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World Passport Rankings

Discussion in 'Zoo Cafe' started by Chlidonias, 22 Aug 2016.

  1. Chlidonias

    Chlidonias Moderator Staff Member

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    I like to travel here and there when I can, and I was recently pondering the best-ranked passports - i.e. what nationalities have the most freedoms when travelling. Rankings are based on who can visit the most countries either visa-free or with a visa-on-arrival. This in turn is really based on how that country treats other countries: so, for example, if Country X requires Country Y and Z to obtain restrictive visas to enter, then Countries Y and Z will return the favour by requiring Country X to do the same when visiting them. There's an added factor with the EU providing free travel between all EU countries for EU member states, meaning a lot of the EU countries have an unfair advantage and are consequently high on the rankings.

    New Zealand is currently down at the sixth ranking, which didn't seem so great for a peace-loving first-world country, so I found a page which lists all the countries compared to the numbers of countries they are free to visit, and there it didn't seem so bad because our rank sits us at 152 countries (we are equal with Canada), whereas the top rank of Germany and Sweden have 157 countries.

    The top ten rankings:
    1) Germany, Sweden - 157 countries
    2) Finland, Italy, Switzerland, France, Spain, UK - 156
    3) Denmark, Netherlands, Belgium, South Korea, Norway - 155
    4) Singapore, Luxembourg, Austria, Portugal, USA - 154
    5) Greece, Ireland, Japan - 153
    6) Canada, New Zealand - 152
    7) Czech Republic, Hungary - 151
    8) Malta, Iceland, Australia - 150
    9) Slovakia, Malaysia, Poland - 149
    10) Slovenia - 148

    Aaaaall the way down the bottom is poor old Afghanistan, which only has free access to 24 countries.


    World's most powerful passport ? updated for 2016 | Atlas & Boots
     
  2. devilfish

    devilfish Well-Known Member

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    Very interesting. I tend to look at the wikipedia maps available by nationality: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:Visa_requirements_by_nationality

    I also look at the UK Foreign office recommendations for entry requirements if I'm serious about visiting a new country.

    A quick comparison of the British and New Zealand citizen maps reveals a couple of surprises to me: It's much easier to get an Iranian visa for a New Zealander than a British citizen (I was expecting a slight difference, but not a visa on arrival!) and I'm unsure why Brits would need a visa for Mozambique but NZers can get one on arrival.
    If I renewed my Egyptian passport I could also make up for some of the more difficult countries.

    Perhaps the most striking change on these maps recently was the fact that India now offers tourist eVisas (to Brits for the last year, and to NZers for I think two years). With China's growing transit visa system, it would be nice to see Chinese entry get easier in the next few years too.
     
  3. Chlidonias

    Chlidonias Moderator Staff Member

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    I can get an Iranian visa-on-arrival?! I should go there.

    When I went to India in 2014 I could get a visa-on-arrival. It was fairly new and only available for a select number of countries so the airlines and even the Customs were a little confused by it. Now the visa-on-arrival has been removed for almost everybody and I have to get either an e-visa (which is only for a month) or an advance visa in my passport.

    NZ is also one of the (I think relatively few) countries which can only get visas for China, Mongolia and Russia from the embassy in the home country (i.e. NZ) - we can't get them while travelling like most people can.
     
  4. Chlidonias

    Chlidonias Moderator Staff Member

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    I just googled that. If there is a Mozambique embassy in your country (e.g. the UK) then you need to apply there for a visa. If there is no Mozambique embassy in your country (e.g. NZ) then you get a visa-on-arrival. Only 29 countries have Mozambique embassies.

    The Iran visa map is interesting. Almost the entire world gets a visa-on-arrival! Amongst the very few exceptions are the UK, the USA, and Canada. The reason for these three is, to quote Wikipedia, "British, Canadian and American citizens are required to be escorted by a government approved guide at all times. Independent travel for these citizens has been banned due to the closure of Iranian foreign missions in these countries": https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Visa_policy_of_Iran
     
  5. devilfish

    devilfish Well-Known Member

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    You should go. :)
    For Brits it's sometimes ridiculously difficult.

    These surprise findings are one of the main reasons I like looking at these maps.

