Every year the Global Passport Index releases its an annual ranking of the world’s most powerful passports. This year sees some surprises such as the United Arab Emirates topping the ranking, while others have slipped some places and lost power, eg: New Zealand and the United Kingdom.
United Arab Emirates surprise climb to the top after being placed 10th in July, is based on the government’s push to create the number one passport in the world by 2021 (and well surpassing this mark). This year’s top 10 doesn’t include too many other nasty surprises, but what’s interesting is the rise of the developing world’s passports as the world becomes more accessible, and previous hermit nations (Uzbekistan) open up to the world.
Best Passports for 2019
The following reveals the best places to have citizenship (Global Passport Index: January 2019):
- United Arab Emirates (167)
- Germany (166)
- Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Singapore, Luxembourg, France, Italy, Netherlands, Spain, Norway, South Korea, United States of America (165)
- Belgium, Austria, Greece, Portugal, Switzerland, Japan, United Kingdom, Ireland, Canada (164)
- Czech Republic, Hungary (164)
- Malta, Iceland (162)
- Slovenia, Poland, Lithuania, Slovakia, Latvia, New Zealand, Australia (161)
- Malaysia, Estonia (160)
- Romania, Bulgaria (158)
- Cyprus, Liechtenstein (157)
Worst Passports for 2019
And the worst places to live this year:
- Afghanistan (29)
- Iraq (32)
- Pakistan (35)
- Syria (36)
- Somalia (38)
- Yemen (39)
- Sudan, Iran (42)
- Bangladesh (43)
- Palestine, Eritrea, Ethiopia (44)
- Libya, Lebanon, Sri Lanka (45)
While many of last year’s bottom remain in the same position, there has been a rise in countries offering visa-free access. While Afghanistan sits at the bottom with 29 visa free nations, it has improved from last year.
This year sees many countries opening up on the African continent and offering e-visa options for visitors, including Angola which launched its ambitious project last year to join the Southern African union of KAZA which currently hosts members of Zambia, Zimbabwe and Botswana.
In the New Year, Uzbekistan who previously launched an e-visa in 2018, have announced that from February, 45 nations will move into the visa free category, allowing the recipients the opportunity to visit for 30 days visa free, which falls into line with other Central Asian nations also offering generous visa free options, such as Kyrgyzstan (60 days), and Kazakhstan (30 days) too many nations.
This year will see nation’s on the African continent enter into a free visa access program implemented by the AU (African Union), which allow African citizens the chance to roam freely around the continent like never before.
And as the EU looks to launch its ETIAS program from 2021, we will see nations become more open, and travel to become more accessible to the masses.