If you are a citizen of the US or E.U, did you know your passport – that thin pamphlet-like volume that sits in the bottom of a drawer that the majority of us use only a couple of times a year if we’re lucky when we go on holiday, is loaded with power?
By contrast, if you are a citizen based outside of the E.U or the US, you will be only too aware of how limited some passports can be, especially if your home nation is in the Middle East or Africa. In your case you will be accustomed to applying for visas virtually every time you wish to travel outside your country’s borders.
How Powerful Is Your Passport?
Passports from the E.U and the U.S are rated as the most powerful passports in the world, and that power is based on the amount of countries the holder can enter visa-free worldwide. Below is a recent ranking of the ten most powerful passports on the planet put together by respected UK broadsheet The Independent:
- Sweden Access to 174 countries
- Finland – Access to 174 countries
- Germany – access to 174 countries
- UK – Access to 174 countries
- USA – Access to 174 countries
- Denmark – Access to 173 countries
- Canada – Access to 173 countries
- Spain – Access to 172 countries
- Belgium – Access to 172 countries
- Netherlands – Access to 172 countries
What separates the top-5 passports is cost. A Swede in need of a new passport will only have to spend £28, whereas their U.K neighbor will have to shell out £73. The remainder of the top-20 is taken up by France (172), Portugal (172), Japan (172), Italy (172), Norway (171), Austria (171), Ireland (171), Singapore (170), Switzerland (170) and New Zealand (170).
Lower Down The Scale
By comparison, at the other end of the scale, ownership of a passport for South Sudan will get you into only 28 countries visa-free. Passport holders in Iraq, Afghanistan and Ethiopia don’t fare much better with access to just 38 countries. Ownership of an African or Middle-Eastern passport will generally get you into less than 50 countries visa-free world wide.
Some of the largest economies and most powerful industrial nations don’t do much better. An Indian passport holder can only enter 59 countries visa-free, and a Chinese citizen just 74. Citizens of the wealthiest nations on the planet also suffer from low visa-free access, the Saudi Arabian passport for example will get the holder into just 61 countries without a visa.
Mexico vs The Vatican
There are also some strange anomalies to be found in the world of passports and visa-free travel. For example, a Jamaican passport holder has access to only 67 countries visa-free, but a Colombian citizen can gain entry into 96 countries without the need of a visa.
Few nations in the world have a higher crime rate than Mexico, but a Mexican passport gives its holder access to 119 countries visa-free, which is six more than a passport issued by the Vatican.
Second citizenship the practice of obtaining a second passport to a different country other than your place of birth for economic or humanitarian reasons is a perfectly legal and rapidly growing market, and the phenomenon of Global Citizenship is here to stay.
Websites like 2ndPassports.com list Citizenship by Investment programs for a host of European and Caribbean nations that are more than willing to supply an investor with citizenship and a passport to their country.
It’s clear that in the world of passport power, the E.U rules, and it’s no wonder that European passports are the most sort after among those individuals from Africa and the Middle-East who can afford to make such an investment.
And while many E.U countries like the U.K, Germany, Spain, Austria and Belgium now offer their own Citizenship by Investment programs, passports from Greece and Malta are far quicker and cheaper to obtain, yet give the holder almost as much visa-free travel, plus the freedom to be able to live and work anywhere in Europe.
Can I Get A More Powerful Passport?
As long as you can pass a background check, you can get a second passport. If your current passport is holding you back in terms of travel and business, a second passport to an E.U country is now essential in a fast-paced, ever changing world where one must be able to move quickly to capitalize on an opportunity, not hang around waiting for a visa to be cleared.
However, even U.S and E.U citizens are now obtaining second passports. With the high tax rates and ever-increasing transparency of banking in the United States and Western Europe, many are purchasing passports to Caribbean nations like Dominica, St Kitts and Nevis and Antigua and Barbuda, countries where the banks are discreet and the taxes are tiny!
If owning a second passport is something that you feel would benefit your life, contact 2ndPassports.com today and find out how easy it is to become a Global citizen.
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