Travelling will never be the same again after the COVID-19 pandemic – and your passport may now become your strongest asset to travel to the countries you want to.
With the likes of Qantas and Korean Air already making moves towards only allowing passengers with a COVID-19 vaccine passport on their airlines, there’s never been a better time to see where Malta’s passport ranks when compared to the rest of the world.
In the latest Henley Passport Index, published by Henley and Partners, the firm behind Malta’s controversial citizenship-for-sale scheme, the most travel-friendly passports for 2021 have been revealed.
The most powerful passport in the world right now comes from Japan.
With Asian countries coming in on top of the list of 191 countries – Singapore is second, while South Korea and Germany came in third – Malta isn’t doing too bad either.
The Maltese passport is the 8th most powerful in the world.
The Mediterranean island tied with Greece, Croatia and Australia, with a total of 184 countries giving Maltese passport holders access.
Passport power is calculated by how many nations will allow you in visa-free or offer visa-on-arrival when arriving with that country’s passport.
Here are the top ten countries in order of ranking and how many countries they can visit:
1. Japan (191)
2. Singapore (190)
3. South Korea, Germany (189)
4. Italy, Finland, Spain, Luxembourg (188)
5. Denmark, Austria (187)
6. Sweden, France, Portugal, Netherlands, Ireland (186)
7. Switzerland, United States, United Kingdom, Norway, Belgium, New Zealand (185)
8. Greece, Malta, Czech Republic, Australia (184)
9. Canada (183)
10. Hungary (181)
While the USA and UK might technically rank above Malta, they are currently both under massive travel restrictions as part of national measures to inhibit the spread of COVID-19 as well as a more transmissible new variant of the virus.
US passport holders can access less than 75 countries, while UK passport holders access less than 70, CNN reported.
On the other side of the travel list were the ten worst country’s passports, with Afghanistan coming in with the worst passport globally.
103. North Korea (39)
104. Libya, Nepal (38)
105. Palestinian territories (37)
106. Somalia, Yemen (33)
107. Pakistan (32)
108. Syria (29)
109. Iraq (28)
110. Afghanistan (26)
In 2019, Malta’s passport was ranked as the 9th strongest in the world.
With 2021 certain to be a year of reckoning for travel companies, airlines, airports, policy-makers and travellers, having a Maltese passport in your back pocket might be a stronger asset than ever before.