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Singaporeans now hold the world's most powerful passport

AsiaOne | Sean Yap | Wednesday, Apr 19, 2017

Photo: The Straits Times

Germany may be more than 500 times bigger than Singapore in size, but citizens in the 'little red dot' now stand toe-to-toe with their German counterparts as holders of the world's most powerful passport.

Singapore moved up one spot from second to joint-first with Germany in financial advisory firm's Arton Capital's Global Passport Power Rank 2017, which compares the passports of 193 United Nations member states and six territories.

In an update on its website, Arton Capital said that the change had come after Ukraine extended visa-on-arrival travel to Singapore passport holders for periods of 15 days.

As such, Singapore's visa-free score went up to 159, effectively making the Singapore passport as powerful as Germany's. The visa-free score represents the number of countries a passport holder can visit visa-free or with visa-on-arrival.

"Singaporeans can rejoice that their passport offers them first-class global mobility," Arton Capital said.

Read also: Singapore passport top in Asia for visa-free access

Photo: Internet screengrab

Germany holds a slight edge, however, as its passport gives holders visa-free travel to 125 countries, as compared to 122 countries for Singapore passport holders.

Nevertheless, the Singapore passport has a visa-on-arrival score of 37, compared to Germany's 34.

Singapore's move up to joint-first in the ranking leaves Sweden on its own in second with a visa-free score of 158.

Singapore also has the most powerful passport in Asia, of course, followed by South Korea (visa-free score of 157), Japan (156) and Malaysia (156).

At the other end of the scale, Afghanistan is deemed to have the world's least powerful passport, offering visa-free or visa-on-arrival access to just 24 countries or territories.

Earlier this year, the Singapore passport also reached a new high of fourth worldwide in another ranking of travel freedom, the Visa Restrictions Index.

The Index, published by Henley & Partners, has a different way of measuring how powerful a passport is.

seanyap@sph.com.sg

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