With Paraguay having removed visa requirements for Singaporeans, the Asian country now boasts the strongest passport in the world, according to residency and citizenship solutions provider Arton Capital’s Passport Index – a system that ranks travel documents by the number of countries that can be visited without having to apply for a visa.
The visa-free score of 159, which represents the number of countries a passport holder can visit visa-free or with visa on arrival, Singapore overtakes Germany in terms of passport strength.
Historically, the top 10 most powerful passports in the world were mostly European, with Germany having the lead for the past two years. Since early 2017, the number one position was shared with Singapore, which was steadily going up. Other Asian passports in the top 20 include those of South Korea, Japan and Malaysia.
According to Philippe May, MD of Arton Capital’s Singapore office, “For the first time ever, an Asian country has the most powerful passport in the world.”
While Singapore quietly climbed the ranks, the US passport has fallen down since Trump took office. Most recently Turkey and the Central African Republic revoked their visa-free status to US passport holders.
New Top 10 Passport Power Ranking:
- Singapore – 159
- Germany – 158
- Sweden, South Korea – 157
- Denmark, Finland, Italy, France, Spain, Norway, Japan, United Kingdom – 156
- Luxemburg, Switzerland, Netherlands, Belgium, Austria, Portugal – 155
- Malaysia, Ireland, Canada, United States of America – 154
- Austria, Greece, New Zealand – 153
- Malta, Czech Republic, Iceland – 152
- Hungary – 150
- Slovenia, Slovakia, Poland, Lithuania, Latvia – 149
South Africa has a visa score ranking of 93, placing it 49th on the global power rank list
Currently, those holding a South African passport can access 62 countries visa-free, with an additional 29 countries operating a visa-on-arrival system.
These are the countries South African passport holders can access without a visa:
|Antigua and Barbuda||Fiji||Lesotho||Saint Lucia|
|Barbados||Grenada||Malaysia||St. Vincent and the Grenadines|
|Brazil||Honduras||Namibia||Trinidad and Tobago|
|El Salvador||Kosovo||Saint Kitts and Nevis|
|Visa on arrival|
|Cambodia (eVisa)||Iran||Nepal||Turkey (eVisa)|
|Cote d’Ivoire (Ivory Coast) (eVisa)||Laos||Rwanda|
|Electronic Travel Authority (eTA) entry|