Barbados has retained the most powerful passport in the Caribbean and one of the most recognised travel documents globally, according to the latest Henley Passport Index.
Based on information up to July this year, the Barbados passport was ranked at 22nd globally, with a score of 161, meaning that holders of a Barbados passport are able to travel to most of the world’s destinations – 161 so far – visa-free.
Barbados received the same scores over the past two years, though the ranking shifted slightly during that time.
Elsewhere in the Caribbean, the Bahamas was ranked at 25th, with its passport providing visa-free access to 155 destinations; St Kitts and Nevis was ranked 24th in the Henley Passport Index, with its passport now allowing visa-free access to 157 destinations; with Antigua and Barbuda and St Vincent and the Grenadines tied at 29th with visa-free access to 151 countries.
Trinidad and Tobago is at 30th with visa-free access to 150 countries; St Lucia at 31st, allowing visa-free travel to 146 countries, Grenada at 33rd and 144 destinations; Dominica at 34th to 142 destinations; Guyana was ranked at 65th with visa-free access to 87 countries and Jamaica was ranked 67th with its passport providing visa-free access to 85 destinations.
The Henley Passport Index, which compares the visa-free access of 199 different passports to 227 travel destinations, provides total scores for each passport that is equal to the number of destinations for which no visa is required.
Where a visa is required or where a passport holder has to obtain a government-approved electronic visa (e-Visa) before departure, a score with value of zero is assigned. This also applies if you need pre-departure government approval for a visa on arrival.
In this year’s index, which did not take temporary COVID-19 travel restrictions into account, Japan is again leading, with its passport providing visa-free access to 193 destinations. Singapore and Germany rounded out the top three.
The countries that were considered to have the weakest passport were Afghanistan, which was ranked at 116th and provide visa-free access to a mere 26 countries, Iraq at 115th with visa-free access to 28 countries and Syria at 114th with visa-free access to 29 destinations.
The Henley & Partner Global Mobility Report for the third quarter of this year pointed out that the resumption of regular international travel continued to be significantly obstructed by the pandemic.
It acknowledged that many borders remained closed in several countries while others continued to ban or restrict travellers from regions and countries that are considered high-risk.
The report said: “Against this backdrop of uncertainty and precariousness, high-net-worth investors and entrepreneurs, including those from advanced economies with premium passports, are looking to create portfolios of complementary citizenship and residence options through investment migration programmes to access health security and optionality in terms of where they and their families can live, conduct business, study, and invest.
“With restricted mobility the status quo, the latest results and research from the Henley Passport Index demonstrate that the gap between theoretical and actual travel freedom remains stark.”
Pointing to global mobility trends, the Global Mobility Report noted that the slow pace at which movement was being restored, and vast global disparities in vaccination programmes and economic recovery, meant that alternative residence and citizenship options were becoming “even more essential for international entrepreneurs and investors wanting to mitigate volatility and reduce their exposure to risk at a national, regional, and global level”. ([email protected])