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  • You can tell a lot about a country from its passport.

  • Color is the first giveaway.

  • Nations tend to pick colors that reflect their national character.

  • New Zealand decorates its famous rugby team,

  • its airline, and its passports

  • in the nation's favorite color, black.

  • Many Islamic countries have green passports

  • because of the importance of the color in the Muslim faith.

  • But as well as a statement of national identity,

  • color can demonstrate international cooperation.

  • The British passport was originally a regal navy blue.

  • But after Britain joined the European Union in 1973, it switched to Burgundy red in line with other EU countries.

  • The common color was supposed to make

  • European passports instantly recognizable.

  • But since colors can't be patented,

  • nothing stops others with the same idea.

  • A number of countries that aspire to join the EU

  • have changed their passports to Burgundy too.

  • Meanwhile, Britain has decided to leave the club.

  • Its government has announced that the UK passports

  • will revert back to navy blue after Brexit.

  • If you have a passport from Singapore or South Korea,

  • you're in possession of one of the most powerful travel documents on earth.

  • Passport power is measured by the number of countries the holder can access visa-free.

  • Currently sharing first place in the power rankings,

  • Singaporean and South Korean passports

  • provide visa-free access to 162 countries each.

  • British passport holders share fourth place

  • in the power ranking with six other nations,

  • each accessing 159 countries visa-free.

  • Americans rank fifth with access to 158.

  • Somalia, Syria, Pakistan, and Iraq

  • are among the world's least powerful passports.

  • Afghanistan is the lowest-ranking of all,

  • with visa-free access to just 26 countries.

  • Having to get a visa is a hassle.

  • First, there is the never-ending form.

  • Then there are lengthy appointments and expensive fees.

  • Some visas also require travelers to pre-book flights

  • to prove that they intend to return home.

  • But there are unexpected upsides

  • to some of the world's weaker passports.

  • Middle-ranking Namibia is one of just a handful of countries whose citizens can enter Angola visa-free.

  • India is one of only three countries

  • whose citizens have visa-free access into Bhutan.

  • A low-ranking passport limits your choices,

  • but not your sense of adventure.

You can tell a lot about a country from its passport.

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B1 UK passport ranking access burgundy eu navy

How powerful is your passport? | The Economist

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    Samuel posted on 2018/03/13
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