Australia Goes Up a Spot in the Henley & Partners Passport Index 2021
The based on exclusive data provided by the International Air Transport Association (IATA)
The global mobility gap between travel freedom is getting bigger and bigger. According to a recent report by Henley & Partners, the COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in the most significant global mobility gap in the last 16 years. The Henley Passport Index by the firm has monitored travel-friendly passports regularly since 2006.
Henley Passport Index
The Henley Passport Index does not consider any temporary restrictions. So, theoretically speaking, people who hold passports in Singapore and Japan can travel to 192 destinations without a visa. Hence, these two passports are used to rank among the top 2 on the index.
On the other hand, Afghan nationals have been on the lowest end of the passport index. That is because Afghan passport holders can only visit 26 countries without a visa. In the final quarter of 2021, the rankings are not much different.
Europe is dominating the ranking overall. In the second place, Germany and South Korea are tied together along with Finland, Luxembourg, Italy, and Spain in the third position. It is not surprising that European countries dominate the upper ranks on the passport index. That is particularly due to countries including Austria, France, Denmark, Portugal, Sweden, Netherlands, and Ireland.
Earlier this week, New Zealand announced that the country would favour vaccine certificates. It ranks alongside Switzerland and Belgium on the sixth spot on the passport index.
At the same time, the United Kingdom and the USA are now lower in the ranks. Although, these countries held the top spots in the passport index in 2014. Now, they stand on the 7th number alongside Greece, Norway, Czech Republic, and Malta. Passport holders from these countries can visit 186 destinations based on visa-on-demand or without a visa.
In the 8th place, we have Canada and Australia. That is one spot above as compared to the previous rankings, where Australia was on 9th. On the other hand, Hungary stands in the 9th spot. Then on the 10th spot in the passport index, we have countries including Slovakia, Poland, and Lithuania.
However, the Henley Passport Index report also acknowledges “growing inequalities” and makes suggestion that “restrictive policies initially introduced to contain the spread of COVID-19 are now being conveniently applied to contain mobility from the global south.”
Mehari Taddele Maru, from the United Nations University Institute on Comparative Regional Integration Studies, says that, “The global north has been enforcing aggressive migration containment strategies for some time now through the rigid application of border controls, undermining the movement of persons in various ways.”
“Covid-19-associated travel restrictions are new additions to the toolbox of migration containment instruments employed by the global north to curb mobility from the global south.”
Chair of Henley & Partners and creator of the passport index concept, Christian H. Kaelin, says that, “If we want to restart the global economy, it is critical that developed nations encourage inward migration flows, as opposed to persisting with outmoded restrictions,” he says. “Resourceful countries need to future-proof their economies by attracting and welcoming the upcoming generation.”
The most powerful passports for 2021:
1. Japan, Singapore (192 destinations)
2. Germany, South Korea (190)
3. Finland, Italy, Luxembourg, Spain (189)
4. Austria, Denmark (188)
5. France, Ireland, Netherlands, Portugal, Sweden (187)
6. Belgium, New Zealand, Switzerland (186)
7. Czech Republic, Greece, Malta, Norway, United Kingdom, United States (185)
8. Australia, Canada (184)
9. Hungary (183)
10. Lithuania, Poland, Slovakia (182)
The least powerful passports for 2021:
109. North Korea (39 destinations)
110. Nepal and Palestinian territories (37)
111. Somalia (34)
112. Yemen (33)
113. Pakistan (31)
114. Syria (29)
115. Iraq (28)
116. Afghanistan (26)
Henley & Partner’s passport index is created by financial firms to rank global passports according to the access they provide to their citizens.
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