Getty Images/iStockphoto
Stacey Leasca
November 06, 2017

Singapore’s passport is officially the new most powerful passport in the world.

In its annual report, the Passport Index, which was created by international residence and citizenship advisory firm Arton Capital, announced that the island city-state has officially moved ahead of Germany, a country that it previously tied with, as the world’s most powerful.

Related: What Your Passport's Color Really Means

The new rankings mark the first time a country in Asia has had the most powerful passport on the index.

As the Passport Index explained, a person with a Singapore passport can now visit 159 countries with or without a visa.

According to Fortune, what put Singapore over the top was Paraguay’s decision to allow Singaporeans to enter the country without a visa for up to 30 days.

“Singapore has constantly increased its passport strength since it became independent in 1965,” Philippe May, managing director of Arton Capital’s Singapore office, told CNN. “This due to a smart and far-sighted foreign policy, excellent diplomacy and by understanding globalization as an opportunity. Unlike Schengen member countries [in Europe], Singapore decides alone who to grant visa-free access.”

As the Singaporean passport has climbed the charts, the U.S. passport has slowly been slipping — it is now tied for sixth with passports from Canada, Malaysia and Ireland. According to the index, the U.S. passport has fallen since President Donald Trump took office, after which both Turkey and the Central African Republic revoked visa-free status to U.S. passport holders.

The world’s least mobile passport, according to the index, belongs to Afghanistan. There, passport holders can only enter 22 countries without a visa.

So how can you get into more countries without having to apply for a visa? According to Armand Arton, founder and president of Arton Capital, it’s all about getting a second passport. And if you’re not a dual citizen by birth or marriage you could always enlist in citizenship by investment programs, where, according to CNN, you can obtain citizenship by investing in another country's economy.

“Visa-free global mobility has become an important factor in today's world,” Arton said. “More and more people every year invest hundreds of thousands of dollars in a second passport to offer better opportunity and security for their families.”

You May Like