Jamaica's passport maintains rank of 61st in the world


Jamaica's passport maintains rank of 61st in the world

Business editor

Sunday, February 16, 2020

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Jamaica's passport is ranked 61st in the world according to the 2020 rankings of the Henley Passport Index, a position it has maintained since 2016.

The Henley Passport Index bases its rankings of the world's passports on how many destinations their holders can travel to without first having to get a visa. The index is created by Henley and Partners which says that it is the global leader in citizenship and residence planning and gets its data from the International Air Transport Association (IATA). The first index was printed 14 years ago.

Jamaica's rating has fallen since that first rating in 2006 when it ranked 43rd, slipping to its lowest rating of 66th in 2015, before picking up to 61 the following year.

Jamaican passport holders can currently travel to 85 countries and territories visa-free, but require a visa for 141 other destinations, including those countries with large Jamaican populations such as the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, and the Cayman Islands.

According to the index, Jamaican passport holders can travel visa-free to 13 Caribbean countries including countries that are members of both the Commonwealth and Caricom as well as the Dominican Republic and Curacao.

Jamaicans do need visas for 11 other Caribbean countries and territories, including Cuba, the former Jamaican dependencies of the Cayman Islands and the Turks and Caicos Islands as well as other British Overseas Territories, French overseas departments, the US territories of Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands and Dutch islands other than Curacao.

In Asia, Jamaicans can travel visa-free to 14 Asian countries including Commonwealth countries such as Bangladesh, Malaysia, Singapore and Sri Lanka and others such as Hong Kong, Macau, Indonesia, Phillipines, and South Korea.

In Africa, Jamaicans can travel visa-free to 27 countries, including fellow Commonwealth countries such as Botswana, eSwatini (previously Swaziland), Ghana, Kenya, Lesotho, Namibia, Mauritius, Rwanda, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia. Other African countries not requiring visas for Jamaicans include Egypt, Madagascar, Mozambique, Somalia, and Zimbabwe.

There are only two countries in Europe that Jamaicans are allowed to travel to without a visa — Russia and Serbia. The three Commonwealth countries in Europe, Cyprus, Malta and the United Kingdom, all require Jamaicans to have visas.

In Oceana, Jamaicans can travel visa-free to nine countries largely comprising Commonwealth countries such as Fiji, Kiribat, Samoa, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu.

In the Middle East, Jamaicans can travel without visas to five countries, including Armenia, Iran, Israel, Jordan, and Palestine.

In the Americas, Jamaicans can travel visa-free to 15 countries, including Caricom countries such as Belize, Guyana, and Suriname and Central American countries Nicaragua and Panama. Other countries not requiring visas include: Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia,Ecuador, Mexico, Peru and Venezuela.

Apart from the United Kingdom and Canada, other large Commonwealth countries that require Jamaicans to have visas to travel include Australia, India, Pakistan, New Zealand, Nigeria and Sri Lanka,

The world's top-ranked passport according to Henley is Japan's with holders able to visit some 191 destinations without requiring a visa, followed by Singapore and Germany. Bottom ranked at 107th is the Afghanistan passport which allows visa-free travel to 26 countries. Also poorly ranked is Syria and Iraq, with Pakistan the lowest-ranked Commonwealth passport at 104th.

Ranked alongside Jamaica at 61st is the Maldives. In the Caribbean Jamaica ranks lower than countries such as top-ranked The Bahamas and St Kitts (joint 27), Antigua (30), Trinidad (31), St Vincent (32), St Lucia (33), Grenada (34) Dominica (37), Belize (56) and Guyana (60). But Jamaica does rank higher than some other Caribbean countries, such as: Suriname (65), Cuba (78), Dominican Republic (79), and Haiti at the bottom at 93rd.

Henley and Partners is at the forefront of several citizenship via investment programmes. The organisation says that it also runs a leading government advisory practice that has raised more than US$8 billion in foreign direct investment.









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