Revealed: World’s most and least powerful passports

The UAE tops the GCC ranking with a visa free score of 122



A new list of the world’s most and least powerful passports has been released, ranking them for the ease of travel they offer.

The latest edition of the Passport Index by Arton Capital ranks national passports by the cross-border access they bring, assigning a “visa-free score” according to the number of countries a passport holder can visit visa-free or with visa on arrival.

Regionally, the UAE tops the GCC ranking with a visa free score of 122 (and a global rank of 26), followed by Kuwait (visa free score of 81), and Qatar with a score of 77.

Not surprisingly, the lowest-scoring MENA countries on list were found to be Iraq and Syria.

Marshall Islands saw the biggest change in the last year, adding 35 countries to its visa-free score. Palau and Micronesia followed with 34 additional countries, while Solomon Islands and Tuvalu added 33.

John Hanafin, CEO of Arton Capital said: “The desire to improve opportunity and security transcends borders. As such, having a second citizenship has never been more relevant.”

In recent years, citizenship by investment has become a $2bn industry, with over 20,000 investors seeking a second residency or citizenship around the globe very year.

The index also added a new World Openness Score which tracks the progression of freedom of mobility across the globe. The world openness score rose to 17,948 in the first few days of 2017 from 17,925 in 2016.

“This trend shows opening of borders but will it continue? With the recent backlash against globalisation and ongoing immigration issues, the World Openness Score may be in danger of decline,” the report added.

Top 10 most powerful passports

1. Germany
Visa free score: 157

2. Singapore, Sweden
Visa free score: 156

3. Denmark, Finland, France, Spain, Switzerland, Norway, UK, US
Visa free score: 155

4. Italy, Netherlands, Belgium, Austria, Luxembourg, Portugal, Japan
Visa free score: 154

5. Malaysia, Ireland, Canada, New Zealand
Visa free score: 153

6. Greece, South Korea, Australia
Visa free score: 152

7. Czech Republic, Iceland
Visa free score: 151

8. Hungary
Visa free score: 150

9. Malta, Poland
Visa free score: 149

10. Slovenia, Slovakia, Lithuania, Latvia
Visa free score: 148

Top 10 least powerful passports

1. Afghanistan
Visa free score: 23

2. Pakistan
Visa free score: 26

3. Iraq
Visa free score: 28

4. Syria
Visa free score: 29

5. Somalia
Visa free score: 30

6. South Sudan, Etiopia
Visa free score: 34

7. Sri Lanka, Bangladesh
Visa free score: 35

8. Iran, Eritrea, Sudan
Visa free score: 36

9. Palestinian territories, Nepal, Libya
Visa free score: 37

10. Lebanon
Visa free score: 38

Top 10 most powerful passports in the GCC region

1. UAE
Visa free score: 122
Global rank: 26

2. Kuwait
Visa free score: 81
Global rank: 49

3. Qatar
Visa free score: 77
Global rank: 50

4. Bahrain
Visa free score: 72
Global rank: 53

5. Oman
Visa free score: 69
Global rank: 55

6. Saudi Arabia
Visa free score: 66
Global rank: 57

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