Kiwis have the most powerful passports in the world, new rankings show

New Zealand passport in selective focus effect held  with background flag of country

Our soon-to-be trans-Tasman travel ‘bubble’ buddy has claimed top spot as the nation offering the most powerful passport in the world.

The Passport Index by Arton Capital (not to be confused with the Henley & Partners Passport Index, which is backed by data from the International Air Transport Association) ranks the world’s passports based on their mobility.

Therefore, the more countries a passport allows its owner to enter – without a visa, with visa on arrival, or with a visa in advance – the higher that nation’s passport is ranked on the list.

The latest rankings on the Passport Index have seen New Zealand climb to the top with a mobility ranking of 129 overall. According to Arton Capital, Kiwi passports allow their owners to enter 86 countries visa-free, 43 with visa on arrival, and 69 countries where visas are required.

While eight countries have shared second place with scores of 128: Germany, Austria, Luxembourg, Switzerland, Ireland, Japan, South Korea, and Australia.

Australian passport holders can enter as many as 85 countries visa-free. Aussies can also enter 43 with visa on arrival, while 70 nations require us to have a visa in advance.

However, Australia’s score did not reportedly factor in that Australians cannot leave the country.

Sweden, Belgium, France, Finland, Italy, and Spain shared third place with scores of 127.

However, the rankings highlight the disparity between nations, with the world’s average mobility score for passports at 75, while the median sits at 66.

The three lowest ranking passports belong to Iraq (31), Afghanistan (31), and Syria (34), while Somalia (35) and Yemen (36) sit just above.

Earlier this year, the Passport Index ranked the best passports of the decade, with European nations found to have offered some of the most mobile passports to their citizens over the last 10 years.

The Passport Index also identified a common trend in island nations, which slowly climbed the ranks as the fastest-growing passports.

One notable absence from that list was the United States. Under the Trump Administration, the American passport has received little to no attention.

In the 2020 Passport Index, the US was ranked 21st with 92 points, alongside Malaysia.

To view the latest rankings in full, click here.

Featured image source: iStock/brians101

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