March 5, 2024

The Singaporean passport dethrones Japan as the most powerful countries in the world

If you have a Singaporean passport, you’re in luck.

The Southeast Asian country’s citizenship document is officially the most powerful in the world, according to the latest data Henley Passport Indexwas published on Tuesday.

According to the index, Singaporeans can travel to 192 out of 227 travel destinations worldwide without a visa.

In a “major transformation”, Singapore beat Japan, which is ranked No. 1 on the index for the past five years.

Japan fell behind Germany, Italy and Spain, all tied for second place, with 190 visa-free travel destinations for passport holders.

Japan ranks third on the index with six other nations: Austria, France, Finland, Luxembourg, South Korea and Sweden with 189 visa-free destinations.

In comparison, the United States was slightly lower on the index, falling one place from last year to eighth place, tied with Lithuania, with 184 visa-free travel destinations.

The United States and the United Kingdom have been declining since 2014, when their passports were ranked No. 1 in the world.

Over the last decade the number of destinations to which its citizens can travel without visas has increased by 12, said Henley & Partners. However, that is the smallest increase of any nation in the top 10 of the index.

According to Henley & Partners, a global migration consultancy group based in London, only eight countries have seen less access to visas than a decade ago.

Greg Lindsay, a global strategist at Cornell Tech’s Jacobs Institute, said America’s drop in passport rankings is an indicator that the US and other Western countries are “behind.”

“America’s relentless slide down the rankings — and the likelihood that it will regain its top position anytime soon — is a warning to its Canadian neighbors and the rest of the Anglosphere as well,” Lindsay said in a statement.

The United States is also low on “openness,” only allowing 44 other nationalities to visit visa-free.

The index found that the world’s three weakest passports are Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan, which can get you to 30, 29 and 27 destinations, respectively.

While many travelers have seen more freedom to travel visa-free over the years, the gap between the top and bottom of the rankings has also widened.

“The general trend in the history of the 18-year ranking is towards greater freedom of travel, with the average number of destinations that travelers are able to access without a visa almost doubling from 58 in 2006 to 109 in 2023,” said Henley & Partners. “However, the global mobility gap between those at the top and bottom of the index is now wider than ever, with top-ranked Singapore able to access 165 more visa-free destinations than Afghanistan.”

The index is based on exclusive data from the International Air Transport Association, a large database of travel information.

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