Passport rankings aim to show which passports are the most powerful in the world. There are many ways to look at a passport’s power. The best passport in the world is the passport that delivers what you need. Importantly, the best passport in the world can change over time. The change may be in response to a global event, like BREXIT or a regional conflict. Your best passport may also change in response to your changing circumstances.
What factors are important for passport ranking?
Your passport marks you as a citizen of a country. In many ways, that citizenship comes with an identity. For example, imagine you need to travel to Egypt and have conversations with government officials. Clearly, it would be much easier to be travelling on a Swedish passport than on an Israeli passport. Reputational impact on passport ranking is true of many places in the world. The reputation of your target country matters when choosing a second passport or multiple passports. Importantly, you need to do your research to assess this reputation. Also, be aware that the status of a country can change over time. The reputation of a country also is very personal. A “good” country reputation for one person’s interests may not be the same as the next person’s. Have a look at this article about a 2019 study of country reputation by the Reputation Institute.
Does your target country allow multiple citizenships? Does getting a second passport mean that you have to give up your first passport? Many countries have total restrictions on multiple nationalities. Other countries may have limits on who can have multiple citizenships. You need to do your research carefully to ensure that you don’t encounter problems down the line.
Heritability of citizenship and passport
Some citizenships can be passed down through generations. Others cannot. Your children will benefit much more from citizenship that they can inherit than one they cannot. Heritability of citizenship and passport may also be impacted by residency rules in some countries. The best passport in the world can be the one you inherit. The principle of Jus Sanguinis is used to describe a passport you can inherit, regardless of where you were born.
Many websites list the number of visa-free countries for a passport. Visa-free travel is an easy metric to create. However, there are two essential factors to consider beyond just the amount of countries.1) Which countries are included in the list? Does having all a group of South Pacific countries on the list make for a better passport than just having the SCHENGEN area?2) Which visa-free countries have value for you personally? If your business is focussed on the South Pacific, you may value visa-free access to this region over the SCHENGEN zone. This site shows visa-free travel with a numerical passport ranking.
Each country has unique taxation laws. By taking citizenship and a passport, you may be subject to those laws. You need to understand the impact on your finances before taking citizenship carefully. Many countries have reciprocal tax treaties. These ensure that a person is only taxed in a single country. In some cases, you may still have to submit more than one tax return.
Issues that may arise from dual citizenship
With the rights of citizenship, there are always obligations. Some countries have enforced national service, including military service. There are other obligations that you may need to consider. Australia famously doesn’t allow elected officials to hold dual citizenship. The law caused several members of parliament to resign their positions. Dual citizenship can also disqualify you from other government jobs, depending on the country. Again, do your research carefully and discuss these issues with your immigration partner.
Most powerful passports in the world
Approach one-size-fits-all global rankings with care. The most powerful passport in the world is one that helps you achieve your goals. Look closely at these criteria for all the citizenships that are available to you. Using your personal passport ranking will ensure that you get your dream passport. And, that will be the most powerful passport in the world for you and your family.