Antigua and Barbuda passport remains strong

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(Pointe Xpress)

The Antigua and Barbuda passport remains one of the strongest travel documents in the region, according to the latest ranking compiled by the international firm, Henley and Partners.

The firm, which specializes in global citizenship, ranked the Antigua and Barbuda passport at number 28 of a total of 191 passports.

Only three CARICOM states ranked higher than Antigua and Barbuda. These are Barbados (23), St Kitts-Nevis (25) and the Bahamas (26).

At the 28 ranking, holders of Antigua and Barbuda passports have visa-free access to one hundred and fifty-one countries. The country’s passport has fluctuated in ranking between a high of 27 to a low of 30 over the past five years.

The Henley Passport Index is the original ranking of all the world’s passports according to the number of destinations their holders can access without a prior visa.

The ranking is based on exclusive data from the International Air Transport Association (IATA), which maintains the world’s largest and most accurate database of travel information, and enhanced by ongoing research by the Henley and Partners Research Department.

Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Anthony Liverpool, welcomed the ranking, noting that it reflects the work the ministry has been doing in attaining more visa-free access for holders of the Antigua and Barbuda passport.

“Antigua and Barbuda, through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and our embassies and diplomatic missions, will be redoubling our efforts in 2021 to get more visa-free access for holders of the country’s passports to more countries in Asia and Europe. This is an ongoing effort by the ministry to attain more visa-free access so that our passport holders can have easier access to countries around the world,” he stated.

Liverpool revealed that the COVID-19 pandemic has created a challenge for the ministry but nonetheless it will press on.

He explained that visa requirements form part of the security of a country and while Antigua and Barbuda may make a request, the final decision on whether the request is granted is up to the country.

Additionally, Liverpool noted that having a passport that ranks at number 28 makes it a very attractive document for those seeking to acquire the passport through the Citizenship by Investment Programme.