Singaporen passport takes top spot – in a tie with Germany – in a global ranking of the world’s passports, Arton Capital said on its website.
Singaporeans can travel to 159 countries visa-free, up from 158 last year after Ukraine included Singapore to its visa-on-arrival programme.
According to the Global Passport Power Rank 2017 released on April 17, Ukraine’s revision placed Singapore in a tie with Germany.
In South Asian countries, Indian passport is the strongest, with 48 points, followed by Sri Lanka at 38 points. Bangladesh comes next with 37 points, while Pakistan has only 27 points.
The Pakistani passport, in fact, is ranked the second-last in the world, above only Afghanistan with 24 points.
However, there are still some countries where Pakistanis and Bangladeshis are given preference over Indians.
Two countries -- Djibouti and Nicaragua -- offer visa on arrival to Pakistan and Bangladesh passport holders, whereas Indians need visa beforehand.
There are three other countries -- Bahamas, Barbados, and Gambia -- where a Bangladesh passport holder can travel to visa-free, while both Indian and Pakistani passport holders need visa before travel.
In terms of individual ranking, however, Germany still edges out Singapore. German passport holders can travel without a visa to 125 countries and can get visa-on-arrival at 34 countries (adding up to total of 159).
Singapore passport holders can travel to 122 countries without a visa, and visa-on-arrival at 37 countries.
The visa-free score is derived from the number of visa-free and visa-on-arrival travel destinations, with the former carrying a higher weightage.
Sweden followed in second place with a visa-free score of 158.
Denmark, Finland, Italy, France, Spain, Norway, United Kingdom, South Korea and the US are in third place with a visa-free score of 157, which makes Singapore the most powerful passport to hold among Asian nations, followed by South Korea.
Malaysia and Japan are the other two countries that made the top 10, coming in at fourth place with a score of 156.
The Passport Index is developed by Arton Capital, a financial advisory firm specialising in investor programmes for residence and citizenship.
Arton Capital, which updates the index every year, specialises in investor programmes for residence and citizenship.
In a similar ranking by the Henley & Partners Visa Restrictions Index released last year, Singapore was ranked joint-fifth in travel freedom for the third year in a row. Germany came up tops in Henley & Partners' 2016 index as well. Sources: http://www.channelnewsasia.com/ http://www.khaleejtimes.com