How powerful is a Slovak passport?

Slovaks have visa-free access to 180 destinations in Europe, America, and eastern Africa.

Slovak passport.Slovak passport.(Source: TASR)

Slovakia has the 31st most powerful passport in the world according to the passport indexes by Canada-based global consultancy Arton Capitol and London-based advisory firm Henley & Partners.

The latter has put Slovakia in the 11th spot in 2019, alongside Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, and Slovenia. People in these countries, including Slovaks, have visa-free access to 180 destinations in Europe, America, and eastern Africa.

Although Slovakia's ranking has not changed much, Slovaks could travel without a visa to 165 countries in 2017. A year later, the figure rose to 179, according to the Henley & Partners Passport Index.

Both rankings are based on a total of 199 countries, which issue their own passports. Henley & Partners receive the data from the International Air Transport Authority (IATA), Arton Capitol collect the data from government agencies.

A cosmetic improvement

Arton Capitol's Passport Index currently ranks Slovakia as the country with the seventh most usable passport, with a score of 161 points, meaning that Slovaks can travel without a visa to 120 countries and to 41 destinations on VOAs (visa on arrival). In 2017, they did not have to apply for a visa in 152 countries.

Slovaks are required to apply for a visa when travelling to 37 countries such as China, Russia, Saudi Arabia, and some of the African and Asian countries, Arton Capitol reports in this year's passport index.

Australia, New Zealand, Latvia, Slovenia, Poland, and Lithuania share the same spot with Slovakia in the Arton Capitol ranking.

Slovakia's passport was ranked as the 10th most powerful by Arton Capitol in 2015.

Who rules the indexes?

Japan, which was ranked fifth in 2017, has topped the Henley & Partners Passport Index for the last two years. Japanese citizens can travel without a visa to 190 countries.

Singaporeans can travel visa-free to 189 countries, coming second. Germany, which topped the chart in 2017, has been ranked third for 2019.

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) tops Arton Capitol's index, with a visa-free score of 167, followed by Germany with 166.

Iraq and Afghanistan placed at the bottom of both rankings. The Iraqi and Afghans can only travel to about 30 countries without a visa.

Not a very welcoming country

Moreover, Arton Capitol regularly lists the most and the least welcoming countries.

Alongside most EU countries, Slovakia is ranked as the 51st most welcoming country, meaning that citizens of 93 countries do not have to apply for a visa upon entering Slovakia.

While several African and Asian countries are ranked as the most welcoming, North Korea and Afghanistan came 97th, sharing the title of the least welcoming country.

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