By Uglobal Staff
The world's most powerful passport is the Japanese one, followed by passports from two other Far East nations, Singapore, which is ranked second, and South Korea, according to a new international report.
Japanese passport holders can travel visa-free to 193 countries and by that hold on to first place in the latest results from the Henley Passport Index revealed on April 13. The ranking is based on the travel database maintained by the International Air Transport Association (IATA).
Singapore missed the top spot in this passport ranking index by just a single point, scoring 192 points in the visa-free score. The third place was a tie between Germany and South Korea, both of which scored 191 points.
Four EU states were ranked fourth place, among them Finland, Italy, Luxembourg and Spain. Austria and Denmark, both came in fifth. France, Ireland, the Netherlands, Portugal and Sweden were at number six.
The U.S., which saw a surge of Americans seeking second passports during the pandemic, and the UK, which announced a new visa stream to attract global talent, were both ranked seventh with 187 points along with Belgium, New Zealand and Switzerland. Canada and Australia both claimed the ninth spot in the index, with a score of 185 visa-free destinations.
According to the index, countries that offer residence and citizenship by investment programs did well in the rankings. For example, Malta, which announced the launch of new rules for permanent residency this year, was at number 8; Bulgaria, which revamped its CBI program also this year, was at 16 with a score of 173; Portugal ranked sixth while St. Lucia was at number 30.
Malaysia, which recently announced that it would be reviving its long-term visa program for foreigners called the Malaysia My Second Home soon, was ranked at number 12 with a visa-free travel score of 179.
The United Arab Emirates, which amended its citizenship law this year to attract global talent, was ranked higher than other gulf states, coming in at number 15 and a score of 174.
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