A Polish passport is one of the most desirable – often ranking in the top ten ‘strongest’ passports in the world – so it must be pretty good, right?

From its European Union benefits to wider access to visa free countries, Polish citizens certainly have a lot to enjoy. But just how do we measure the strength of a Polish passport? And which countries does such a document grant access to?

Let’s answer those questions for you right now. Here’s everything you need to know about Polish passports and their travel benefits!

How to rank a passport

There is no official ladder of passport strengths. However, since the main purpose of such a document is entry into countries, we can consider a Poland passport ranking relative to other countries. In other words, what travel opportunities do Polish passport holders have over others?

Comparing to global passports, and not just those from central Europe, we can look at some key areas:

  • Countries with visa free access: The ability to travel visa free is a big benefit, and this is a key indicator of the Poland passport ranking.
  • Countries that have visa requirements: In addition to visa free countries, we also have to consider countries that still enable access for Polish passport holders if they apply for a visa beforehand.
  • Countries that offer e-visas: A subset of the previous group, this category enables Polish passport holders to apply for their visas online, without having to visit an application center.
  • Countries that offer visa on arrival: Finally, we can look at countries that simply allow Polish passport holders to apply for a visa on arrival, rather than preparing in advance.

It’s these metrics that we will use to explain how strong a Polish passport is – and hopefully show why Polish passport holders are to be envied!

How many visa free countries does a Polish passport grant access for?

Currently, as of writing, we found 152 countries that enable Polish passport holders to enter without requiring a visa. Those countries are:

  • Albania
  • Andorra
  • Angola
  • Anguilla
  • Antigua and Barbuda
  • Argentina
  • Armenia
  • Aruba
  • Australia
  • Austria
  • Bahamas
  • Barbados
  • Belarus
  • Belgium
  • Belize
  • Bermuda
  • Bolivia
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • Botswana
  • Brazil
  • British Virgin Islands
  • Brunei
  • Bulgaria
  • Cabo Verde
  • Canada
  • Caribbean Netherlands
  • Cayman Islands
  • Chile
  • Colombia
  • Cook Islands
  • Costa Rica
  • Croatia
  • Curaçao
  • Cyprus
  • Czechia
  • Denmark
  • Dominica
  • Dominican Republic
  • Ecuador
  • El Salvador
  • Estonia
  • Eswatini
  • Falkland Islands
  • Faroe Islands
  • Fiji
  • Finland
  • France
  • French Guiana
  • French Polynesia
  • Gambia
  • Georgia
  • Germany
  • Gibraltar
  • Greece
  • Greenland
  • Grenada
  • Guam
  • Guatemala
  • Haiti
  • Honduras
  • Hong Kong
  • Hungary
  • Iceland
  • Ireland
  • Israel
  • Italy
  • Jamaica
  • Japan
  • Kazakhstan
  • Kenya
  • Kiribati
  • Kosovo
  • Kyrgyzstan
  • Latvia
  • Liechtenstein
  • Lithuania
  • Luxembourg
  • Malawi
  • Malaysia
  • Malta
  • Marshall Islands
  • Martinique
  • Mauritius
  • Mayotte
  • Mexico
  • Micronesia
  • Moldova
  • Monaco
  • Mongolia
  • Montenegro
  • Montserrat
  • Morocco
  • Netherlands
  • New Caledonia
  • New Zealand
  • Nicaragua
  • Niue
  • North Macedonia
  • Northern Mariana Islands
  • Norway
  • Oman
  • Palau
  • Palestine
  • Panama
  • Paraguay
  • Peru
  • Philippines
  • Portugal
  • Puerto Rico
  • Qatar
  • Réunion
  • Romania
  • Saint Barthélemy
  • Saint Kitts and Nevis
  • Saint Lucia
  • Saint Martin
  • Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
  • Samoa
  • San Marino
  • São Tomé and Príncipe
  • Senegal
  • Serbia
  • Seychelles
  • Singapore
  • Slovakia
  • Slovenia
  • Solomon Islands
  • South Africa
  • South Korea
  • Spain
  • Suriname
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland
  • Taiwan
  • Tajikistan
  • Thailand
  • Timor-Leste
  • Tonga
  • Trinidad and Tobago
  • Tunisia
  • Türkiye
  • Turks and Caicos Islands
  • Tuvalu
  • Ukraine
  • United Arab Emirates
  • United Kingdom
  • United States of America
  • Uruguay
  • Uzbekistan
  • Vanuatu
  • Vatican City
  • Venezuela
  • Wallis and Futuna
  • Zambia

That said, you should still note that each country is subject to its own laws and regulations. Many often allow visa free access for limited periods, typically between 3 to 6 months. However, in some cases it can be as short as 14 days, so it’s worth doing your research before making any plans.

