights

A German passport or German citizenship brings many rights and responsibilities for a new citizen. Elementary basic rights that could not be accessed before are now part of the new freedoms.

German citizenship defines the affiliation of a citizen to the German state according to Art. 116 of the German Basic Law. The German citizen is bound by certain rights and obligations that apply to him from the moment of naturalization (Einbürgerung).

Auf dem Bild sind mehrere Menschen zu sehen. Sie werfen ihren Wahlzettel in eine Wahlurne ein

What are the German basic rights?

A German passport guarantees you basic German rights as a future German citizen. They are equal to any other German citizen and enjoy the same rights. These rights include, for example, the freedom of assembly according to Art 8 GG. This means you have the right to attend political meetings and rallies.

Another fundamental right is freedom of association under Article 9 of the Basic Law. This right allows you to form associations, societies and political parties. Art 11 GG states that as a German citizen you enjoy freedom of movement throughout the Federal territory and may move freely without being bound to a particular place.

Article 12 of the Basic Law states that you, as a German citizen, are free to decide on your profession, place of work and place of training and that no one can dictate to you in this respect.

An important basic right as a German is that when you receive German citizenship, you are entitled to vote according to § 12 of the Federal Election Act and can participate in local elections, European elections and elections to the Bundestag. So you have the opportunity to contribute to political developments in Germany with your vote.

Even extradition abroad is not possible as a German citizen according to Art 16 GG. So you no longer have to fear being deported from Germany to your home country.

What obligations does a German passport entail?

In Germany, basic rights are synonymous with basic obligations. Thus, it is also stipulated that you may develop freely, at the same time, as a German citizen, you must also grant this right to every other German citizen. The same applies to freedom of expression or freedom of assembly. Every German citizen is entitled to freedom of assembly, but no German citizen may carry a weapon.

Just as the German state protects property of yours, as a German citizen you are also obligated not to damage state property. In Germany, the separation of powers is divided into legislative, executive and judicial branches. Only the state may exercise force within generally applicable laws. Private individuals are not allowed to do this.

What is a German passport?

A German passport is a sovereign travel document. It acts as a document for travel abroad by German nationals. The German passport is one of the most powerful passports in the world.

When it comes to the design and technical features of the passport, the Federal Republic of Germany must adhere to international specifications. These include, for example, the recommendations of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO). Since Germany is a member of the EU, there are also requirements for uniform patterns in the design due to a legislation from 2004.

What does a German passport cost?

The following is only about the cost of issuing the German passport. The costs for the naturalization procedure in Germany are significantly higher. The costs for the German passport are specified in the Ordinance on the Implementation of the German Passport Act under § 15 in the paragraph Fees. From the age of 24, the German passport costs 60 euros. It has a duration of 10 years.

From the age of 12-24, a German passport costs 37.50 euros. This passport is valid for six years. If you want to apply for these two passports by express procedure, it will cost an additional 32 euros on top of the above costs.

For children under 12 years there is a children’s pass, which costs 13 euros. The children’s passport is valid for one year.

If you applied for your passport outside your main residence in Germany, the costs are higher than if you applied at your main residence. For persons aged 24 and over, a German passport will then cost 120 euros, and 152 euros for express orders. For persons under 24 years of age, the cost is 75 euros and 107 euros for express orders.

Even if you apply for your passport abroad, the costs are higher than if your main residence is in Germany. If you are over 24 years old, you will then pay 81 euros and if you are under 24 years old, 58.50 euros.

Losing your German passport abroad will also be expensive. In this case, a new passport costs 141 euros if you are over 24 years old and 94 euros if you are younger than 24.

Application at the main residence in Germany

Persons aged 24 and over Total
Persons under 24 years Total
Passport (international standard)
60,00 EUR
37,50 EUR
Child passport
13,00 EUR

Application outside your main residence in Germany

Persons aged 24 and over Total
Persons under 24 years Total
Passport (international standard)
120,00 EUR
75,00 EUR
Child passport
26,00 EUR
Persons aged 24 and over Total
Persons under 24 years Total
Passport (international standard)
60,00 EUR
37,50 EUR
Child passport
13,00 EUR

Application abroad for Germans living abroad

Persons aged 24 and over Total
Persons under 24 years Total
Passport (international standard)
81,00 EUR
58,50 EUR
Child passport
26,00 EUR

Application abroad for Germans living in Germany (e.g. in case of loss/theft)

Persons aged 24 and over Total
Persons under 24 years Total
Passport (international standard)
141,00 EUR
96,00 EUR
Child passport
39,00 EUR

History of the German passport

The word passport has its origin in the French language. In French, the word passeport is used. The translated meaning is: “Go through the gate”.

