As the Coronavirus pandemic keeps the majority of borders across the world shut and travel restricted, the world’s most powerful passports remain almost powerless, with their holders unable to travel.
In a recent report published by Henley Global – a residence and citizenship planning firm – it is estimated that while the parts of the globe gradually begin to slowly open up, the focus is on what travel freedom will look like in a post–Coronavirus world, bringing the attention to passports that enabled its holders to travel to almost two hundred countries, but now that number has drastically dropped for only a few months.
“For instance, before Covid-19 the US passport usually ranked within the top 10 on the Henley Passport Index in 6th or 7th place, with its citizens able to access 185 destinations around the world without requiring a visa in advance,” referring to the Index which is a list of world passports, which ranks passports from the most powerful to the weakest, based on how many other countries one can visit with that passport visa-free or with a visa-on-arrival/e-visa.
The report further notes that the US’s dramatic drop in passport power means that its passport holders find themselves with a similar level of travel freedom with the citizens of Mexico – 25th on the Index, eligible to travel to 159 countries without a visa – current travel bans notwithstanding, albeit temporarily.
The Chairman of Henley & Partners and the inventor of the passport index concept Christian H. Kaelin asserts that the recent decision of the EU to reopen borders to only a limited number of non-EU/EEA countries, and at the same time leaving out the US, will have far-reaching effects.
“Look at the US passport, for example — in 2014, it held the number one spot in the world on our index, but US nationals currently have far less travel freedom than most citizens of other wealthy, industrialized nations and even of some less-developed nations, being effectively locked out of Europe,” Kaelin asserts.
By schengenvisainfo news
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