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There are many reasons why some passports are strong and some are weak. Economic and political stability, bilateral agreements, reciprocity, and many other factors can affect the strength of a passport.
Passports from war-torn countries tend to suffer greatly these days. Countries with population problems seem to have weaker passports.
Most developed countries tend to have strong passports. Additionally, governments have strong economies and stable political environments.
According to the Henley & Partners Passport Index (February 2020), some of the most powerful passports in the world are Japan, Singapore, South Korea, Germany, and Italy. However, the Japanese passport is the most powerful globally, offering visa-free access to 191 countries.
Passports in developing countries are often weaker. These countries are struggling or recovering from political and economic instability.
According to the Henley & Partners Passport Index (February 2020), some of the most vulnerable passports in the world are Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Pakistan, and Somalia. Moreover, Afghanistan passports are the weakest in the world, with only 28 countries visa-free.
Weak passports are a struggle, but it’s not the end of the world. With a little effort and planning, you can turn a weak passport into a strong passport. Maybe not the strongest, but it’s much more powerful than your current passport.
Here are three steps to having a strong visa on a weak passport.
Of course, you can travel to the US with a US visa. But you can also travel to 49 other countries and territories with a U.S. visa.
With a US visa, you can add another 49 countries (including the US) and territories to your visa waiver list.
If a US visa is difficult for you, get a Canadian visa. Canadian visas are equally powerful. You can travel to 36 countries (including Canada) and territories with a Canadian visa.
US and Canada visas are long-term visas. They are usually issued for ten years. You get the US or Canadian visa once, and your passport stays strong for ten years.
Secondly, you can travel to 26 Schengen countries with a Schengen visa. But also for 39 non-Schengen countries. There are 65 countries in total. These 39 non-Schengen countries respect Schengen visas. These countries do not require separate visas.
Unlike the US/Canada visa, the Schengen visa is a short-term visa valid for 90-180 days. The validity of the visa will increase with subsequent applications. Combining a US visa and a Schengen visa expands the list to 80 (*depending on passport).
Travel history may not make your passport strong, but it will increase your chances of getting a visa. The more travel history you have, the better your chances of getting your visa approved.
Your travel records indicate that you have no intention of immigrating illegally. If you intend to stay illegally, you can do so in any country you have visited. Your travel history makes you trustworthy in the eyes of the consulate.
US, Canada, UK, Malaysia, Bahrain, etc., visa applications specifically require a copy of your travel history.
So fill your Pakistani passport with visas and stamps to make it stronger.
Selecting and obtaining a travel visa for a specific destination can be challenging, especially when traveling with a “weak passport.” It would help if you considered many factors, especially the visa policy of the country of your choice.
So, given the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, you can only imagine the headaches you will experience when trying to get a travel visa. It gets worse when the process of getting a visa to the country of your choice requires an appointment in person at an embassy or consulate. But did you know that you can travel visa-free to more than 23 countries worldwide with a US visa, such as a B1/B2, F1, J1, or H-1B visa? This is a little-known secret that not many U.S. nonimmigrant visa holders know about.
When you travel with a passport from a developing country, having a valid US visa in your passport (an unexpired visa) will make your “weak passport” stronger (at least until the US visa expires). Another little-known secret is that even after your US visa expires, you can travel to certain countries (assuming you meet their travel requirements) and use the automatic revalidation rule to return to the US with this expired US visa. While it is possible to use an expired visa to travel to the United States, there may be some risk for some people. The level of risk varies from person to person. Therefore, it is best to consult an immigration attorney for customized legal advice.
We’ve handpicked 10 of the best countries for visa-free travel with a valid U.S. F1, J1, or H1B visa from 23 countries. The countries are ranked based on how widespread their visa policies are for citizens of all countries, the cost of traveling from the United States, and the amount of excitement and adventure each country offers visitors.
So, in a world without a pandemic, you should add these countries to your travel destinations so you don’t have to carry the burden of applying for a tourist visa. Remember that having a visa does not guarantee entry into a country; the customs officer at the port of entry ultimately decides whether you will be admitted.
Mexico tops the list not only because of its proximity to the United States but also because of its world-renowned tourism industry. With a valid U.S. visa on a weak passport, you can stay in Mexico for up to 180 days without a visa. Tourism in Mexico is largely concentrated in Caribbean and Pacific resorts and beach resorts. These popular vacation spots in Mexico offer soft, smooth sand, crystal-clear waters, and other amazing tourist attractions. In Mexico, you must visit Tulum, famous for its Mayan ruins and beautiful beaches. Los Cabos and Cancun won’t let you down if you’re looking for a party.
