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iWorld / News / Bulgaria

Most powerful passports in the world are covered in a new IATA report

April 16, 2021

3 minutes read

The COVID-19 pandemic is gradually subsiding, due to mass vaccination of the population. Immigration conditions for entering the most popular countries are becoming more lenient. Asian countries, the EU, Great Britain, the United States, Canada, Australia and the Caribbean are leaders in terms of being popular among immigrants. The most mobile part of the world's population is ready to travel as soon as they get a vaccinated and the latest restrictions are over.

The top five leaders

According to a report published in the first quarter of 2021 by the International Air Transport Association (IATA), the Japanese passport is considered the most in demand. The next most popular are passports of far-eastern countries, such as Singapore and South Korea. It is noted that the Japanese passport holders have the right to visit 193 countries without visas, so this document appears in the top results of the Henley Passport Index, published in mid-April this year.

As for Singapore, it lost only one point to Japan with a total score of 192. Third place in the IATA-based rankings is shared by South Korea and Germany with 191 points. Fourth place was taken by Spain, Finland, Luxembourg and Italy, fifth by Denmark and Austria, and sixth by Sweden, France, Portugal, the Netherlands and Ireland.

The investment programs factor

Surviving the pandemic surge, the US and the UK, which has finally moved on from its legal showdown with the European Commissioners, ranked seventh along with Belgium, Switzerland and New Zealand, with 187 points each. Malta, which introduced new residency rules for foreigners in 2021, ranked eighth, showing that investment citizenship programs are still in high demand.

Prosperous Australia and Canada shared ninth position on the list of top ten countries, as their passports allow visa-free travel to 185 destinations. It is also worth noting the number twelve position of Malaysia, which announced the recent renewal of its long-term visa program for foreign citizens and scored 179 points with it.

Achievements of Bulgaria and the UAE

Fifteenth place was given by experts from IATA to the United Arab Emirates, which managed to score 174 points, having amended its legislation relating to the acquisition of citizenship by talented foreigners at the beginning of 2021. Thus, the Emirates have become a leader among the Gulf countries in terms of immigration opportunities. Among the states of Eastern Europe we should highlight Bulgaria, which also upgraded its investment program, and thus received 173 points, moving up to the sixteenth place in the overall ranking. In the thirtieth place was St. Lucia, whose citizenship, which is obtained by foreigners by investment, became even more in demand in 2021.

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