Country for PR: United Kingdom
Contributor: PR Newswire Europe
Tuesday, July 07 2020 - 18:00
Premium Passports Lose Their Shine in a Post-pandemic World
LONDON, July 7, 2020, /PRNewswire-AsiaNet/--

As parts of the globe cautiously begin to open up, the focus is on what travel 
freedom and global mobility will look like in a post–Covid-19 world. Last week 
the EU released a list of countries that would be allowed entry into the bloc 
from 1 July based on health and safety criteria. Included were Australia, 
Canada, Japan, and South Korea that traditionally score highly on the Henley 
Passport Index [ ] — the original ranking 
of all the world's passports according to the number of destinations you can 
access without a visa. However, in a move perceived as a stinging rebuke for 
its poor handling of the pandemic, the US was notably excluded from the welcome 
list, as were Brazil and Russia.
Although not reflected in the latest ranking, which does not take temporary 
travel bans into account, it is eye-opening to consider what travel freedom 
currently looks like for the holders of once-prestigious passports. The US 
passport usually ranks in the top 10, with its citizens able to access 185 
destinations without a visa. However, under the current EU ban, Americans have 
roughly the same level of travel freedom as citizens of Uruguay and Mexico 
(ranked 28th and 25th respectively).

Russian citizens — whose passport usually ranks ahead of countries such as 
Georgia and Albania (both included on the EU's list) — have seen their passport 
strength reduced to one of the weakest in the region. And Brazilian passport 
holders — most recently placed 19th on the index ¬— currently have roughly the 
same travel freedom as citizens of Paraguay in 36th position.

Without taking the current travel bans into account, Japan continues to hold 
the number one spot on the Henley Passport Index 
[ ] with a score of 191. 
Singapore remains in 2nd place, while Germany and South Korea are in joint-3rd 
place. Singapore however has been excluded from the EU list so its citizens 
currently have far less travel freedom than their closest competitors on the 
index, which is based on exclusive data from the International Air Transport 
Association (IATA) [ ].  

Dr. Christian H. Kaelin [ ], Chairman of Henley & 
Partners ] and the inventor of the passport index 
concept, says this latest decision by the EU indicates there's more upheaval to 
come. "Look at the US passport, for example — in 2014, it held the number one 
spot in the world on our index, but US nationals currently have far less travel 
freedom than most citizens of wealthy, industrialized nations and even of some 
less developed nations, being effectively locked out of Europe. In the coming 
months, we will see an emergence of a new global hierarchy in terms of 
mobility, with countries who have effectively managed the pandemic taking the 
lead, while countries who have handled it poorly falling behind."

Experts suggest that the Covid-19 crisis is likely to make international 
mobility more restricted and unpredictable in the longer term. "Even as 
countries open their borders, it is expected that numerous governments will use 
epidemiological concerns as a justification for imposing new immigration 
restrictions and nationality-targeted travel bans that will mainly be aimed at 
citizens of developing countries," says Prof. Dr. Yossi Harpaz [ ], Assistant Professor 
of Sociology at Tel Aviv University. 

Noting the recent decision by the EU with respect to the US and other 
countries, Harpaz says, "The passports of both developing and developed nations 
stand to decrease in value, at least temporarily. In such uncertain times, 
global demand for dual citizenship and investor visas is expected to increase."
Dr. Juerg Steffen 
[ ], CEO of 
Henley & Partners [ ], says for investors and 
their families, "having a second citizenship or an alternative residence is an 
even more precious asset than ever before, as concerns over access to 
first-rate healthcare, global mobility, and quality of life take on a new 


Media Contact
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SOURCE: Henley & Partners