Brunei passport, 23rd most powerful in the world

Azlan Othman

Brunei Darussalam is the 23rd Most powerful passport in the world with 166 visa-free destinations, according to the Henleys Passport Index Q3 2021 report released on October 5.

Japan shares first place in the index with Singapore due to its visa-free / visa-on-arrival score of 192. Germany, which sits alongside South Korea in second place with a score without. visa / visa on arrival 190.

At the bottom of the index, Egypt, ranked 97e, currently has no travel restrictions in place, but its citizens can only access 51 destinations around the world without acquiring a visa in advance.

Similarly, Kenya, which ranks 77e, has no travel ban, but its passport holders can only access 72 visa-free destinations.

Based on exclusive data from the International Air Transport Association (IATA), the index, which ranks all the world’s passports according to the number of destinations their holders can access without a prior visa, shows that countries in the north of the world with high ranking passports have enforced some of the strictest travel restrictions linked to incoming Covid-19, while many countries with lower ranking passports have relaxed their borders without seeing this reciprocal openness.

This has created a growing gap in the freedom to travel, even for fully vaccinated travelers from countries at the bottom of the passport rankings and who remain excluded from most countries of the world.

The index includes 199 passports and 227 travel destinations.

In response to recent developments, experts suggest that restrictive policies initially introduced to contain the spread of Covid-19 are now practically applied to contain mobility from the south of the world.

Comment in Henley & Partners Global Mobility Report 2021 Q4Prof. Mehari Taddele Maru, a researcher at the United Nations University Institute on Comparative Regional Integration Studies, stressed that the rationale for restrictions on travelers from the south of the world is not necessarily linked to rates of vaccination or infection, as they are subject to quarantine. whether or not they are vaccinated.

“The Global North has been pursuing aggressive migration containment strategies for some time now through the rigid application of border controls, compromising the movement of people in various ways. Travel restrictions associated with Covid-19 are new additions to the toolbox of migration containment instruments used by the global north to curb mobility from the global south. “

In the passport index also by Henley & Partners for the second quarter of this year, Brunei Darussalam was ranked in the top 20, where some 166 countries accept Bruneians without a visa.

And in June of this year, a new passport index from Sovereign Man ranked Brunei Darussalam as the fifth most powerful passport in the world.

Brunei Darussalam scored 178.8, allowing travelers from the Sultanate to travel to 140 countries visa-free.

The Sultanate has obtained an “A” passport rating, which is an excellent travel document that grants access to the most attractive countries in the world. To receive an “A” grade, a passport must have a Freedom of Travel score above 170 and provide mandatory access to the Schengen area and the United States.

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