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RANKING THE WORLD’S MOST POWERFUL PASSPORTS

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by capslocked, Sep 8, 2015.

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    TEN YEARS AGO, IN MY first job after graduation, I shared an office with a researcher called Munir who I nicknamed Dr2 because he not only had a PhD but was also qualified as a medical doctor. (I recognise it’s not the wittiest name in the world but it was the best I could do at the time.)

    Munir loved learning British colloquialisms (“armchair critic”, “fairweather friend”), played loud Arabic music while he worked and held a Jordanian passport. One day, he came into work clearly frustrated and announced that he was giving up on travelling. Stationed in the UK for three years, he thought he would have a great opportunity to see Europe while he was here. Alas, his passport was so restrictive that securing visas became distinctly Sisyphean. He as a doctor (twice over) had fewer rights than I did as a new grad with relatively few skills just because our passports were different.

    It was the first time I realised how lucky I was to have a British passport. I have been routinely reminded of this fact in the ensuing decade, most recently by Arton Capital, a financial firm that this year put together an index of the best passports to have. ‘Best’ is defined by the number of countries the passport holder can visit either without a visa or by obtaining one on arrival.

    The full rankings are below.

    Unsurprisingly, the UK is #1. With a strong global economy, a stable political environment and an enviable international reputation that somehow overcomes the questionable actions of our past, the British are able to swan into a whopping 147 countries out of 197 listed (75%). What is surprising is that the US is joint #1, also with access to 147 countries. With its more pugnacious attitude to international relations, particularly in the Bush era, it’s interesting that the US is still welcome with open arms across most of the world. The remaining top 10 – or top 29 if you don’t count joint positions – is predictably European (western, wealthy and stable) with the occasional inoffensive country further field (e.g. Canada, Singapore, Malaysia).

    Perhaps the most interesting entries toward the top of the list are South Korea joint #2 with France allowing entry to 145 countries and Oman at joint #13 allowing entry to 134 countries. Clearly, both remain untarred by their troublesome neighbours. In comparison, North Korea at joint #73 allows easy entry to only 44 countries (101 fewer than it’s southern counterpart) and Yemen at joint #76 allows access to only 41 countries.

    The worst passports at joint #80 with access to only 28 countries include the comparably unstable countries of South Sudan, Palestine and Myanmar. Also at the bottom spot is the seemingly paradise collection of Solomon Islands which has unfortunately been impacted by civil war, as well as the African island nation of Sao Tome and Principe which is small, poor and has a history of political instability.

