We might only be one week into 2019, but Canada already has something to feel proud about: it 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 that grant visa-free access to each passport holder.
At the top of the list this year is the UAE, which takes first place ahead of last year’s number one ranked passport, Germany.
Singapore ranks third alongside Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Luxembourg, France, Italy, Netherlands, Spain, Norway, South Korea, and perhaps surprisingly, the USA.
At the bottom of the list is Afghanistan, followed by Iraq and Pakistan.
Canada now ties for the fourth most powerful passport with Belgium, Austria, Japan, Greece, Portugal, Switzerland, UK, and Ireland.
2015 – 6th place, visa-free score of 153
2016 – 6th place, visa-free score of 152
2017 – 4th place, visa-free score of 158
2018 – 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 that, despite a public perception of being a welcoming nation, Canada actually ranks rather low when it comes to receiving guests.
In the ‘welcoming countries’ ranking, Canada comes in at 74th — tying with Ghana — requiring visas from all but 54 other nations when opening our borders.