A passport from a country in good global standing is a powerful tool. We already know that Singapore’s passport is one of the most widely accepted in the world, but how does it fare compared to other countries’? We find out.
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[Top Image Credit: Sunrise Odyssey]
Over the weekend, The Straits Times published an article on the Singapore passport being one of the most widely accepted in the world, with unrestricted access to 170 countries out of 219. Some notable countries where Singaporeans still need a visa include: Australia, Bhutan, India, Myanmar, Russia, and Saudi Arabia.
That got us thinking, just how valuable is our passport compared to other countries? We decided to do some investigating for fun, and here’s what we found out.
Singapore is ranked 4th by Passport Power Rank
According to Passport Index, backed by financial firm Arton Capital, Singapore’s passport is ranked 4th – alongside Japan, Denmark, Finland, Netherlands, and Luxembourg – in terms of freedom of travel, or the number of countries one can visit without an advance visa or by purchasing a visa on arrival.
Passports ranked above ours are: UK and USA (tied for first place); Germany, South Korea and France (jointly ranked second); and Italy and Sweden (jointly ranked third).
[Photo Credit: CNN Money]
Not surprisingly, countries ranked at the top of this list tend to be developed and well-off, whereas countries ranked at the bottom are mostly poor, tiny, or turmoiled. The lowest-ranked countries include nearby Myanmar, South Sudan and the Palestinian Territories.
If you factor in value, Singapore drops to 18th, behind Japan and Ireland
But according to another study by travel comparison site GoEuro, Singapore’s passport isn’t as valuable as Denmark’s and Japan’s, even though they offer the same degree of global mobility. Our passport is ranked 18th, after taking other factors into consideration, such as cost, the number of hours of work needed to acquire the passport, and how long the passport is valid for.
[Source: GoEuro – The Ultimate Passport Ranking]
Singapore’s passport costs $80 to make, and is valid for 5 years.
Cost-wise, Singapore’s passport isn’t that expensive, compared to the UK, USA and Turkey
Converted to British pounds, Singapore’s passport costs an estimated £40, which is much more affordable than the UK passport’s £73, the USA’s £89, and – worse still – Turkey’s £166. But on the bright side for the Turks, their passport is valid up to 10 years.
A person would need to work 8 hours at minimum wage to afford Singapore’s passport
Interestingly, the GoEuro study estimates that one would need to work 8 hours at minimum wage in order to afford the $80 price tag for Singapore’s passport. Since our country has no national minimum wage implemented, the study “looked at average salaries for jobs that would usually provide a minimum wage payment”.
Read in this context, the 8 hours of work at minimum wage doesn’t seem quite accurate, considering the last minimum wage set was in January 2014 at $1,000 for entry-level cleaners. (That definitely works out to less than $10 per hour.) If we factor this in, will Singapore’s passport ranking drop even further?
Other fun facts:
- A thumbs up for our neighbour: Malaysia was the first country in the world to issue biometric passports.
- Norwegians have – quite literally – the coolest passports in the world, which show the Northern Lights when viewed under a UV scanner.
[Source: Neue, with their winning “Norwegian Landscapes” concept that was eventually chosen as the design for Norway’s new passports]
- On a similar note, the Canadian passport includes graphics that are only visible under blacklight. This is both an aesthetic feature as well as a method of validating the authenticity of the passport.
[Source: imgur via chachichachichicken]
- Who says passports can be fun? The Finnish passport is a flip book that features a walking moose.
- On the Belgian passport, the sequence of the languages on the cover is: Dutch-French-German, French-Dutch-German or German-French-Dutch, depending on the affiliation with the lingual community of its holder.
- In 2013, Swedish passports were reported to be among the most frequently sold passports on the black market. The reason cited was because there is no upper limit on the number of replacement passports being available for the rightful holder.