Visas on arrival are issued to holders of U.S. visas and are valid for up to 30 days. With beautiful white sand beaches, crystal clear waters, and friendly people, you won’t want to leave Antigua and Barbuda. Antigua has 95 miles of stunning coastline flanked by the Caribbean Sea, while its sister island, Barbuda, is surrounded by coral reefs and a large lagoon with a flock of frigate birds. If adventurous enough, you can enjoy scuba diving and other water sports in Antigua or swim in the sun.
Anyone with a valid U.S. entry visa (such as an F1, J1, or H1B visa) can enter the country of Panama without a Panama visa. However, a U.S. visa must be used to enter the U.S. and valid for the next six months when you apply to enter Panama. Panama’s proximity to the United States and using the U.S. dollar as the main currency make it an effortless choice for American tourists. It is a tropical paradise with rich biodiversity and many undeveloped islands.
Visit Panama City, famous for its sugary white sand beaches and other outdoor adventures. Of course, you want to visit the Panama Canal in Panama City—a brilliant work of engineering and one of the seven wonders of the modern world.
As of 2018, a valid U.S. visa on a Pakistani passport can enter Belize without a visa. Despite being small, Belize is full of exciting and adventurous places. Visit ancient Mayan ruins and go on a variety of outdoor adventures. Belize is a small country, but its land location, views of the Rocky Mountains, exciting beaches, aquatic life, and Mayan ruins make it a true playground for tourists.
Another ideal destination for visa-free travel to the United States is Bermuda. Influenced by the British colonial past, Bermuda has beautiful traces of Anglo-Saxon architecture. Known for its pink sandy beaches and stunning underground crystal caves, Bermuda is a true paradise on Earth. Don’t let the urban legends about the Bermuda Triangle scare you, Bermuda is a place worth visiting. A two-hour flight from New York City and close to the US East Coast, Bermuda is perfect for a quick weekend getaway.
Not to be confused with the US state of Georgia, a great place to visit in Eastern Europe. Many consider it a photographer’s dream place. A valid U.S. visa on a weak passport can enter Georgia without a Georgia visa for 90 days in any six months. Georgia’s rich culture and diverse landscape make it an ideal destination for history buffs. Visit the picturesque city of Tbilisi, which is emerging as one of the most fascinating cities in Europe. The beauty of the city makes it attractive and interesting for most tourists.
Qatar Doha Skyline is one of the countries you can visit visa-free with a valid US visa. Citizens with a valid non-immigrant US visa can obtain an electronic travel authorization free of charge by completing the online application here. Once a sandy land, Qatar is one of the fastest-growing tourist regions. Admire Doha’s lavish skyline, tour the dunes on an off-road vehicle and traverse the desert on an ATV.
Skyline of Istanbul, Turkey, which can be visited without a visa with a US visa. Travelers entering Turkey with a valid US visa can obtain an electronic visa instantly by completing an online application here.
Tourist visas to Turkey are usually valid for 90 days. Turkey is a wonderful country with a vibrant history and culture. From food to stunning scenery and architecture, Turkey will satisfy your travels. You can start your journey in Istanbul, the magical meeting point of Asia and Europe, and there is so much to do. Also on your list should visit the beautiful city of Antalya, with its rich ancient heritage, and the ancient city of Ephesus.
Visa waivers are available for those with a valid U.S. visa. The Dominican Republic is the most visited country in the Caribbean. With crystal clear waters, stunning beaches, all-inclusive resorts, and bustling nightlife, the Dominican Republic has something for all travelers. You can easily find beautiful beaches if you’re visiting a city on the island’s northern coast, such as Puerto Plata or Punta Cana in the east of the island.
As you can see, thanks to a valid US visa, you can explore various tourist attractions without applying for a visa. We worked hard to select the most exciting and attractive destinations from the countries that allow visa-free travel with a US visa. If you have a weak Pakistani passport, these three steps will help you turn your weak passport into a strong passport. This won’t make your passport the strongest. But these steps will make your passport stronger and your travel easier.
Since 2017, Saba Ghani has been serving as the talented and dedicated chief content writer for Pakistan Tour and Travel & EMHI Solutions. With her exceptional writing skills and in-depth knowledge of the travel industry, she has been instrumental in crafting engaging and informative content that captivates the audience. You can catch her at [email protected] or Twitter