New Zealand passport according to a recent global ranking is now the most important travel document in the world.
The Passport Index ‘s latest ranking, which comes in the midst of general travel confusion caused by COVID-19, positions the Kiwi passport alongside Japan in first place, with both passports granting visa-free travel or visa upon arrival to 118 countries, reports The New Zealand Herald.
Australia was second on the chart, compared to 11 other nations including UK , Germany and South Korea.
The power ranking of 200 of the world’s passports by the Passport Index is similar but different from the Henley Passport Index, which in its latest quarterly ranking declared Japan ‘s passport the most influential of the world.
During a moment when the statistics indicate a dramatic decline in mobility and travel, New Zealanders find themselves in possession of the world’s most coveted passport.
The Passport Index said the new data showed the “staggering reality of global mobility during a pandemic”.
Though overall passport mobility has weakened, countries within a common movement region such as the EU have retained some standing in the rankings for passport strength. Belgium, Finland, Austria, Luxembourg, Spain, Ireland, the United Kingdom and Switzerland are also in the top 10 power rankings, thanks to reciprocal access to 26 Member States of the European Union.
Maybe no passport has fallen as quickly from grace as the American travel book. The US passport which previously granted visa-free access to almost 170 countries has dropped to 21 in the rankings, with only 80 countries not imposing restrictions on American tourists.