Canadian nationals now hold the 4th most powerful passport in the world. The Global Passport Index ranks passports from all over the world by analyzing their visa-free score. The organization measures how much mobility citizens of a country have to travel without applying for a visa.
The high ranking of countries like Germany and Singapour demonstrates their positive diplomatic relationships with other nations across the globe. The better the relationship and diplomatic status of a country, the stronger the passport and ability to travel without needing visas. On the other hand, there are countries who have less mobility, like Afghanistan, whose citizens can only enter 26 countries without a visa.
Canada shares the fourth place with the U.S., Switzerland, South Korea, Japan, and Ireland.
Traveling to Europe with a Canadian passport
The ranking score is based on the number of countries that give visa-free access to the passport holder. Currently, Canadian citizens can travel to the Schengen Area without applying for a visa. However, the European Commission announced in 2016 that they would launch a travel authorization program for citizens of visa-exempt countries. The European Travel Information and Authorization System, ETIAS, will be established to protect the external borders of all the Schengen member countries.
It is projected that the ETIAS system will be set in place in 2020 and made available for visa-exempt countries. Therefore, Canadian citizens will be required to travel with an approved ETIAS in order to visit the Schengen Zone, made up of 26 European countries and three microstates.
The Canadian passport ranks high on the Global Passport Index List and its citizens can travel to 158 countries without a visa. On the other hand, those who want to visit Canada should either apply for a visa or enroll for the Canada travel authorization, eTA. This will vary depending on the traveler's nationality.
The eTA for Canada is a migratory requirement for Australia, the United Kingdom, Mexico, most European countries and some Asian nations. In order to obtain the eTA the traveler must register online and complete their personal details and passport information. Once approved, the eTA is valid for a period of five consecutive years or until the eTA holder's passport expires.