    For reference:
    British citizen entry requirements - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Visa_requirements_for_British_citizens

    NZ citizen entry requirements - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Visa_requirements_for_New_Zealand_citizens

    All citizens' entry requirements - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:Visa_requirements_by_nationality
     
  6. devilfish

    devilfish Well-Known Member

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    Very interesting! Thanks!
    I knew Brits and Americans had special treatment with regards to Iranian visas, but I didn't realise that along with Canadians such drastic measures are in place.
     
  7. Chlidonias

    Chlidonias Moderator Staff Member

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    I am about to start googling bird- and mammal-watching in Iran! I'm not sure I'd be too welcome there with my name though - I get enough funny looks in countries like Indonesia...
     
  8. devilfish

    devilfish Well-Known Member

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  9. Chlidonias

    Chlidonias Moderator Staff Member

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    wow I've never heard of red Pallas' cats before! That makes it very tempting. And cheetahs too I guess.
     
  10. Chlidonias

    Chlidonias Moderator Staff Member

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    okay I just Google Imaged the Spider-tailed Horned Viper. That is the craziest snake I have ever seen! I'd never even heard of it before. I found a video on Youtube showing how it uses the tail (the video is narrated by a vampire I think, judging by his inflections). Just, wow.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3DMWewMFQ_A
     
  11. DavidBrown

    DavidBrown Moderator Staff Member

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    That is a crazy cool snake. The video says that zoos around the world are trying to get them. Do any zoos outside of Iran have them? How have we not all heard of this crazy cool snake before?
     
  12. aardvark250

    aardvark250 Well-Known Member

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    How about Hong Kong?Their passport is strong too.
     
  13. Chlidonias

    Chlidonias Moderator Staff Member

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    I can't find anything on them being in captivity. Zootierliste has nothing, so it's safe to say they aren't in European zoos; I doubt they are in American zoos either. I couldn't even find any herp forums talking about having them (but someone better acquainted with private herpetology would know more than me on that score).

    The narrator says "Due to the limited distribution range and the high demand of zoos all over the world, the viper needs serious protection [...] otherwise it will soon face the danger of extinction." I think it is just good-sounding narration rather than there being any actual threat from zoos. I can see there potentially being a big threat from the trade for private herp-keepers (as with the Kaiser Newt, also from Iran) but it seems even that isn't happening.
     
  14. Chlidonias

    Chlidonias Moderator Staff Member

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    Hong Kong is at the eighteenth rank along with Israel, Chile, and San Marino. They can visit 138 countries visa-free or with visa-on-arrival.
     
  15. aardvark250

    aardvark250 Well-Known Member

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    But wikipedia and the HKSAR passport website list 156 countries.
     
  16. Chlidonias

    Chlidonias Moderator Staff Member

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    the HKSAR site stipulates "156 countries and territories" - looking at their list I can immediately see several which aren't full countries (i.e. they are overseas territories of other listed countries) - so I'm guessing that would be where the predominant difference between 138 and 156 lies.
     
  17. Batto

    Batto Well-Known Member

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    A while ago, I talked to someone from the Research Institute of Wildlife Ecology in Vienna that is collaborating with Iranian authorities on Asian cheetahs about the visibility of Asian cheetahs in the wild; according to him, chances of encounters are very slim.
    Red pallas's cats-how interesting. Thanks for sharing.

    As for Pseudocerastes urarachnoides: I remember seeing random pics of captive specimens in some venomous snake keeper forums a while ago -which doesn't surprise me, given that they are private keepers of, say, Heloderma (suspectum) alvarezi or Brachylophus vitiensis etc. etc. proudly showing off their specimens on FB...
    Zoos usually get specimens of such rare reptiles only due to confiscation or once the species in question has been bred so many times that the originally illegal status of the founding specimens has been conveniently forgotten (Bitis parviocula, Brachylophus fasciatus...).
     
  18. Chlidonias

    Chlidonias Moderator Staff Member

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    I think there'd be a better chance of finding Persian leopard than cheetah. There are so few cheetahs left, and spread over such an area, that it would be a difficult task indeed!

    I have been skimming through some birding reports and it seems like Iran is really easy to get around in, the people are really friendly, there are lots of birds still (perhaps not so many mammals any more, with the rampant hunting). Sounds like a good place to go. But the visa-on-arrival for NZers is 100 Euros (roughly NZ$150) and return flights from somewhere like KL are over NZ$500 for the cheapest fares. So getting there is quite expensive.
     
  19. Batto

    Batto Well-Known Member

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  20. Nikola Chavkosk

    Nikola Chavkosk Well-Known Member

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