Where would we be without our passports, eh? Whether you’re jetting off on a luxury holiday, sneaking in a weekend city-break, or grabbing a backpack and doing something seriously different, us Brits are pretty privileged when it comes to travelling the world with ease.
However, with the shock of Brexit earlier this year, a lot of us started to question the value of our passport – with a record number of Britons applying for Irish passports than ever before.
So where does our passport actually rank on the 2017 Global Passport Index?
Ranking the countries according to their visa-free score – which is basically how easily you can enter a country – the index has done its best to unveil the most valuable and desirable passports in the world.
Developed by advisory firm Arton Capital, the ranking of 193 countries put Singapore at the top of the list. And, according to CNN, it’s the first time an Asian country has scored so highly.
“Singapore has constantly increased its passport strength since it became independent in 1965,” Philippe May, managing director of Arton Capital's Singapore office, told the news outlet.
“This due to a smart and far-sighted foreign policy, excellent diplomacy and by understanding globalisation as an opportunity. Unlike Schengen member countries [in Europe], Singapore decides alone who to grant visa-free access.
The Schengen agreement comprises of 26 European states that allows for easier travel under a mutual agreement of a common visa policy. Something which might no longer stand for Britons after Brexit.
“Singapore is not locked into a common travel zone (eg. with other ASEAN countries), and never had to impose visa restrictions on foreign nationals only because other ASEAN member countries have restrictions,” May concluded.
With Germany coming second in the ranking, this means our Germanic pals have easy access to 158 countries, whereas Singapore has 159. All in all, it’s a pretty close call.
Since President Trump has been in power, the passports of US citizens have fallen down the ranks. This is partly due to some countries – such as the Central African Republic and Turkey – taking away their visa-free status for American passport holders.
Here’s how the top 10 countries were placed:
The world’s most powerful passports in 2017:
1. Singapore: 159
2. Germany: 158
3. Sweden, South Korea: 157
4. Denmark, Finland, Italy, France, Spain, Norway, Japan, United Kingdom: 156
5. Luxembourg, Switzerland, Netherlands, Belgium, Austria, Portugal: 155
6. Malaysia, Ireland, Canada, United States: 154
7. Australia, Greece, New Zealand: 153
8. Malta, Czech Republic, Iceland: 152
9. Hungary: 150
10. Slovenia, Slovakia, Poland, Lithuania, Latvia: 149
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