The Global advisory Firm Henley & Partners published the 2016 Visa Restriction index, an overall ranking based on how powerful countries passports are.
The Visa Restriction Index, published for 11 consecutive years, is the only index brought together in collaboration with the International Air Transport Association, which maintains the world’s largest Database of travel information.
How can you know how good is your passport compared to another ?
Simply put, the passports are sorted by the number of countries a citizen is able to visit without a visa « visa-free score ».
German Passport Ranked the Very Best, Afghan Worst
Germany ranked #1 the most powerful passport in the world this 2016 with freedom to visit up to 177 countries visa-fee. Meanwhile the Afghan passport, ranked #104, the worst for international travel with a score of only 25 countries.
UAE Staggering Jump in Ranking From 2014 to 2016
Interestingly, due to the improvement of it’s international relations, the power of the United Arab Emirates passport moved up from n° 55 in 2014 to n° 38 in 2016:
- 2016 : Rank #38 (visa-free access to 122 countries)
- 2015 : Rank #40 (visa-free access to 114 countries)
- 2014 : Rank #55 (visa-free access to 77 countries)
Between 2014 and 2016, the UAE passport gained visa-free access to 45 countries including the 26 Schengen countries, namely Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Hungary, Malta, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland.
It means that without applying for a visa, Emiratis can stay in Schengen zone countries for 90 days in any 180-day period.
Emiratis also have visa-free access to Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Romania, the Vatican, Andorra, San Marino and Monaco.
It’ll be interesting to see what will be the UAE ranking in the 2017 Visa Restriction Index.
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