Singapore can now boast of having the most powerful passport in the world, with the top visa-free score of 159.
This is the first time that an Asian country has earned the top spot in a passport index developed by global advisory firm Arton Capital.
The top spot for Singapore came as Paraguay removed visa restrictions for Singaporeans, making the Republic edge out of Germany. Since early 2017, Singapore has tied for number one position with Germany. But Singapore obtained a visa-free score of 159 in the latest rankings released today while Germany achieved a visa-free score of 158, according to the index.
Lauding the performance, Philippe May, managing director of Arton Capital's Singapore office, said, “It is a testament of Singapore's inclusive diplomatic relations and effective foreign policy.”
The passport index ranks national passports by the cross-border access they bring, assigning a visa-free score according to the number of countries a passport holder can visit visa-free or with visa on arrival.
In the past, the top ten most powerful passports in the world were mostly European. Germany was leading the index for the past two years.
Other Asian passports in the top 20 include those of South Korea, Japan and Malaysia.
It is interesting to note that the US passport has fallen down since President Donald Trump took office. It now has a score of 154, on a par with Malaysia, Ireland and Canada. Recently Turkey and the Central African Republic revoked their visa-free status to US passport holders.
Armand Arton, founder and president of Arton Capital, said, “Visa-free global mobility has become an important factor in today's world. More and more people every year invest hundreds of thousands of dollars in a second passport to offer better opportunity and security for their families.”