    The rankings*
    Rank Country No. easily accessible countries
    1 United Kingdom 147
    1 United States of America 147
    2 France 145
    2 South Korea 145
    2 Germany 145
    3 Italy 144
    3 Sweden 144
    4 Denmark 143
    4 Singapore 143
    4 Finland 143
    4 Japan 143
    4 Luxembourg 143
    4 Netherlands 143
    5 Switzerland 142
    6 Spain 141
    6 Norway 141
    6 Ireland 141
    6 Belgium 141
    6 Portugal 141
    7 Canada 140
    7 Greece 140
    7 Austria 140
    7 Malaysia 140
    8 New Zealand 139
    9 Czech Republic 138
    9 Australia 138
    9 Hungary 138
    10 Poland 137
    10 Slovakia 137
    11 Malta 136
    11 Cyprus 136
    11 Hong Kong 136
    12 Slovenia 135
    12 Iceland 135
    13 Estonia 134
    13 Oman 134
    13 Latvia 134
    14 Lithuania 132
    15 Liechtenstein 131
    15 Bulgaria 131
    16 Argentina 129
    16 Israel 129
    17 Brazil 128
    17 Romania 128
    17 Monaco 128
    18 Brunei 125
    19 Chile 124
    19 Croatia 124
    20 San Marino 123
    21 Andorra 122
    22 Mexico 119
    22 Barbados 119
    23 Bahamas 117
    24 Seychelles 116
    25 Vatican City 113
    25 Antigua and Barbuda 113
    25 Venezuela 113
    25 Uruguay 113
    26 Mauritius 111
    27 Costa Rica 110
    27 Panama 110
    28 Taiwan 109
    29 Turkey 108
    29 St. Kitts and Nevis 108
    30 Macao 106
    31 Serbia 104
    32 Paraguay 103
    33 Macedonia 101
    34 Honduras 100
    35 Montenegro 98
    35 Guatemala 98
    35 Russian Federation 98
    36 El Salvador 97
    36 Moldova 97
    37 Ukraine 96
    38 Bosnia and Herzegovina 94
    39 Nicaragua 93
    40 Albania 91
    41 South Africa 84
    42 Guinea 81
    43 Trinidad and Tobago 77
    44 Belize 75
    45 China 74
    46 St. Lucia 73
    47 Peru 72
    47 United Arab Emirates 72
    47 Dominica 72
    48 Grenada 71
    48 St. Vincent and the Grenadines 71
    49 Sierra Leone 69
    50 Cuba 68
    50 Kenya 68
    50 Jamaica 68
    50 Tonga 68
    50 Botswana 68
    51 Tuvalu 67
    52 Niger 66
    52 Ghana 66
    52 Belarus 66
    52 Qatar 66
    52 Gambia 66
    53 Maldives 65
    53 Samoa 65
    53 Lesotho 65
    53 Kazakhstan 65
    54 Vanuatu 64
    54 Kiribati 64
    54 Ecuador 64
    54 Guyana 64
    54 Kuwait 64
    55 Fiji 63
    55 Thailand 63
    56 Swaziland 62
    56 Colombia 62
    56 Nauru 62
    57 Nigeria 61
    57 Bahrain 61
    57 Philippines 61
    57 Saudi Arabia 61
    57 Azerbaijan 61
    57 Tunisia 61
    57 Tanzania 61
    57 Mali 61
    57 Namibia 61
    57 Zambia 61
    58 Mongolia 60
    58 Benin 60
    58 Morocco 60
    58 Malawi 60
    59 India 59
    59 Georgia 59
    60 Suriname 57
    60 Indonesia 57
    60 Uganda 57
    60 Papua New Guinea 57
    60 Senegal 57
    61 Bolivia 56
    61 Cape Verde 56
    62 Armenia 55
    63 Kyrgyzstan 54
    63 Marshall Islands 54
    64 Tajikistan 53
    64 Uzbekistan 53
    64 Burkina Faso 53
    64 Mauritania 53
    64 Zimbabwe 53
    64 Egypt 53
    64 Congo 53
    65 Mozambique 52
    65 Liberia 52
    66 Viet Nam 51
    66 Algeria 51
    66 Guinea-Bissau 51
    66 Palau 51
    67 Togo 50
    67 Bangladesh 50
    67 Micronesia 50
    68 Dominican Republic 49
    68 Jordan 49
    68 Haiti 49
    69 Cameroon 48
    69 Syria 48
    70 Libya 47
    70 Iran 47
    70 Turkmenistan 47
    70 Sudan 47
    70 Sri Lanka 47
    71 Pakistan 46
    72 Chad 45
    73 Cambodia 44
    73 Lebanon 44
    73 North Korea 44
    73 Gabon 44
    74 Angola 43
    74 Rwanda 43
    75 Timor-Leste 42
    75 Madagascar 42
    76 Yemen 41
    76 Kosovo 41
    76 Congo (Dem. Rep.) 41
    76 Central African Republic 41
    77 Bhutan 40
    77 Equatorial Guinea 40
    77 Comoros 40
    77 Burundi 40
    78 Eritrea 39
    78 Somalia 39
    79 Iraq 38
    79 Djibouti 38
    79 Afghanistan 38
    79 Nepal 38
    79 Ethiopia 38
    80 Solomon Islands 28
    80 Myanmar [Burma] 28
    80 South Sudan 28
    80 Sao Tome and Principe 28
    80 Palestinian Territories 28

    *Rankings are from Please or Register to view links, a financial firm that enables individuals, families and companies to invest abroad.

    This article originally appeared on Please or Register to view links and is republished here with permission
     
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