Nigeria has emerged 95th with Japan topping the list of most powerful passport in the world. This is according to the latest quarterly report released by Global Citizenship and Residence Advisory firm, Henley and Partners, on 2020 list of world’s most powerful passports. Afghanistan as the weakest passport in the globe.
Nigeria dropped 19 place in the ranking coming into the beginning of the new decade just as many other African countries also suffered drop in positions with only Seychelles and Mauritius in the top 50. According to the report, Japan is the most – friendly country, offering visa-free or visa-on-arrival access to 191 destinations across the world. Singapore is placed second, with 190 destinations while South Korea and Germany share the third position jointly, with 189 destinations.
Others on the top 10 list include: Italy and Finland on joint fourth with 188 destinations; Spain, Luxembourg, and Denmark on fifth with 187 destinations; Sweden and France on joint sixth with 186 destinations; Switzerland, Portugal, Netherlands, Ireland, and Austria on seventh with 185 destinations; United States, United Kingdom, Norway, Greece, and Belgium on eighth with 184 destinations; New Zealand, Malta, Czech Republic, Canada, and Australia on ninth with 183 destinations and Slovakia, Lithuania, and Hungary 10th position with 181 destinations.
The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has been the index’s biggest success story of the past decade, climbing 47 places over the past 10 years to sit in 18th place, with a visa-free or visa-on-arrival score of 171. According to Henley and Partners’ head of Southeast Asia and manager partner, Dominic Volek: “Countries that embrace this new reality of global mobility are thriving, with their citizens enjoying ever-increasing passport power and travel freedom, as well as the array of benefits that come with it.”
The report notes, however, that there is a growing divide when it comes to travel freedom and this mobility gap is now the widest it’s ever been since the index’s inception in 2006. A Japanese passport holder can access 165 more destinations than a holder of the world’s weakest passport, that of Afghanistan, which offers visa-free/visa-on-arrival access to just 26 destinations. Several countries around the world have visa-free or visa-on-arrival access to fewer than 40 countries.
These include: North Korea, and Sudan on 100 position with 39 destinations; Nepal, and Palestinian Territory on 101 position with 38 destinations; Libya on 102 position with 37 destinations; Yemen on 103 position with 33 destinations; Somalia, and Pakistan on 104 position with 32 destinations; Syria on 105 position with 29 destinations; Iraq on 106 position with 28 destinations and Afghanistan on 106 position with 26 destinations. Henley & Partner’s list is one of several indexes created by financial firms to rank global passports according to the access they provide to their citizens.
The Henley Passport Index is based on data provided by the International Air Transport Authority (IATA) and covers 199 passports and 227 travel destinations. It is updated in real time throughout the year, as and when visa policy changes come into effect. Arton Capital’s Passport Index takes into consideration the passports of 193 United Nations member countries and six territories – ROC Taiwan, Macau (SAR China), Hong Kong (SAR China), Kosovo, Palestinian Territory and the Vatican. Territories annexed to other countries are excluded. Its 2020 index puts the UAE on top with a “visa-free score” of 179, followed by Germany, Finland, Luxembourg and Spain with 172.