South Koreans now hold the most powerful passport in the world

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South Koreans officially hold the world’s most powerful passport along with a tiny city-state Singapore and a powerful EU nation, Germany. Other powerful nations such as United Kingdom holds 3rd most powerful passport while Canada and the United States of America hold 4th most powerful passport in the world. Other Asian passports in the top 20 include those of Japan, Malaysia, and Hong Kong.

The ranking comes as Uzbekistan, the Central Asian nation, has introduced a visa waiver program for nationals of South Korea and six other countries.

As the passport index shows, citizens of South Korea can now visit 161 countries with or without visa. This is very significant and an emotional moment for South Koreans because merely few decades ago, South Korea was one of the poorest nations in the world right after the Japanese occupation and the Korean War, which ended in 1953. In 1960s, an African nation Ghana had a higher GDP than South Korea.

It’s neighbor cousin country, North Korea, has a relatively weak passport coming at 85th at the passport ranking, ranked by Arton Capital, an international residence and citizenship advisory firm. It shows a real-time global ranking of the passports by updating the passport ranking frequently as new visa waivers and changes are implemented. North Korea’s passport ranking is ahead of few Asian countries such as Pakistan and Bangladesh.

How does the Index work?

By analyzing the access national passports have to countries around the world, the Passport Index assigns a “visa-free score” — the number of countries a passport holder can visit visa-free or with visa on arrival. It also takes the UN Human Development Index into account.
Passports of 193 United Nations member countries and six territories — ROC Taiwan, Macao (SAR China), Hong Kong (SAR China), Kosovo, Palestinian Territory and the Vatican — are considered for the index. Territories annexed to other countries are excluded.

Here are the 5 most powerful tiers of passports, based on the number of countries their holders can visit, according to Arton Capital:

1. Singapore, Germany, South Korea

2. Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Italy, France, Spain, Japan

3. Luxembourg, Norway, Netherlands, Belgium, Austria, Portugal, United Kingdom

4. Switzerland, Ireland, United States of America, Canada

5. Greece

See the rest of the rankings here.



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