Germany and Singapore top the list, with Sweden, the U.K. and America close behind
With these passports, it’s easier for citizens of the world to pass go.
Arton Capital, an advisory firm that helps wealthy individuals acquire second passports and residencies recently released its index of the most powerful passports in the world. Germany continues its long run atop the list, though it splits number one billing this year with Singapore. Sweden is in second place, while Denmark, Finland, Italy, France, Spain, Norway, the U.K., South Korea and the U.S. share the third spot.
At the other end of the table are countries that have been mired by conflict or war. Afghanistan is rock bottom, only narrowly surpassed by Pakistan, Iraq, Syria and Somalia.
Citizens of Europe’s largest economy and the wealthy Southeast Asian city-state don’t need to apply for visas ahead of visiting 159 countries. Singapore climbed up the rankings this year because Ukraine recently allowed holders of the bright red passport into its visa-on-arrival program. Swedes have easy access to 158 countries, while Americans and British subjects can enter 157 nations without much bother.
Small Pacific island states were also big winners in this year’s stakes, with the Marshall Islands acquiring better access to 35 countries over the year before, and Palau and Micronesia 34. 15 countries including Cambodia and the Ivory Coast, were ranked the most welcoming in the world. They offered 198 other countries visa-free access past their borders
Arton’s index consists of 193 United Nations member nations, as well as six other self-governing territories, including Taiwan and the Vatican, that issue their own passports. It was based on factors including how many countries a passport holder has visa-free or visa on arrival access to, with those having more visa-free access edging out the latter. In event of a tie, the consultancy also looked at the UN Development Programme Human Development Index, calling it a “significant measure on the country’s perception abroad.”
© 2017 Dow Jones & Company, Inc. All Rights Reserved