The Canadian passport ranks among the top 10 in the world for global travel access, according to a new report by London-based immigration consulting firm Henley & Partners.
Released on July 19, the quarterly report ranks each country’s passport according to the number of destinations their holders can access without a prior visa.
Canada, Australia, the Czech Republic, Greece, and Malta all shared eighth place in the ranking. Passport holders from these countries can visit 185 destinations with visa-free or visa-on-demand access worldwide.
Canada has held its rank among the list’s top 10 countries since 2006 while peaking at second place in 2014.
Meanwhile, three democratic Asian countries—Japan, Singapore, and South Korea—secured the top three spots on the index. Japan came in first place with access to 193 countries, with Singapore and South Korea following with 192 available destinations.
The lowest-ranking nations were mostly represented by non-democratic countries, with Afghanistan having the lowest score of 27 destinations available with visa-free or visa-on-arrival access.
According to the release, in the past two years, the strength of the UAE passport has seen major gains and now sits at 15 in the ranking, with a score of 176. Over the past decade, the country has been the biggest climber on the index—in 2012, it sat at 64 in the rankings, with a score of just 106.
In a July 19 release announcing the rankings, Henley & Partners said research conducted by comparing a country’s visa-free access with its Global Peace Index score showed a strong correlation between a nation’s passport power and its peacefulness.
Stephen Klimczuk-Massion, a Fellow at Oxford University’s Saïd Business School, said in the release that the value of a passport has taken on new significance in light of increased global turbulence due to factors such as the pandemic, war, inflation, and political instability.
“Now more than ever, it’s a mistake to think of a passport as merely a travel document that allows you to get from A to B,” he said.
“The relative strength or weakness of a particular national passport directly affects the quality of life for the passport holder and may even be a matter of life and death in some circumstances.”
The release also noted that passport holders with the greatest global access, namely those hailing from the Asia-Pacific region, are the most “reluctant to enjoy their travel freedom,” based on data from the International Air Transport Association (IATA).
International passenger demand in the Asia-Pacific region has only reached 17 percent of pre-COVID levels, the statement said. In the past two years, demand in the region has hovered at around 10 percent, while Europe and North America have recovered to about 60 percent of pre-pandemic international travel levels.