We might only be one week into 2018, but Canada already has something to feel proud about: it now has the fourth most powerful passport in the world.
So what makes a passport powerful and why should you care?
It’s all about global mobility; the freedom to travel and move around the world, and according to The Passport Index created by Arton Capital, it’s based on the number of countries which grant visa-free access to each passport holder.
Another significant move is that Germany surpassed Singapore to re-take the number one spot out of the 92 rankings assigned from a pool of 199 countries considered.
The powerful ranking is a reflection of the country’s positive diplomatic relations and affords its citizens visa-free border crossing at 161 countries.
At the bottom of the list is Afghanistan, whose passport holders are limited to just 25 countries that allow them to breeze through borders without being subjected to heavy vetting. Afghanistan’s visa-free boarder ranking is up three spots since October.
Canada now ties for the fourth most powerful passport with Switzerland, South Korea, Japan, Ireland, and the United States with a VFS (visa-free score) of 158, which is Canada’s highest visa-free score to date.
2015 – 6th place, visa-free score of 153
2016 – 6th place, visa-free score of 152
2017 – 4th place, visa-free score of 158
While the Canadian passport is already one of the most respected and desired passports in the world it’s still not the most powerful.
According to Hrant Boghossian, a spokesperson for Passport Index, it’s surprising that more countries currently don’t welcome Canadian passport holders to enter without a visa.
“Canada has an extremely positive global brand and we are surprised that not more countries allow Canadian passport holders to enter visa-free,” says Boghossian.
Perhaps what’s most surprising is how, despite public perception of being a welcoming nation, Canada actually ranks rather low when it comes to reciprocating.
When it comes to welcoming others into our country, Canada ranks 79th tieing with Namibia, requiring visas from all but 53 other nations when opening our borders.
Will 2018 see Canada overtake Germany and claim the world’s most powerful passport title? Nothing is impossible.