New Zealand passport most powerful in the world, Singapore at 22nd spot

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New Zealanders should be proud as their country's passport has been named the world’s most powerful in a new ranking, which considers openness of travel between countries.

According to real-time global ranking tool The Passport Index, New Zealand passport overpowers 192 other passports of United Nation countries.

The index came at a time when borders between countries were mostly closed and traveling became more challenging for many across the globe.

"Covid-19 has caused a historic dive in the World Openness Score (WOS); Passport Index’ benchmark of open travel between countries," said the passport ranking organisation.

"Although active visa agreements were not changed, temporary entry bans and border closures resulted in a staggering decrease in the WOS. It has currently backtracked nearly half a decade [...] a 65 per cent decline within months." 

New Zealanders are granted visa-free access or allowed visa-on-arrival in 129 countries. It is said to be one the most successful countries in containing the virus.

Meanwhile, citizens of Germany, Austria, Luxembourg, Switzerland, Ireland, South Korea, Japan and Australia can have seamless travel experience in 128 countries.

On the other hand, Afghanistan and Iraq are the countries with the weakest passports, having scored only 31. Syria, Somalia and Yemen passport are slightly better, scoring 34, 35 and 36 respectively.

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Singapore passport ranked 2nd most powerful in the world, after Japan
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In the top-10 ranking of countries with the most powerful passports are Sweden, Belgium, France, Finland, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Lithuania, Norway, Iceland, Canada, Poland and Hungary, among others.

Singapore is ranked 22 on the list, coming just behind Malaysia and US at shared 21st spot in the ranking. According to the Passport Index, Singapore passport holders are allowed visa-free access to 61 countries and visa-on-arrival in 30 countries.