Best Passports for Unrestricted Travel
The value of passports is determined in part by the number of
countries a person in possession of a particular passport can travel to
visa free. Henley & Partners, a firm that offers residence and
citizenship planning, also develops the Henley & Partners Visa
Restrictions Index. It is a report that ranks countries by the
visa-free travel freedom of their citizens.
U.S. citizens can look to the Visa Restrictions Index for which
countries are comparable in visa-free travel to the United States.
According to the 2015 Index, Germany and the United Kingdom each have
visa-free travel arrangements with 173 countries in the world,
a tie for the number one spot in global travel freedom. A
three-way tie for the number two spot includes Finland, Sweden, and the
United States with visa-free travel to 172 countries. Denmark,
France, Italy, Japan, South Korea, Luxembourg, Nprway and the
Netherlands are in a three-way tie for number three with their citizens
able to travel visa free to 171 countries.
For U.S. citizens, the Visa Restrictions Index can be a helpful
tool in both choosing a country for expatriation and in choosing a
country from which to get a second passport
Ranking high on the Index shows a country's positive status in the
context of world relations as well as international travel freedom. An
example of a travel advantage is a U.S. citizen with legal residency in
Canada who could then travel to countries like China, Brazil, Chile,
and many others using their Canadian passport to avoid exorbitant visa
fees charged only to U.S. residents.
In terms of expatriating, if a person decided to renounce their U.S.
citizenship (often done for tax purposes) in favor of another country,
they would want to consider the travel freedom they may be losing if
their new host country is far down the list. It may be better to choose
a top-twenty country that offers some tax relief, but also maintains
global travel freedom. Here's a .pdf version of the entire Visa Restrictions Index
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