Passport Ranking 2021: Where Does NZ Stand?

Date Oct 11, 2021
Blog category Broadband
By Sieg C
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Even during the pandemic, NZ passport holders can travel to almost any major destinations around the world, either visa-free or under visa on arrival. 

For most of their travels, Kiwis don’t have to go through rigorous visa processes and formalities, which can take a lot of time and money.

This year, it shows that another country took NZ off the top spot. How does the NZ passport rank against different countries and territories in 2021? It’s not as straightforward, especially as sovereign borders aren’t always set. 

Global Passport Power Rank 2021: NZ ranks second

The Passport Index ranks easiness of travel entry, based on the United Nations (UN) 193 countries and 6 territories. This means that the countries that are not a member of the UN or don’t have a member observer status, including the Holy See, Palestine, Kosovo, Taiwan, Western Sahara, South Ossetia, Abkhazia, and Northern Cyprus, aren’t counted.

Visa-free

Visa on arrival

Visa required

Total

1

United Arab Emirates

98 destinations

54 destinations

46 destinations

152 destinations

2

New Zealand

98

48

52

146

3

Germany

107

37

54

144 destinations

Finland

106 destinations

38 destinations

54 destinations

Austria

Luxembourg

Spain

Italy

Switzerland

103

41

54

South Korea

102

42

54

Australia

96

48

54

4

Sweden

106 destinations

37 destinations

55 destinations

143 destinations

Netherlands

Denmark

Belgium

Portugal

106

37

55

Ireland

101

42

55

5

France

106

36

56

142 destinations

Malta

Czech Republic

104

38

56

Greece

Poland

103

39

56

Hungary

United Kingdom

100

42

56

Canada

97

45

56

United States of America

6

Singapore

107

34

57

141 destinations

Norway

103

38

57

Slovenia

Slovakia

102

39

57

Japan

99

42

57

7

Estonia

102 destinations

38 destinations

58 destinations

140 destinations

Lithuania

Latvia

Iceland

101

39

59

8

Liechtenstein

99

40

59

139

9

Croatia

99

38

61

137

10

Romania

99

37

62

136 destinations

Bulgaria

97

39

62

Monaco

94

42

62

On the other hand, the ten weakest passports are as follows:

  1. South Sudan, Libya, Sudan - 45
  2. Ethiopia, North Korea - 44
  3. Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal - 43
  4. Iran, Eritrea - 42
  5. Palestinian Territories, Myanmar - 41
  6. Yemen - 38
  7. Somalia, Pakistan - 37
  8. Syria - 34
  9. Iraq - 33
  10. Afghanistan - 32
Source: Passport Index

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Henley Passport Index: NZ ranks sixth

Henley Passport Index is the ranking provided by the International Air Transport Association (IATA). They’ve been ranking the friendliest passports in the world since 2006. It covers 199 passports and 227 travel destinations.

On top of visa entry policies, it also takes into account the current travel restrictions.

  1. Japan, Singapore - 192 destinations
  2. Germany, South Korea - 190
  3. Finland, Italy, Luxembourg, Spain - 189
  4. Austria, Denmark - 188
  5. France, Ireland, Netherlands, Portugal, Sweden - 187
  6. New Zealand, Belgium, Switzerland - 186
  7. Czech Republic, Greece, Malta, Norway, United Kingdom, United States - 185
  8. Australia, Canada - 184
  9. Hungary - 183
  10. Lithuania, Poland, Slovakia - 182

For this ranking, the worst passports to hold are:

  1. Iran, Lebanon, Sri Lanka, Sudan - 41 destinations
  2. Bangladesh, Kosovo, Libya - 40
  3. North Korea - 39
  4. Nepal, Palestinian Territories - 37
  5. Somalia - 34
  6. Yemen - 33
  7. Pakistan - 31
  8. Syria - 29
  9. Iraq - 28
  10. Afghanistan - 26
Source: Henley & Partners

How did COVID-19 affect the passport rankings?

International travel has been on an indefinite halt since COVID-19 emerged. While a lot of countries and territories are slowly starting to open up for vaccinated individuals, it’s still not the same compared to pre-pandemic levels.

”Although some progress has been made, between January to March 2021 international mobility had been restored to just 12 percent of pre-pandemic levels in the same period in 2019, and the gulf between theoretical and actual travel access offered even by high-ranking passports remains significant,” Dr Juerg Steffen, CEO of Henley & Partners said.

It’s all the more evident that an excellent pandemic response is key to revitalise the travel industry. Countries and territories that have fared fairly well in their COVID-19 response have higher passport rankings. Of course, there are plenty of other factors, but travel access amidst COVID-19 remains one of the most important considerations.

“Covid-19-associated travel restrictions are new additions to the toolbox of migration containment instruments employed by the global north to curb mobility from the global south,” Christian H. Kaelin, Chair of Henley & Partners added.

NZ government on international travel

The New Zealand government advises all New Zealanders not to travel overseas. It has raised its highest level of travel advice of “do not travel” to all destinations, except the Cook Islands. Even when travelling to the Cook Islands, it’s advised to always “exercise increased caution.”

Nonetheless, you can still travel overseas if you really need to. It’s highly recommended to register with SafeTravel to get notified of any changes in travel advice. You also need to:

  • Check the travel restrictions and quarantine protocols of the country/countries you plan to visit. Most countries require you to self-isolate for at least 14 days upon arrival or have a negative COVID-19 test result.
  • Request for the purple vaccination card, which contains the basic information about your vaccination. Otherwise, it’s best to get a written confirmation from the Ministry of Health about your COVID-19 vaccination.
  • Take your COVID-19 negative test results upon airport check-in to show customs or immigration upon arrival at your destination.
  • Book Managed Isolation and Quarantine facility upon return in New Zealand. It’s best to secure this before even leaving the country, as bookings are limited.

Planning your trips can be quite hectic, especially during this time. Use the most reliable Broadband plan you can find! Compare the best Broadband deals in your area, right here at CompareBear!

About the author
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Sieg C

Sieg C is a content writer who has written in a diverse range of industries including tech, energy, automobiles, and finance. His daily creative booster is at least two cups of black coffee and his curated chill vibes playlist.

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