It’s official, Singapore now has the most powerful passport in the world.
With Paraguay removing its visa requirements for Singaporeans, travellers with a Singapore passport can now travel to 159 countries visa-free, says the 2017 Passport Index.
That’s 159 out of a total of 195 countries worldwide. Impressive.
The Passport Index ranks the strength of passports by allocating a “visa-free score” to each country based on the number of countries a passport holder can visit visa-free, or with visa on arrival.
It was developed by Arton Capital, a global financial advisory specialising in investor programmes for residence and citizenship around the world.
According to Arton Capital Singapore’s managing director Mr Philippe May, it is the “first time ever an Asian country has the most powerful passport in the world“, reported the Business Times.
The top ranks had historically been held by European countries, with Germany leading the pack for the last two years.
It is currently ranked second, with a visa-free score of 158.
Yes, it’s a close fight.
Mr May adds that Singapore’s rise is a “testament” of its “inclusive diplomatic relations and effective foreign policy”.
But while Singapore may have been climbing the ranks, possibly due to its strong diplomatic relations and foreign policy, the United States has been struggling since President Donald Trump took office.
Countries like Turkey and the Central African Republic recently revoked their visa-free status to US passport holders.
The United States is currently ranked sixth, with a visa-free score of 154 – on par with Malaysia, Ireland, and Canada.