Why did we count the electronic travel authorization?

The electronic travel authorization (eta) is an entry requirement often used by countries to simply clarify who is entering the country. it’s primarily used by countries that offer visa-free access, and that’s why we’ve included it in this list.

For example, some countries implement the electronic travel authorization when flying into the country but not necessarily when driving over the border. For this reason, we see it more as a formality used before arriva rather than a visa. In other words, it’s collecting data and screening entries, rather than specifically assessing your individual application.

Australia’s eVisitor is also a similar program and the country is included here for the same reasons.

Travel within the European Union

You’ll note that EU countries are listed amongst the 155 countries that let you travel visa free. However, it’s worth nothing that Polish passport holders, who are also Polish citizens, also have further rights within the European Union.

As a Polish citizen, you can also live and work across any of the 27 countries in the EU. This is a stark difference to non-EU nationals, who often have to apply for a visa and, even then, are limited to a maximum of 3 months stay.

And let’s also not forget that Poland is a member of the schengen area. As such, passport holders in one schengen nation can travel without borders when accessing other schengen countries. This isn’t to say that such countries can’t ask for ID, so it’s always worth having your passport on you!

Why does this list differ from other sources?

We’ve done our best to determine which countries have a required visa policy and which don’t, but the definition of certain countries is difficult. We’ve included Saint Barthélemy, Saint Martin and Martinique as separate countries, since they are commonly listed this way, but others may simply refer to them as the “French West Indies”.

This, combined with changes in the political landscape, can account for discrepancies. As such, it’s always best to do your research on any country you intend to visit to check their specific passport and visa requirements.

Countries with visa requirements for Polish passport holders

Next, let’s look at those countries that require a physical visa to enter. In addition to numerous disputed areas and restricted zones, the following 21 countries require Polish passport holders to apply for a visa before arrival.

  • Afghanistan
  • Algeria
  • Central African Republic
  • Chad
  • China
  • Republic of the Congo
  • Cuba
  • Eritrea
  • Ghana
  • Guyana
  • Liberia
  • Mali
  • Nauru
  • Niger
  • North Korea
  • Sudan
  • Syria
  • Turkmenistan
  • Yemen
  • Mauritania
  • American Samoa

Visa on arrival countries

Next, we have countries that have a required visa, but enable Polish passport holders to apply for it upon arrival. These countries are generally very welcoming, with the visa process simply acting to monitor and control entry, further signifying Polish passport power.

We’ve identified 29 countries in this category:

  • Bahrain
  • Bangladesh
  • Burkina Faso
  • Burundi
  • Cambodia
  • Comoros
  • Egypt
  • Ethiopia
  • Guinea-Bissau
  • Indonesia
  • Iraq
  • Jordan
  • Kuwait
  • Laos
  • Lebanon
  • Madagascar
  • Maldives
  • Mozambique
  • Namibia
  • Nepal
  • Pakistan
  • Rwanda
  • Saint Helena
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Sierra Leone
  • Somalia
  • Sri Lanka
  • Tanzania
  • Zimbabwe

Again, we emphasize that you do your research. Some, like Saint Helena, offer a visitor’s pass, which is essentially a small fee paid upon entry.

Countries that require an e-visa

Finally, we can look at countries that require e-visas. These are still visas, but their online application makes them much easier to handle and, similar to visa on arrival, they are often more of a formality for Polish passport holders.

We’ve identified 18 countries offering e-visas:

  • Azerbaijan
  • Benin
  • Bhutan
  • Cameroon
  • Côte d’Ivoire (Ivory Coast)
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo
  • Equatorial Guinea
  • Guinea
  • India
  • Iran
  • Lesotho
  • Myanmar
  • Nigeria
  • Papua New Guinea
  • Russia
  • South Sudan
  • Uganda
  • Vietnam

Note that this is the hardest category to fulfill. Some, like China, offer online visas, although in-person visits to consulates may still occur, and others have different requirements depending on your length of stay. Therefore, this list refers to countries that mostly enable visa access online.

Can you get a Polish passport?

Polish passports are only for recognized Polish citizens. However, the good news is that with some 20 million people of Polish descent in the world, you may be able to apply for Polish citizenship. This would grant you dual or even multi-citizenship with your current status, but it would give you the right to apply for a Polish passport.

And, now that you’ve seen where Polish citizens have access to, both visa-free and with a visa in advance, the benefits of being a Polish passport holder just become a lot more tempting. Take our free eligibility check – if you have Polish ancestors, this will help determine if you have an applicable case.

Are you by any chance of Polish origin? Find out if you are eligible for EU citizenship by taking the test below:

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