Log In | Subscribe | | |

Business Travel: how useful is your passport?

Editorial Staff

A survey by Arton, a residence / citizenship consultancy, shows that some passports are more useful than others when it comes to ease of travel.

The survey, published at https://www.passportindex.org/..., shows that Singapore's passport is the most widely accepted without a visa being required. 159 countries accept it. The UK, on the other hand, widely regarded as a highly desirable passport, is accepted for visa-free travel in 156 countries. At the other end of the scale, Afghanistan's will only get its holders into 22 countries without additional work. At that end, mostly, the countries are either trouble spots or quite isolationist. It is, therefore a surprise to see Pakistan (26) and Bangladesh (35) languishing with Iraq, Somalia, Syria and Yemen. But not all trouble sport are so restricted: Sierra Leone, for example, stands at 60. What is perhaps more surprising is that China has equal rank, along with Cuba and Ghana.

India has long complained that its citizens are subject to visa requirements: and with only 51 countries saying an automatic welcome, they may be right.

Those trying to block Qatar from the rest of the world won't be happy to find out that the tiny state has a score of 80 while Saudi Arabia, heavily featured in the anti-Qatar action, has only 69.

One of the more fascinating aspects of the survey is that, despite decades of the EU passport, and the implementation of the Schengen area, European Countries have a very disparate range of where their passports are accepted without additional paperwork.

Freedom to hop on a plane for urgent business without the need for a pre-arranged visa is an essential part of business life. Countries that are business orientated are more likely to have reciprocal visa-free arrangements in place; equally, as Indonesia has recently decided, if economies need tourism, then the trouble and expense of obtaining even a visa on arrival is a disincentive for people to visit.