Singapore passport gets new design, security upgrade

This is the first time an Asian country has the most powerful

This is the first time an Asian country has the most powerful

Germany had been topping the passport index over the last two years, until Singapore tied with Germany for first place on the list in early 2017. After Singapore, the next highest ranked nations are Germany, Sweden and South Korea.

This is the first time an Asian country has been announced as having the most powerful passport, according to the Passport Index.

The new Singapore biometric passport design will feature new visa page designs as well as additional security features, said the Immigration & Checkpoints Authority (ICA) in a statement on Thursday (Oct 26).

A US passport has lost some of its global muscle in the months since Donald Trump took office, according to the index, and analysis, from global advisory firm Arton Capital.

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"It is a testament of Singapore's inclusive diplomatic relations and effective foreign policy".

However, progress has stopped - while the number of countries has stayed the same, the U.S. is now humiliatingly behind other nations.

Pakistan meanwhile is nowhere in the last even in the top 50 countries.

Singapore's passport has been announced as the most powerful in the world as it secured the top spot in the index' most powerful ranking with a visa-free score of 159.

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"Visa-free global mobility has become an important factor in today's world", said Armand Arton, founder and president of Arton Capital, at the recently held Global Citizen Forum in Montenegro.

The vote followed Trump's refusal to allow visa-free travel to members of five European Union countries - Croatia, Cyprus, Poland, Romania and Bulgaria.

But existing passports are still valid for travel, and there's no need to replace them now unless they're expiring soon.

So what makes a passport powerful and why should you care?

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Meanwhile, Scandinavian nations Finland and Denmark have dropped slightly compared to previous year, dropping two and one tier places respectively.

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