World’s most powerful passport list impacted by Ukraine conflict

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(CNN) – The closure of airspace due to Russia’s military invasion and the opening of borders for Ukrainian refugees have begun to affect global travel freedoms, according to recent data on the world’s most travel-friendly passports.

While there has been a slight shift at the top of the list of countries with so-called powerful passports – the countries with the most visa-free travel options in the world – the recent conflict has begun to shake things down. Index compiled by Henley & Partners, a London-based global citizenship and housing advisory firm.

Since the war broke out in late February, many countries have either revised their entry policies or waived visa requirements for Ukrainian passport holders altogether, meaning that Ukraine has reached a record high in the report.

Meanwhile, the European Union, the United States and Canada have banned all Russian operators from their airspace, while in some places visas are no longer issued to Russian citizens, “effectively condemning Russian passports for junk status in most of the developed world,” reports Hanley. Says by End Partners.

Although Russia’s position on the list has not yet been dramatically affected, the report suggests that this is likely to change in the coming months.

Generation Hanley Passport IndexHas been regularly inspecting the world’s most travel-friendly passports since 2006, based on specific data provided by the International Air Transport Association (IATA).

In the list for the second quarter of 2022, Ukraine rose one place to 34th in the index and its citizens can now travel to 143 visa-free (or visa-on-arrival) destinations. Russia ranks 49th, down four places with open travel to 117 countries – the situation is expected to worsen once visa suspensions and sanctions are formalized.

According to the report, the latest movements clearly indicate “the deepening of the war and perhaps the irreversible effect on freedom of movement”.

The top spot in the index is the same as before, with Japan and Singapore in first place. Holders of these passports may in principle travel to 192 visa-free destinations, but it is worth noting that these do not take into account the temporary restrictions.

Afghan citizens once again sit at the bottom of the index, and can enter only 26 countries without the need for a visa in advance.

Europe dominates again

Further down in the top 10, South Korea is still in second place with Germany, with a score of 190, and Finland, Italy, Luxembourg and Spain are all in third place with a score of 189.

While Austria, Denmark, the Netherlands and Sweden are in fourth place with a score of 188, France has slipped to fifth place.

The UK, which last month lifted all remaining Covid-19-related sanctions, has moved up one place to fifth with a score of 117, along with France, as well as Ireland and Portugal.

The United States ranks sixth with a score of 186, along with Belgium, New Zealand, Norway and Switzerland.

Australia, Canada, the Czech Republic, Greece and Malta all reunited at 185, with the seventh ranked unchanged.

In eighth place, Hungary sits alone with a score of 183, while Poland slips from eighth to ninth place in the list with a score of 182, sharing a place with Lithuania and Slovakia. Estonia, Latvia and Slovenia are out of the top ten. , With a score of 181.

Fear of climate change displacement

The report notes that the Russia-Ukraine situation is a stark reminder of the world’s instability, the way violence and conflict can lead to mass displacement, and how much your passport can affect your status.

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“As the value of Russian passports plummets and the world opens its doors to Ukrainians, it is abundantly clear that the passport you hold determines your fate and dramatically affects the opportunities you have,” said Hanley End. Christian H. Callie wrote. Partners and creators of the Passport Index Concept.

“It is impossible to predict what the world will look like in the shadow of the new Cold War, while the latest indicator suggests that divisions between Russia and most of the Western world will only grow.”

However, the findings also suggest that the effects of climate change will be a catalyst for displacement over the next 25 years, especially in less economically developed countries.

Professor Dr. Khalid Kosar, executive director of the Global Community Engagement and Resilience Fund (GCERF) nonprofit and a member of the governing board of the Andaman Foundation in Switzerland, which helps displaced people, points out that the death toll from the floods is 15 times higher. , And storms “in the most vulnerable regions, including Africa, South Asia, and parts of Central and South America,” than the rest of the world.

Experts also point out that we can see a significant increase in international travel, which has been severely affected by the Kovid-19 epidemic.

Forecasts indicate that by 2050 there will be a demand of 10 billion passengers, a significant increase from the pre-epidemic figure of about four billion.

According to Sebastian Mikoz, vice president of environment and sustainability at the airline industry body IATA, the growth is likely to come from “passengers who have never before had the opportunity to fly in Asia, Africa and Latin America”.

“We are indebted to this next generation of flyers for finding sustainable solutions so that they can enjoy and benefit from air travel as we have done so far,” Mikos adds.

The best passports to keep in 2022 are:

1. Japan, Singapore (192 places)

2. Germany, South Korea (190)

3. Finland, Italy, Luxembourg, Spain (189)

4. Austria, Denmark, Netherlands, Sweden (188)

5. France, Ireland, Portugal, United Kingdom (187)

Belgium, New Zealand, Norway, Switzerland, United States (186)

7. Australia, Canada, Czech Republic, Greece, Malta (185)

8. Hungary (183)

9. Lithuania, Poland, Slovakia (182)

10. Estonia, Latvia, Slovenia (181)

Worst passport to keep

Some countries in the world have visa-free or visa-on-arrival access in less than 40 countries. These include:

105. North Korea (39 places)

106. Nepal and the Palestinian Territories (37)

107. Somalia (34)

108. Yemen (33)

109. Pakistan (31)

110. Syria (29)

111. Iraq (28)

112. Afghanistan (26)

Other indicators

The Henley & Partner list is one of the few indicators created by financial companies to rank global passports according to their citizens’ access.

The Hanley Passport Index ranks 199 passports according to the number of destinations their holders can access without a previous visa. It is updated in real time throughout the year, when and when a change in visa policy takes effect.

Orton Capital Passport Index Considers passports of 193 UN member states and six territories – ROC Taiwan, Macau (SAR China), Hong Kong (SAR China), Kosovo, Palestinian Territory and Vatican. Territories connected to other countries are excluded.

The United Arab Emirates tops its 2022 index with a visa-free / visa-on-arrival score of 160.

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