Have you ever heard that the passport of a country is powerful or strong and wondered on what basis is it decided?
We will try our best to answer this in our article today by sharing the world’s top 10 strongest passports as per the latest report issued in 2021.
There was never a time in history wherein the global gap in travel freedoms has been so wide according to the latest report published by Henley & Partners, London-based global citizenship and residence advisory firm.
List of 10 Strongest Passports in the World
The Henley Passport Index ranks the passports of various countries based on the number of countries their respective holders can visit without a prior visa. The report published by the firm ranks countries after analyzing the data provided by the International Air Transport Association (IATA).
Although there are various entities that publish reports about powerful passports, the Henley Passport Index claims to be the “original ranking of all the world’s passports”.
Henley’s Q4 Global Mobility report says, “The global mobility gap is at its widest point ever and continues to expand due to proliferating barriers to entry erected since the outbreak of the pandemic.
Many countries in the global south have relaxed their borders in a concerted effort to revive their economies but there has been very little reciprocity from countries in the global north, which have enforced some of the most stringent inbound Covid-19-related travel restrictions. Even fully vaccinated travelers from countries at the lower end of the Henley Passport Index remain locked out of most of the developed world.”
Below is the list of countries along with their rank and score:
|Rank||Name of the Country||Score|
|2||Germany, South Korea||190|
|3||Finland, Italy, Luxembourg, Spain||189|
|5||France, Ireland, Netherlands, Portugal, Sweden||187|
|6||Belgium, New Zealand, Switzerland||186|
|7||Czech Republic, Greece, Malta, Norway, United Kingdom, United States||185|
|10||Lithuania, Poland, Slovakia||182|
The index has not considered the temporary restrictions announced by various countries due to the outbreak of Coronavirus, therefore leaving actual current travel access aside.
Japan and Singapore, ranking first in the list are able to travel visa-free to 192 destinations theoretically in the present scenario.
Compared to Afghanistan that ranks at the bottom of the index, the top two countries have 166 more destinations than Afghan nationals. Afghans can access only 26 countries across the globe without requiring an advance visa. There is a total of 227 destinations and 199 passports across the world that are covered in the Index.
Christian H. Kaelin, the man behind the creator of the passport index and chair of Henley & Partners says, “These decisions could have far-reaching consequences. If we want to restart the global economy, it is critical that developed nations encourage inward migration flows, as opposed to persisting with outmoded restrictions.
Resourceful countries need to futureproof their economies by attracting and welcoming the upcoming generation.”
European Countries tops the list:
The top 10 list is again dominated by EU countries just like every year with Austria and Denmark taking fourth place whereas France, Ireland, Netherlands, Portugal, Sweden take the fifth spot.
Germany and South Korea take the second spot in the list with a score of 190 while Finland, Italy, Luxembourg, Spain make it to the top 10 list by occupying third place with a score of 189. However, we will not find a drastic change in the list of names if we look at the list further down the top 10.
New Zealand which takes sixth place, has recently announced that it has decided to move away from its Covid-19 elimination strategy in favor of a vaccine certificate system ranks. Belgium and Switzerland also occupy the sixth place with a score of 186.
Erstwhile top-ranking countries like The United States and the United Kingdom, which held the number one spot together 7 years back are now at seventh position with a score of 185 along with countries like the Czech Republic, Greece, Malta, and Norway.
In eighth place, we have countries from eastern and western parts of the globe – Australia and Canada respectively with a score of 184. Hungary is at the ninth place while Lithuania, Poland, and Slovakia have together made their entry into the list at No.10 spot, with a score of 182.
Even though Japan is ranked first, with the highest score of 192, as of now there is a ban for almost all travelers from other places in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic that shook the entire world as a preventive measure to curtail the spread of the Coronavirus. Even Germany has travel restrictions from almost 100 countries.
Egypt, positioned at 97th place in the list has no travel restrictions whatsoever presently. Egyptians can travel visa-free to 51 destinations only across the globe. One more south African nation, Kenya at 77th place, has no travel bans either. Kenyan passport holders are permitted to travel to 72 countries without applying for a visa in advance.
Disparity Among Nations
The Henley & Partners report also highlights the growing inequalities and suggests that “restrictive policies initially introduced to contain the spread of Covid-19 are now being conveniently applied to contain mobility from the global south.”
Mehari Taddele Maru, a fellow at the United Nations University Institute on Comparative Regional Integration Studies, mentioned in the report, “The global north has been enforcing aggressive migration containment strategies for some time now through the rigid application of border controls, undermining the movement of persons in various ways.
Covid-19-associated travel restrictions are new additions to the toolbox of migration containment instruments employed by the global north to curb mobility from the global south.”
The Henley Passport Index has come up with its report of rankings at a time when many countries across the world are gradually lifting travel restrictions that were enforced earlier.
This will resume tourism after almost two years since the Covid-19 pandemic, which has rippled the global economy especially the travel and tourism industry all over the world.
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