Thanks to a handful of recent diplomatic decisions, Singaporean and South Korean passports are now the most widely accepted in the world.
The two countries leapfrogged the German passport, which has long been considered the most powerful in the world.
For the last 5 years in a row, German passport holders have enjoyed the world’s longest list of countries allowing entry without a visa.
But according to Passport Index – a site that ranks countries in real-time according to how many nations passport holders can visit without a visa – South Korea and Singapore are now the countries we should envy the most.
Uzbekistan’s recent decision to grant both countries visa-free entry has tipped the scales in their favour, pushing Germany into 2nd place.
Changes to Somalia’s visa policies also affected the ranking according to Arton Capital, the global financial advisory firm that oversees the rankings.
“We are currently seeing not one but two Asian countries with the most powerful passports in the world,” said Armand Arton, president of Arton Capital.
“This is a testament to the increased global respect and trust Asian countries are commanding,” he added.
According to the rankings, South Korean and Singaporean travellers can freely visit a total of 162 nations.
Meanwhile, the German passport permits visa-free entry to 161 countries, which ties the country with Japan.
Australians, on the other hand, are able to travel without restrictions to 156 countries. The Aussie passport is listed with a power ranking of 7, the same level as Malta and the Czech Republic.
New Zealand is just one point behind, with Kiwis being able to visit 155 countries visa-free.
“People don’t like imaginary borders that set boundaries to their opportunities in life,” Arton said. “Having multiple passports has become the new norm and people who haven’t invested in this privilege feel anxious and left out.”
Things don’t look so rosy on the bottom end of the list. Afghanistan currently anchors the rankings, with passport holders only permitted to enter 26 countries without a visa.
The not-so-cool podium of the least powerful passports in the world is completed by Iraq (29 visa-free nations), Pakistan (30), Syria (33) and Somalia (34).