The ‘Most Powerful Passports’ in the World in 2022
According to a new assessment of passport strength, citizens of Japan and Singapore have the most travel-friendly passports, warning of a rising gap between affluent and poor countries’ travel freedoms.
Without taking into consideration the Covid-19 limits, the rankings for early 2022, revealed on Tuesday by UK consultancy Henley & Partners, show that Japanese and Singaporeans may travel to 192 countries without needing a visa. In the meanwhile, Afghan people may only travel to 26 countries without a visa.
South Korea, another Asian nation, is tied for second position with Germany on the list of 199 countries. The remainder of the top ten are dominated by EU countries, with the United Kingdom and the United States ranking sixth and seventh, respectively, with Australia, Canada, and Eastern European countries completing out the top five.
A research on global mobility was released with the rankings, which showed that travel benefits for inhabitants of upper middle- and high-income countries had “came at the price” of lower-income countries and those rated “high-risk” in terms of security and other factors.
The research also said that travel hurdles have increased this “inequality” in global movement during the duration of the epidemic, with UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres recently comparing limitations imposed on mostly African countries to “travel apartheid.”
“Expensive requirements associated with international travel institutionalize inequality and discrimination,” said Mehari Taddele Maru, a professor at the Migration Policy Centre, who also noted that developed countries “did not always [share]” the developing world’s willingness to respond to “changing circumstances.”
“The alarming discrepancy in international mobility between affluent industrialized countries and their poorer counterparts has been underlined and worsened by Covid-19 and its interaction with instability and inequality,” Mehari noted.
Meanwhile, the analysis predicts that the development of the Omicron version of the coronavirus would increase travel and mobility uncertainties for the remainder of the year. According to Columbia University professor Misha Glenny, the creation of “such a powerful new strain” constituted a “huge geopolitical failure” on the part of the US, UK, and EU for not giving better finance and vaccine supplies to southern Africa.
The best passports to hold in 2022 are:
1. Japan, Singapore (192 destinations)
2. Germany, South Korea (190)
3. Finland, Italy, Luxembourg, Spain (189)
4. Austria, Denmark, France, Netherlands, Sweden (188)
5. Ireland, Portugal (187)
6. Belgium, New Zealand, Norway, Switzerland, United Kingdom, United States (186)
7. Australia, Canada, Czech Republic, Greece, Malta (185)
8. Poland, Hungary (183)
9. Lithuania, Slovakia (182)
10. Estonia, Latvia, Slovenia (181).