Until recently, the future of economic globalisation has been shaken by a series of political tremor. Whether it’s Donald Trump’s controversial travel ban or infamous Brexit. Irregardless people are taking more initiatives in improving their lives across the globe. People now are more aware and informed; perhaps technology and globalisation are making the world feel small and thoroughly explored. As a result, travelling internationally has never been so cheaper and easier than it was before.
Although, when it comes to International Travelling, where you are going may not matter as much as where you are coming from. Apparently, there are varying levels of “Travel Freedom”. While there are a lot of travelers able to get through customs and stay abroad for months or even years, others have to through expensive visas, rigid time limits or a time-consuming screening. You must be wondering (like I was once), why there is this disparity? Which countries have the most powerful passports? Is it a good idea to get a second citizenship?
Well, let’s say there is a class of students and the one that stands first with its overall achievements has the most powerful passport and so on. Similarly, the country’s passport reflects their international standing based on the number of countries their citizens can go without having to purchase a VISA in advance or on arrival. The countries which are usually in positive diplomatic terms with other nations have a more powerful passport. Since the leaders of such countries form an alliance, thus signing a bilateral visa covenant.
According to 2017 passport index, the world’s most popular online interactive tool, which collects displays and ranks the passports of the world, Singapore has one of the most powerful passports. Perhaps, its foreign policy has been based on the encouraging as many international alliances as possible. It is one of the most popular destinations for expats and offshore company formations. As result of its more than decent international standing, Singaporean passports holders can travel visa-free to 160+ countries in the world, including entire Europe, a zone where it is difficult to gain full access to.
Speaking of which (Europe), Germany stands first in international ranking, offering visa-free access to 176 countries. A supporter of global cooperation, Germany takes a leading role in solving global problems, like renewable energy resources, nuclear weapons etc.
However, building relationships with nations isn’t the sole way to gain global “Travelling Freedom”. China, as one of the fastest growing economy in East Asia, has recorded an increment in travel freedom of their citizens, as they are becoming wealthier in general. Many countries have eased their restrictions on the Chinese tourists simply because of the economic benefits they would likely bring with them.
As globalisation takes a hold, a powerful passport is now more critical now than ever. A strong passport determines the person’s ability to move freely all around the world which is often correlated to their economic opportunity, quality of life and general mobility. That being said, no matter where your passport’s from or how strong, some countries are notoriously difficult to enter, especially if you are of a certain nationality.