Based on the Henley Passport Index some passports of countries in Asia have become the most powerful tool to enter the countries mentioned without visa approval. This phenomenon reveals the fact that the position European passports shuffled down the passport power rankings. Asian countries are led by Japan and Singapore on top position and took over the positions of Germany and Finland.
In summary, the Japanese people may enter 191 countries with or without visa due to its leading position for three years. What are the most powerful passports and what their benefit to the owners?
The Definition of Passport Power
Based on the Henley Passport Index, the power of a passport is determined by data collection on the number of sovereign states and destinations of the citizen can go and visit without applying for a visa before.
The consideration for the stronger passport in the future will depend on a fundamental change in dealing with the status of the country. For example, Montenegro is expected to move up the rank in the years ahead because it has announced the program of a citizenship by investment, which means the global investors, can become Montenegro citizenship through the large investments.
The Pro and Cons Effects of Passport Power
Passport Power brings pro and contra effects dealing with the implementation. It is good globally for business trade, but on the other side, it brings some contra opinions among citizens who often go abroad. Some of the effects of passport power are summarized as follows:
1. A Trade for Passport Power
There is a question about whether a citizen could buy a powerful passport, and the question was comes because nowadays more than half of the world’s nations have a program of citizenship through investment. For example in Europe, Cyprus and Malta already have the program, but Austria does not. Austria only let the person acquire Austrian citizenship through certain investment schemes.
Cyprus offers citizenship for 2 million Euros for the real estate investment program. Based on the data, the global rich have spent an estimated investment until $2 billion on acquiring new nationalities. The high interest in getting citizenship through the programs is because it is generally global. The high interest mostly comes from the sovereign countries or states which have limited passport power. In summary, the answer to the previous question is you can ‘buy’ the passport through the citizenship-investment-program.
2. The Lowest Rank Country
The lowest rank countries for passports are Pakistan, Iraq, Syria, and Afghanistan which only score a 104 to 107. Even Afghanistan let their people travel only to 26 countries with visa on arrivals. Those countries sit on the lowest rank because of the needs of peace, reconciliation, reconstruction, and reintegration with the global international system to guarantee safe visa-free travel. Of course, those countries are also hard to do business worldwide due to the limited countries they can go to.
3. The Visa Freedom
Based on the research at the University of Pittsburgh and Syracuse University, there is a correlation between visa freedom and other liberties such as investment. As in trade freedom, the countries which sit on the top rank of investment freedom usually have more powerful passports. For instance, European states such as Malta, Austria, and Switzerland surely show that countries are business-friendly.
It means those states also come with a powerful passport. Besides the business and investment freedom, the citizen also gets personal freedom. Based on the Human Freedom Index, there is a strong correlation between travel freedom and personal freedom.
Finally, the passport power indeed matters for the global traveler. With the support of the excellent flight which opens many routes globally like Airpaz, the business traveler will hop to one country to another easily. Airpaz also offers simple features and promo tickets on its online reservation website.