Singapore has most powerful passport in the world, followed closely by Germany

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Cii Radio| Ayesha Ismail| 26 October 2017| 05 Safar 1439

For the first time ever, an Asian passport has been declared as the most powerful in the world, while the UAE continues to lead the region in terms of the power of its citizens’ passport.

Passport Index, which keeps track of how useable such documents are, said the city-state grabbed the top spot after Paraguay removed restrictions for Singaporeans.

That means the approximately 3.4 million holders of Singaporean passports can now travel to 159 countries either without a visa at all, or can have one issued on arrival.

Germany came in second place, with its citizens able to visit 158 countries without a visa, while Sweden and South Korea tied for third.

Passport Index ranks passports worldwide based on the cross-border access a holder has. It was developed by Canada-based global consultancy Arton Capital.

According to Arton Capital’s latest index, the UAE has the most powerful passport in the Arab world, ranking 26th globally as of 2017, just behind Uruguay.

The UAE passport allows its citizens to travel to 128 countries without a visa or with visa on arrival.

The other countries in the Gulf, such as Kuwait, Qatar and Bahrain took the lower positions at 49th, 51st and 54th, respectively, in the global ranking, while Oman occupied the 56th place, followed by Saudi Arabia in the 58th spot.

Overall, Singapore emerged as the most powerful passport in the world, edging out Germany. As of the latest count, the Asian country has the highest number of countries that its citizens can travel to freely. It’s also the first time a country from Asia has topped the list.

European countries used to dominate the list of powerful passports, but since Paraguay has recently removed visa requirements for Singaporeans, the Asian country jumped to the top of the index.

“For the first time ever, an Asian country has the most powerful passport in the world,” said Philippe May, managing director of Arton Capital’s Singapore office.

The US passport, on the other hand, has fallen down since Donald Trump took office. This is because Turkey and the Central African Republic revoked their visa-free status to American passport holders.

The Passport Index ranks travel documents according to the number of countries a passport holder can visit without a visa or with visa on arrival.

New Top 10 Passport Power Ranking:
1. 159 – Singapore
2. 158 – Germany
3. 157 – Sweden, South Korea
4. 156 – Denmark, Finland, Italy, France, Spain, Norway, Japan, United Kingdom
5. 155 – Luxemburg, Switzerland, Netherlands, Belgium, Austria, Portugal
6. 154 – Malaysia, Ireland, Canada, United States of America
7. 153 – Austria, Greece, New Zealand
8. 152 – Malta, Czech Republic, Iceland
9. 150 – Hungary
10. 149 – Slovenia, Slovakia, Poland, Lithuania, Latvia

Source – Gulf News