Passport Index’s yearly assessment of how powerful a country’s passport has been released and there is some good news for citizens of Korea, but less good news for those from the U.S.
The passports are ranked based on how many countries holders can visit without needing to apply for a visa in advance (ie: they don’t need a visa, or can get a visa on arrival).
The most powerful passport in 2017 is that of Singapore due to to the fact that a Singaporean passport allows visa-free access to 159 countries. This year is the first time an Asian country has come out on top as it beat out last year’s leaders Germany and Sweden.
Good news for holders of a Korean passport
Germany are now in second place on the list. The good news for South Korean passport holders is that they are joint third with Sweden due to the fact that they have visa-free access to 157 countries.
Fourth spot is taken up jointly by eight countries including the U.K. and Japan, while six European countries are tied in fifth spot.
The U.S has slipped down to sixth spot on the list, joint with Malaysia, Ireland, and Canada. While sixth spot still allows visa-free access to 154 countries, this position is quite a slip from the 2015 ranking when the U.S. and U.K. shared the top spot.
This comes after Turkey and the Central African Republic recently revoked visa-free entry rights for holder's of U.S passports.
The least powerful passport on the list is Afghanistan, which only has visa-free access to 22 countries.
Perhaps the biggest winners this year, however, are residents of the Marshall Islands who gained access to a massive 35 more countries than last year!
This comes after the island nation reached an agreement with the EU and its member states.
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