New research reveals passports that have shown the greatest improvement over the last 10 years
For certain passport holders, travel can be as simple as booking a flight and finding a hotel. For others, the need to obtain visas prior to arrival can take weeks or months and often cost a lot of money.
Having a passport that facilitates visa-free access to more countries has significant economic and social benefits for citizens and their countries.
To ascertain which passports have shown the greatest improvement over the last 10 years, Globalresidenceindex.com conducted research. Currently, Japan has the world's strongest passport with visa-free access to 193 destinations, but the UAE passport has shown the greatest improvement.
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The results, in order of improvement from 2013 to 2023, are as follows:
1. United Arab Emirates
Visa-free countries increase: +106
Over the last 10 years the UAE has become increasingly accessible, and in return, UAE passport holders can enjoy increased mobility. In 2013, the UAE passport had visa-free access to only 72 countries. This has increased to 178 in 2023.
Visa-free countries increase: +70
Colombia is a South American nation with a rapidly growing economy; one of the largest in Latin America. In 2013 Colombia only had visa-free access to 63 countries, in 2023, this has increased to 133.
Visa-free countries increase: +67
Ukraine has been at the forefront of international headlines due to the ongoing conflict with Russia. However, the country has seen increasing integration with the rest of the world in the form of greater visa-free access to more countries. In 2013 Ukraine only had access to 77 countries visa-free, this is now 144.
Visa-free countries increase: +61
In 2013, business opportunities and travel opportunities were limited with only 59 countries being able to be accessed visa-free. Over the past 10 years the number of countries has grown to 120.
5. St Vincent and the Grenadines
Visa-free countries increase: +59
St Vincent and the Grenadines is a southern Caribbean nation comprising a main island, St Vincent, and a chain of smaller islands. Previously, the islands lacked business and travel opportunities, but citizens now have access to 151 visa-free destinations, which should lead to future business growth.
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Visa-free countries increase: +57
In the last 10 years, Dominica has looked to improve the power of its passports and has gone from 87 visa-free countries to 144. Dominica also offers an Entrepreneur Visa scheme that allows candidates to obtain citizenship through investment.
Visa-free countries increase: +57
Since 2013, Grenada has expanded its number of visa-free travel destinations to 145, up from 88.
Visa-free countries increase: +56
Peru has also experienced large growth in passport power over the last 10 years. In 2013, Peru had visa-free access to 80 countries. In 2023, this has grown to 136.
Visa-free countries increase: +55
Georgia has a high Human Development Index, with Gross National Income (GNI) per capita improved by about 183%, life expectancy at birth increased by 2.1 years, and expected years of schooling higher by 2.4 years. In 2013, Georgian citizens had visa-free access to 60 countries and in the last 10 years that has increased to 115.
10. St Lucia
Visa-free countries increase: +52
St Lucia passport holders can currently travel visa-free to 146 countries. The passport has become increasingly powerful over recent years adding an extra 52 countries.
Commenting on the results, a spokesperson from Globalresidenceindex.com said: “Being able to travel for leisure and business is pivotal in the development and growth of nations and individuals. Passports are supposed to represent freedom, and it’s in the governments' interests to make that freedom as accessible as possible.
“Many countries have begun to open their doors to make travel and business much more streamlined and accessible. Despite all of the tension and conflict that headlines the news, globalisation is bringing many positives to developing and established nations. The world has never been so connected, and the increase in most nations' passport power over the last 10 years demonstrates this.”
For more information, visit www.globalresidenceindex.com/citizenship-by-investment