According to PM’s knowledge, the first information about the first passports in France, Switzerland and Upper Italy has been handed down from the 15th century. At first only soldiers received passports, later pilgrims and merchants received passports and in times of plague every traveler had to carry a passport for identification.

The first German law was the law on passports and dates back to 1867. The first German passports were introduced in the 1950s.

Until 1988, passports in the Federal Republic were green and then the current burgundy color was introduced. The background is that in 1981 all member countries of the EEC agreed on a uniform burgundy color for national passports. This was to show the togetherness to the EEC.

Over the years, the information in the German passport has changed. The most important details are: First name, last name, date of birth, place of birth, date of issue, expiration date, height, eye color and the place of residence.

Who is eligible for the German passport?

A German passport requires naturalization (Einbürgerung) in Germany. These are set as follows:

1. You need a legal residence title (however, some residence titles are blocked for naturalization (Einbürgerung), § 10 Abs.1 No. 2 StAG). Depending on the requirements, you will receive naturalization (Einbürgerung) after 3, 6, 7 or 8 years in Germany.

2. the identity and nationality must be clarified

3. a commitment to the free democratic basic order of the Basic Law

4. oral and written German language skills at B1 level

5. a successfully completed naturalization test

6. independent livelihood for self and dependents

7. guaranteeing the integration into German living conditions

8. no conviction for a serious crime

If you want to learn even more detailed information about naturalization (Einbürgerung), read the following blog article.

Auf dem Bild ist ein Mann mit Rucksack zu sehen. Er schaut auf einen See und auf ein Bergmassiv

Summary and outlook for the future

All the advantages of German citizenship

Summarizing again all the advantages of a German citizenship:

1. as a German you can travel visa-free to many countries worldwide

2. the German passport is one of the strongest passports in the world

3. as a German you can enjoy the freedom to travel

4. as a German you are free to choose where you want to work

5. you have access to civil servant status as a German

6. you can vote as a German in elections in Germany

7. with the German passport you never have to be afraid of being deported

What is the future of German citizenship?

It can be seen from the Henley & Partners ranking and the Arton Capital Passport Index that the German passport has made extremely strong progress in its importance over the last few years. The good placement in the rankings is no coincidence. The German passport and with it German citizenship has become increasingly important and the national passport has an extremely strong global significance.

The current German government parties are planning to aim for a similar naturalization and asylum procedure as in Canada. According to a report by the SPD parliamentary group, the Federal Minister of the Interior and the Federal Minister of Labor were in Canada at the end of March to make inquiries and gather information for this project. Accordingly, it can be assumed that there are plans to introduce an immigration system based on the Canadian model.

The goal of an immigration system based on the Canadian model should be: The immigration of foreign skilled workers. Additional new skilled workers are very important for the German economy.

You still have questions about the German passport?

Take advantage of our free consultation! Our experts will answer all your questions in a free consultation!

FAQ – Most important questions and answers about the advantages of German citizenship

The German passport has a high reputation worldwide. You can travel with it to many countries worldwide without a visa. It performs very well in prestigious rankings.

You can enter all EU member states visa-free with an identity card. Visa-free entry with an identity card also works in Ukraine, Turkey, Norway, Great Britain and Iceland.

In addition to EU member states and all European countries except Russia, you can travel to all countries in South America, the USA, the United Arab Emirates and Morocco, Australia, New Zealand, Mexico, South Africa, Indonesia, Thailand, Japan, South Korea or Canada, among others, without a visa. In total, there are over 190 countries that can be visited without a visa.

You cannot travel visa-free to Russia, Syria, Afghanistan. Visa-free entry into Iraq or Iran is also not possible. When traveling to Iran or Iraq, entry is possible with an electronic e-visa.

With a German passport you can freely choose your profession, employer and place of residence in Germany. This free choice also applies to the entire EU territory. With a German passport, they have access to civil servant status and can pursue a civil service career.

Basic rights with a German passport include freedom of assembly, freedom of association, the right to vote in elections in Germany and European elections. In addition, with a German passport you can no longer be deported to your country of origin.

The German passport, when applied for in Germany from the main residence, costs 60 euros for a person older than 24 years. Germans younger than 24 and older than 12 years pay a price of 37, 50 euros.