Portugal once again appears in the top five of the list of the “strongest” passports in the world. According to the new update of “The Henley Passport Index” released this Tuesday, there are only 13 passports that give access to more countries without the need to apply for a visa in advance.
The Portuguese passport is again tied with the Irish one, both allowing holders to travel to 184 countries. It thus maintains the same position as the last update that was published at the beginning of the last quarter of 2021.
The conclusion is the report of the company Henley & Partners, a consultancy specializing in global citizenship and residency advice, which since 2006 compiles quarterly information on passports that make travel easier. 199 countries are analyzed.
“Travel apartheid” is intensifying
In the latest version, the strongest passports are those of Japan and Singapore, with holders having access to 192 countries.
The top 10 of the passports that provide greater mobility are dominated by the countries of the European Union, with only slight changes compared to the last edition. France, the Netherlands and Sweden moved up one position to fourth place.
The United Kingdom and the United States, which in 2014 shared the first place in this ranking, also regained some ground, currently being in sixth place. South Korea (2nd), New Zealand, Norway and Switzerland (6th), Australia and Canada (7th) are the other non-EU nations in the top 10.
In contrast, the “weakest” passport is that of Afghanistan, allowing its citizens access to only 26 countries (166 fewer countries than the first ranked). Among the last places are also Iraq (28) and Syria (29).
Although mobility has been increasing since the index was created in 2006, data from the new update confirm the existence of growing inequality in freedom of movement. “This apparent progress is masking a growing divide in mobility – and resulting access to opportunities – between citizens of wealthier countries in the north and those of lower-income countries in the south,” the report states.
The situation, say those responsible for the ranking, has been aggravated by the restrictions imposed due to the pandemic that created the biggest cleavage in global mobility recorded by the index in its 16 years of history. However, the most recent edition does not consider the temporary restrictions to combat covid-19.
About a month ago, António Guterres described the situation as a “travel apartheid”. The UN Secretary-General referred to the “injustice and immorality” with which the international community acted by closing borders to African countries in an unsuccessful effort to contain the Ómicron variant.
“Passports and visas are among the instruments with the greatest impact on social inequality worldwide, as they determine opportunities for global mobility”, corroborated the creator of the concept of this index and president of Henley & Partners, quoted by CNN. International. Christian H. Kaelin also defends the importance of opening mobility channels for the recovery of the pandemic.
“The borders within which we are born and the documents to which we are entitled are no less arbitrary than the color of our skin. Wealthier states need to encourage positive immigration in an effort to help redistribute and balance human and material resources globally.”
Top 10 of the strongest passports in the world
1. Japan, Singapore (192 territories)
2. Germany, South Korea (190)
3. Finland, Italy, Luxembourg, Spain (189)
4. Austria, Denmark, France, Netherlands, Sweden (188)
5. Ireland, Portugal (187)
6. Belgium, USA, New Zealand, Norway, Switzerland, UK (186)
7. Australia, Canada, Greece, Malta, Czech Republic (185)
8. Hungary, Poland (183)
9. Slovakia, Lithuania (182)
10. Slovenia, Estonia, Latvia (181)
Top 10 of the weakest passports in the world
104. North Korea (39)
105. Nepal and Palestine (37)
106. Somalia (34)
107. Yemen (33)
108. Pakistan (31)
109. Syria (29)
110. Iraq (28)
111. Afghanistan (26)
Fotos: Getty Images