Singapore cements its Asian country status after topping global passport rankings.
Singapore may be the smallest country in Southeast Asia, but it is one of the wealthiest countries in the region. Known for having a high standard of living and a breeding ground for luxurious lifestyles—the state also flexes its capabilities through international travel.
Moreover, Henley & Partners released this year’s global passport rankings through the Henley Passport Index. The index ranks all the passports according to the number of destinations their holders can access without a prior visa. The information is from International Air Transport Association (IATA), an organization that represents 300 airlines around the world. And this year, Singapore topped the list.
According to the list released by the Henley Passport Index, Singaporean passport holders can travel to 192 destinations out of 227 without a visa. This is considered a huge shake-up to the list since for the past five years, Japan topped the list. This year, Japan went from the first spot to the third—having 189 visa-free access to destinations.
Aside from Singapore topping the list, Germany, Italy, and Spain come second. The three European countries’ passport holders can visit 190 destinations visa-free.
Openness and Visa Access
In a press release, Henley & Partners opened an interesting conversation regarding visa access. One of the most important parts of their statement is identifying the correlation between a country’s openness and its passports’ power. According to Prof. Dr. Yossi Harpaz, a leading sociologist at Tel Aviv University. The openness of a country and its travel freedom is manifested in a complex, non-linear manner. “Nations’ diplomatic and socio-economic realities and strategic goals significantly impact these factors, resulting in a complex web of interrelations,” the sociologist said.
The CEO of Henley & Partners, Dr. Juerg Steffen, discussed improving passport power. “Visa policy is a significant lever that governments can use to positively impact and improve their passport’s power, making it even more attractive for foreign investors seeking citizenship or residence by investment opportunities,” the CEO said.
Banner photo via Instagram @visitsingapore and @bankpyt.