Have visa, will travel? Well, forget about those pesky visas because T&T nationals can actually travel to 150 destinations across the globe without requiring any visas in advance. This, according to The Henley Passport Index 2022, which ranks 199 different passports based on how easily a person can travel to 227 destinations. London-based firm, Henley & Partners, has been compiling data on the world’s passports since 2006, based on data from the International Air Transport Association (IATA). At the bottom of the index – Afghanistan, whose citizens can only access a mere 26 countries without requiring a visa in advance.
In 2019, the T&T passport ranked 29th in the world. At that time, citizens were only able to access 148 countries. However, since 2020, T&T has fluctuated between #30 and #31, with nationals having access to 150 destinations either visa-free or on arrival (also known as a visa on arrival or VOA). T&T shares the 30th spot with Antigua & Barbuda and Costa Rica. The strongest passport in the Caribbean this year is Barbados. Their citizens can visit 161 destinations visa-free. Behind Barbados is St. Kitts and Nevis #25 (157), The Bahamas #26 (155), and St Vincent & the Grenadines #29 (151). Want to access the most destinations in the world? Then you’ll need a Japanese or Singaporean passport. Both countries’ passports tie for #1 on the Passport Index and passport holders can access a whopping 192 countries!
So, could T&T nationals look forward to seeing more countries offering visa-free access in the future? Well Minister of Foreign and Caricom Affairs, Dr Amery Browne, told Guardian Media his Ministry continues to “look for opportunities to make overseas travel easier for nationals.” He says it remains an “ongoing process,” however, he’s pleased that nationals “continue to benefit from a passport of significant strength.”
But before you pack your suitcases, remember there is a difference between visa-free and visa on arrival. Visa-free means you show up at the country’s border and you’re let in once you satisfy all other entry requirements. For T&T nationals, this policy applies to places like the United Kingdom, The Netherlands, Jamaica, Singapore, etc. A Visa on Arrival requires you to have all the documents you would regularly need for a visa but, you apply on arrival at the country’s borders. Usually, there is a fee for this and it may be restricted to only certain border entry points. T&T nationals can get a VOA in countries such as Israel, Jordan, Bolivia, and Egypt.
Fingers crossed Japan, Australia, and New Zealand get added soon. I’m ready to check them off my bucket list!