A Belarusian passport is the second weakest passport in Europe, according to the 2019 global passport index by Henley & Partners.
How was the power measured? Based on data by the International Air Transport Authority, each nation’s passport was ranked by how many countries it allows its holder to access visa-free.
Belarus and neighbours
Turns out that Belarus shares its 68th place with Kazakhstan, both countries have 75 scores out of 227. Of European countries, only partially recognized Kosovo has the worst ranking score.
Belarus’s neighbours and concurrently former Soviet states have improved over the last decade: Ukraine (43) and Moldova (47) have climbed 19 spots, while Georgia has jumped 16.
Lithuania holds 9th position, Latvia is ranked 10th, Poland 13th and Russia 48th. In the Global Passport Power Rank, Belarus shares the 52nd place with Oman – up two places since 2018.
This guarantees Belarusian citizens a right to travel to 44 countries without a visa and receive a visa upon arrival in another 41 countries.
Recall that last summer Belarus extended the duration of visa-free stay for foreigners coming to Belarus via Minsk National Airport to up to 30 days.
Winners and losers
Singapore and Japan have topped a ranking of the world’s strongest passports. With a score of 188, Finland, Germany, and South Korea remain in second place.
Meanwhile, Denmark, Italy, and Luxembourg are in third place, with citizens now able to access 187 destinations worldwide without requiring a visa in advance.
Afghanistan remains at the bottom of the ranking, in 107th place, with a visa-free or visa-on-arrival score of just 25, followed by Iraq (27) and Syria (29).
The index is about more than just hassle-free travel, according to Henley & Partners.
“Our ongoing research has shown that when we talk about ‘passport power’, we are discussing more than simply the destinations a holder can travel to without acquiring a visa in advance.
Often, there is a strong correlation between visa freedom and other benefits such as business and investment freedom, independence of the judiciary, fiscal health, and property rights.”