London-based global citizenship and residence advisory firm Henley & Partners has released its first 2022 report on the world’s most powerful and least powerful passports. The firm measures the ease with which holders of passports are able to freely move from one country to another.
The ranking by Henley Passport Index is based on exclusive data from the International Air Transport Association (IATA), which maintains the world’s largest and most accurate database of travel information.
The index includes 199 different passports and 227 different travel destinations. Updated quarterly, the Henley Passport Index is the most robust and reliable index of its kind. It ranks the world’s passports according to the countries their holders can visit without a prior visa. If no visa is required, then a score with a value = 1 is created for that passport. The same applies if one can obtain a visa on arrival, a visitor’s permit, or an electronic travel authority (ETA) when entering the destination.
European countries dominated the top list, with France, Netherlands and Sweden climbing one spot to join Austria and Denmark in fourth place. At the top of the ranking is Japan and Singapore, and holders of these two countries can travel visa-free to 192 destinations.
A number of Caribbean countries also featured prominently, with Barbados leading the region in having the most powerful passport in the Caribbean for 2022.
Below are the Caribbean countries with the most powerful passports:
The beautiful island of Barbados in the Caribbean gained its independence from Britain in 1966 after several years of slavery and colonization. The island is mostly made up of generations of enslaved Africans kidnapped from the continent and forced to start new lives on the island.
Aside from its history of slavery and rebellion such as the Bussa’s Rebellion, Barbados is also known for its 5-star luxury travel sites that are number one on the list of tourist attractions. Globally, Barbados ranked 23 with visa-free access to 161 destinations.
St Kitts and Nevis
The Island of St Kitts and Nevis was founded by Christopher Columbus in 1493 although it was already inhabited. He subsequently gave the names San Martín to the island, now known as Nevis and San Cristóbal to Saint Kitts. In recent years, it has become a favorite destination of African elites. The island nation was ranked number 25 globally with visa-free access to 157 destinations.
The Bahamas was recently named the most developed country in the Caribbean. In 2018, it ranked favorably in the HDI’s indices which include life expectancy (75.8 years), education (11.1 average years spent in school against 12.8 expected years) and standard of living ($26,681 gross national income per capita).
Nassau, which was once the country’s commercial port, carries a lot of history. On the Henley & Partners rankings, The Bahamas ranked 26 with visa-free access to 155 destinations.
St. Vincent and the Grenadines
In 1979, island nation St. Vincent and the Grenadines became an independent nation. It gained its freedom from the United Kingdom after being under colonization since 1627.
Although it was able to earn self-governance in 1969, it would take it a whole ten years to gain complete independence thanks to a referendum under its first Prime Minister, Milton Cato. St. Vincent and the Grenadines is known for its idyllic geographical location, with sky-blue waters lapping away at the sandy beaches. It is a favorite of many because it is uncluttered throughout the year giving an illusion of exclusivity.
It ranked globally at 29 with visa-free access to 151 destinations.