The Greek passport remains among the most powerful in the world ranking seventh on the Henley Passport Index, offering its holders visa-free access to 185 countries.
In April 2021, the Greek passport ranked eighth on the Henley Passport list.
The index offers the original ranking of all the world’s passports according to the number of destinations their holders can access without a prior visa.
Japan firmly holds onto the number one spot on the index, along with Singapore with their passports offering visa-free access to 192 countries.
Germany and South Korea share second spot on the latest ranking, with passport holders able to access 190 destinations visa-free, while Finland, Italy, Luxembourg, and Spain share third place, with a score of 189.
The US and the UK passports have regained some of their previous strength after falling all the way to eighth place in 2020 – the lowest spot held by either country in the index’s 17-year history. Both countries now sit in sixth place, with a visa-free/visa-on-arrival score of 186.
Greece shares seventh position with Australia, Canada, the Czech Republic and Malta.
Covid-19 exacerbates inequality in global mobility
The latest results of the Henley Passport Index also show the widest recorded global mobility gap since the index’s inception 17 years ago.
This deepening divide in international mobility between wealthier countries and poorer ones was brought into sharp focus late last year with the arrival of the highly infectious Omicron variant of the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic which was met with a raft of punitive restrictions against mainly African nations.
This, despite the fact that over the past decade and a half, overall travel freedom levels have expanded significantly.
According to historical data from the Henley Passport Index an individual could, on average, visit 57 countries in 2006 without needing to acquire a visa in advance. Today, that number has risen to 107, but this overall increase masks a growing disparity between countries in the global north and those in the global south, with nationals from countries such as Sweden and the US able to visit more than 180 destinations visa-free, while passport holders from Angola, Cameroon, and Laos are able to enter only about 50.
Further travel freedom uncertainty predicted for 2022
According to International Air Transport Association (IATA) Senior Vice President for Operations, Safety and Security Nick Careen, much of the progress made over the past two decades to put passengers in control of their journeys through self-service processes has been undone due to pandemic-related restrictions.
“Before traffic ramps up again, we have a window of opportunity to deliver long-term efficiency improvements for passengers, airlines, airports, and governments,” he said.
IATA’s recent survey found that 73 percent of passengers are willing to share their biometric data to improve airport processes (up from 46 percent in 2019), while 88 percent would share immigration information prior to departure for expedited processing.