Dubai, United Arab Emirates (CNN) – The closure of airspace has weighed on global travel freedoms, as a result of Russian military aggression, and the opening of borders to Ukrainian refugees, according to the latest data compatible with the most travel-friendly passports in the world.
While the countries that occupy the first ranks in the list of the most powerful passports in the world were not significantly affected in terms of options to travel to the countries of the world without an entry visa, the recent conflict began to change things whenever the country’s rank fell on the list set by the global consulting company for citizenship and residency. Henley & Partners, based in London.
Since the outbreak of war at the end of February, many countries have modified their entry policies or dropped visa requirements for Ukrainian passport holders entirely, which means that Ukraine has risen to a record level in the report.
Meanwhile, the European Union, the United States, and Canada have banned all Russian operators from their airspace, while some countries have refrained from issuing visas to Russian citizens, “which effectively condemns the Russian passport to an unwanted status in most parts of the developed world.” ”, according to a report by global citizenship and residency advisory firm Henley & Partners.
Although this matter has not significantly affected Russia’s position on the list so far, the report suggested that this may change in the coming months.
The company’s Henley & Partners Passport Index has been regularly assessing the world’s most travel-friendly passports since 2006, based on exclusive data provided by the International Air Transport Association.
In the list of the second quarter of 2022, Ukraine advanced one rank, to become 34th in the index list, and its citizens can now travel to 143 countries without a visa or obtain a visa on arrival. As for Russia, it fell four places to 49th, with a total of 117 countries, and the situation is expected to worsen when the suspension of visa grants and imposition of sanctions becomes official.
The report pointed out that this change clearly indicates “the deep and lasting impact of the war on freedom of movement.”
The top of the index remained unchanged, with Japan and Singapore topping the list. Thus, holders of these two passports can go to 192 countries without a visa in theory, but without taking into account temporary measures.
Afghan nationals are at the bottom of the index again, and can visit only 26 countries without the need for a prior visa.
Europe at the fore again
South Korea and Germany still share the second place, with a total of 190 countries. Finland, Italy, Luxembourg and Spain share the third place with a total of 189 countries, while Austria, Denmark, the Netherlands and Sweden share the fourth place with a total of 188 countries.
France fell to fifth place, which it shares with the United Kingdom, which advanced one place after dropping restrictions on “Covid-19” last month, and Ireland and Portugal, with a total of 187 countries.
And the United States remained in sixth place, with a total of 186 countries, and it is shared with Belgium, New Zealand, Norway and Switzerland.
The seventh place was unchanged, with Australia, Canada, the Czech Republic, Greece and Malta remaining, with a total of 185 countries.
Hungary ranked eighth, with a total of 183 countries, while Poland fell to ninth place on the list, to be shared with Lithuania and Slovakia, with a total of 182 countries. Estonia, Latvia and Slovenia ranked tenth with a total of 181 countries.
Fears of displacement due to climate change
The report pointed out that the situation between Russia and Ukraine demonstrated how fragile the world is, how violence and conflict cause mass displacement, and the impact of the passport on the location of the holder.
“With the Russian passport rapidly declining in value and the world opening its doors to Ukrainians, it is clear that the passport you hold determines your destiny, and significantly affects your opportunities,” wrote Christian Kaelin, Chairman of Henley & Partners and inventor of the passport index concept. .
He continued, “While it is impossible to predict what the world will look like in a new Cold War, the latest indication reveals that the rift between Russia and much of the Western world will only increase.”
However, the findings also indicate that the impact of climate change will prove to be the driving force for displacement in the next 25 years, particularly in economically underdeveloped countries.
Professor Khaled Koser, Executive Director of the non-profit Global Community Engagement and Resilience Fund (GCERF) and a board member of the Swiss Andan Foundation that supports displaced people, explained that 15 times more people died in floods, droughts and storms “in the most vulnerable areas.” Therefore, including parts of Africa, South Asia, Central and South America”, compared to the rest of the world.
Experts also noted that we are likely to see significant growth in international travel, which has been significantly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The best passports for 2022 are:
- Japan and Singapore (192 countries)
- Germany, South Korea (190)
- Spain, Italy, Finland and Luxembourg (189)
- Sweden, Denmark, Austria, and the Netherlands (188)
- Ireland, Portugal, France, and the United Kingdom (187)
- Belgium, New Zealand, Norway, Switzerland, and the United States (186)
- Australia, Canada, Czech Republic, Greece, Malta (185)
- Hungary (183)
- Lithuania, Bolanda, Vaslofakia (182)
- Estonia, Latvia, and Slovenia (181)
The worst passports of 2022:
Many countries have the ability to enter less than 40 countries without a visa or with a visa on arrival:
104. North Korea (39 countries)
105. Nepal and the Palestinian Territories (37)
106. Somalia (34)
107. Yemen (33)
108. Pakistan (31)
109. Syria (29)
110. Iraq (28)
111. Afghanistan (26)
The Henley & Partners list is one of several indices created by financial firms to rank global passports according to the access they provide to their citizens.
The Henley & Partners Passport Index ranks 199 passports for travel around the world based on the number of countries and territories their holders can travel to without a visa or with a visa on arrival, and is updated in real time throughout the year, when visa policy changes take effect.
The Passport Index of global financial advisory firm Arton Capital takes into account the 193 member states of the United Nations and six territories, namely, the Republic of China, Taiwan and Macau (China), Hong Kong (China), Kosovo, the Palestinian Territories and the Vatican. Areas annexed to other countries are excluded.
The United Arab Emirates topped the Passport Index index, with a total of 160 countries without a visa or a visa on arrival.