Passports for 2022 that have the most power: Henley & Partners, London-based global citizenship and residence advisory firm, has released its first global citizenship and residence report on travel freedoms, which finds a growing gap between the global north and the global south.
During the 16-year history of the index, global mobility has narrowed more than ever due to increased barriers introduced by the Covid pandemic.
There are no temporary restrictions on travel in the index, so if we ignore current restrictions on travel, passport holders holding Japan or Singapore passports, for example, may, in theory, travel visa-free to 192 destination countries.
The top of the list is dominated by EU countries as usual, with France, Netherlands, and Sweden moving up one place to rank fourth alongside Austria and Denmark (with a score of 188). Fifth place is occupied by Ireland and Portugal (with a total of 187).
The United States and the United Kingdom have regained more ground since 2014 when they tied for the top spot. Among them are Switzerland, Norway, Belgium, and New Zealand, which share a history of isolationism or neutrality.
Among the No.7 nations are Australia, Canada, the Czech Republic, Greece, and Malta. All 10 nations are from Eastern Europe.
As a result of this, Hungary and Poland occupy the eighth and ninth spots, respectively, and Estonia, Latvia and Slovenia are in tenth place.
Immigration of Positives
In his report, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres stated that introducing tough travel restrictions against mainly African nations was like “travel apartheid,” and noted that the Omicron variant appeared late last year.
Over the past two decades, travel freedom levels have considerably increased despite pandemics.
57 out of 68 countries were accessible in 2006 without requiring an advance visa, based on the Henley Passport Index. Those numbers have almost doubled to 107 now.
Despite this, these new privileges are largely enjoyed by wealthy nations in Europe, North America, and Asia — passport holders from Angola, Cameroon, and Laos are entitled to enter only 50 of these countries.
The opening up of migration channels will be vital for post-pandemic recovery, says Christian H. Kaelin, chairman of Henley & Partners and creator of the passport index concept. “Passports and visas define opportunities for global mobility, one of the most important factors to determine social inequality,” he says. “In the same way that our skin color is arbitrary, so are the borders within which we are born and the documents we possess. To redistribute and rebalance human and material resources worldwide, wealthy states need to encourage positive migration inward.”
THE BEST PASSPORTS TO HOLD IN 2022 ARE:
Japan, Singapore (192 destinations)
Germany, South Korea (190)
Finland, Italy, Luxembourg, Spain (189)
Austria, Denmark, France, Netherlands, Sweden (188)
Ireland, Portugal (187)
Belgium, New Zealand, Norway, Switzerland, United Kingdom, United States (186)
Australia, Canada, Czech Republic, Greece, Malta (185)
Poland, Hungary (183)
Lithuania, Slovakia (182)
Estonia, Latvia, Slovenia (181)
THE WORST PASSPORTS TO HOLD
Several countries around the world have visa-free or visa-on-arrival access to fewer than 40 countries. These include:
North Korea (39 destinations)
Nepal and Palestinian territories (37)
The list by Henley & Partner is among several indices assembled by financial firms to evaluate global passports based on the access they grant citizens.
199 passports were ranked based on where their holders can travel without a visa according to the Henley Passport Index. Visa policy changes are reflected on the site in real-time throughout the year.
In addition to 193 United Nations member countries, Arton Capital’s Passport Index also includes six territories — ROC Taiwan, Macau (SAR China), Hong Kong (SAR China), Kosovo, Palestinian Territory, and the Vatican. Territory annexed to another country is excluded.
According to the index for 2022, the UAE is in the top spot, with a visa-free/visa upon arrival score of 160.