BY Azlan Othman
Brunei Darussalam passport is two spots away from entering the list of the world’s top 20 most powerful passports in the first quarter of 2022, according to the latest Henley Passport Index.
The Sultanate’s passport ranked 22nd most powerful globally this year, with 166 visa free destinations, up by one spot from last year, where the Sultanate was at 23rd place. The highest position for the passport was in 2016 at 17th spot.
The Henley Passport Index assesses the travel documents based on how many countries‘ citizens have access to without the need for a visa, using data from the International Air Transport Association (IATA).
Japan and Singapore shared the first place on the index, and passport holders of the two countries can enter 192 destinations around the world visa-free.
Germany and South Korea both came in second, with their passport holders able to enter 190 destinations visa-free, while Finland, Italy, Luxembourg and Spain shared third place, with their citizens having visa-free access to 189 destinations.
The United Kingdom (UK), which recently dropped all remaining COVID-related restrictions, now sits in fifth place, with a score of 187, with the United States (US) just one place behind in the sixth spot, with a score of 186. Afghanistan ranked last and only have access to 26 countries.
“Passports and visas are among the most important instruments (affecting) social inequality worldwide as they determine opportunities for global mobility,” said Chairman of global investment migration company Henley and Partners Christian Kaelin.
He also said the latest update provides a unique snapshot of a volatile and rapidly changing world.
In last year’s survey by Arton Capital, Brunei passport was the biggest gainer up 94 places to 22nd across 199 passports.
Meanwhile, a new passport index from Sovereign Man last year rated Brunei as having the world’s fifth most powerful passport.
-- Courtesy of Borneo Bulletin