The Maltese passport is ranked the eighth most powerful in the world, alongside Greece, the Czech Republic and Australia in Henley and Partners 2021 passport index.
Malta’s position rose from 9th place in 2020.
Henley & Partners, which used to be the sole concessionaire of Malta’s Individual Investor Programme before it was revamped, released its report last week.
Without taking temporary restrictions into account, Japan continues to hold the number one position on the index, with passport holders able to access 191 destinations around the world visa-free. This marks the third consecutive year that Japan has held the top spot, either alone or jointly with Singapore
Without taking temporary restrictions into account, Japan continues to hold the number one position on the index, with passport holders able to access 191 destinations around the world visa-free. This marks the third consecutive year that Japan has held the top spot, either alone or jointly with Singapore.
Asia Pacific (APAC) region countries’ dominance of the index — which is based on exclusive data from the International Air Transport Association (IATA) — now seems firmly established. Singapore sits in 2nd position, with access to 190 destinations, and South Korea holds onto 3rd place alongside Germany, with both having a visa-free/visa-on-arrival score of 189.
Slightly further down but still in the top 10, New Zealand is in 7th position, with visa-free access to 185 destinations, while Australia is in 8th position, with access to 184 destinations.
The ascendance of APAC countries in the Henley Passport Index rankings is a relatively new phenomenon.
Over the index’s 16-year history, the top spots were traditionally held by EU countries, the UK, or the US, and experts suggest that the APAC region’s position of strength will continue as it includes some of the first countries to begin the process of recovering from the pandemic.
Here are the top ten countries in order of ranking, and how many countries they can visit
1. Japan (191)
2. Singapore (190)
3. South Korea, Germany (189)
4. Italy, Finland, Spain, Luxembourg (188)
5. Denmark, Austria (187)
6. Sweden, France, Portugal, Netherlands, Ireland (186)
7. Switzerland, United States, United Kingdom, Norway, Belgium, New Zealand (185)
8. Greece, Malta, Czech Republic, Australia (184)
9. Canada (183)
10. Hungary (181)
With the US and the UK still facing significant challenges related to the virus, and the passport strength of both countries continuing to steadily erode, the balance of power is shifting.
Over the past seven years, the US passport has fallen from the number one spot to 7th place, a position it currently shares with the UK.
Due to pandemic-related travel constraints, travelers from both the UK and the US currently face major restrictions from over 105 countries, with US passport holders able to travel to fewer than 75 destinations, while UK passport holders currently have access to fewer than 70.
At the bottom-end of the list, here are Henley & Partners worst country passports
103. North Korea (39)
104. Libya, Nepal (38)
105. Palestinian territories (37)
106. Somalia, Yemen (33)
107. Pakistan (32)
108. Syria (29)
109. Iraq (28)
110. Afghanistan (26)
With COVID-19 heralding in a complete transformation of the aviation industry, the strength of one’s passport may become that much more important.
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