Tuesday, January 24, 2023

New passport rankings show that the world is opening up – but not for everyone

Patrick Bixby

Patrick Bixby for The Conversation offers fascinating commentary on the relative power of different passports.  A snippet:

"Today, global mobility is on the rise. According to The Passport Index, an interactive ranking tool created by the investment firm Arton Capital, the “World Openness Score” reached an all-time high at the end of 2022. And the score has only continued to increase.

This means that passport holders around the world are receiving permission to travel to more countries without first obtaining a visa than ever before. As pandemic-related travel restrictions waned in 2022, the total number of visa waivers increased 18.5% globally. Nearly every passport on the index, which includes 193 United Nations member countries and six territories, became more powerful, with holders receiving immediate access to 16 additional countries on average.

But there’s still a massive mobility gap between the most and least powerful passports – and it has big implications for where people can travel, reside and work. The United Nations may proclaim that “everyone has the right to leave any country, including one’s own, and to return to one’s country,” but the fact is, not all passports are created equal or treated with equal respect."



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