What's the Best Passport in the World?

Posted on 10/30/2017

International travelers know that one of the most important travel features is a passport that allows easy, unfettered access to a large number of destinations.

“Visa-free global mobility has become an important factor in today’s world,” said Armand Arton founder and president of Arton Capital, a global advisory for residence and citizenship solutions. “[More] people every year invest hundreds of thousands of dollars in a second passport to offer better opportunity and security for their families.”

While citizens of the United States enjoy wide access to more than 150 destinations around the world, the power of the U.S./Canadian passport isn’t what it used to be, according to Arton Capital research.

In fact, the U.S. passport, which ranked as number 1 in 2015 (in a tie with the United Kingdom,) has dropped to the sixth position, where it is tied with the passports of Canada, Ireland and Malaysia. Not only is the U.S. passport tied for sixth, but it ranks behind 18 other nations which collectively take up the top five slots.

Part of that decline has occurred since Trump took office, said Arton. Most recently, the passport took another dip, when Turkey revoked its visa-free status to US passport holders.

So, which is the most powerful passport in the world right now?

Singapore’s passport had a visa-free score of 159, earning it the top rank in this year’s Passport Index.

“For the first time ever, an Asian country has the most powerful passport in the world,” said the Hon. Philippe May, Managing Director of Arton Capital’s Singapore office. “It is a testament of Singapore’s inclusive diplomatic relations and effective foreign policy.”

The “visa-free score” tabulates the number of countries a passport holder can visit visa-free or with a visa upon arrival.

In second place, German citizens can visit 158 countries visa-free, while the passports of Sweden and South Korea earned a visa-free rank of 157.

Top 10 Passport Power Ranking

159 – Singapore

158 – Germany

157 – Sweden, South Korea

156 – Denmark, Finland, Italy, France, Spain, Norway, Japan, United Kingdom

155 – Luxemburg, Switzerland, Netherlands, Belgium, Austria, Portugal

154 – Malaysia, Ireland, Canada, United States of America

153 – Australia, Greece, New Zealand

152 – Malta, Czech Republic, Iceland

150 – Hungary

149 – Slovenia, Slovakia, Poland, Lithuania, Latvia

To see the entire list, visit the 2017 Passport Index.

Source: Travelpulse

PHOTO: Which passport is the best in the world? (photo via Pixabay/Skitterphoto)