You and 90% of the world’s citizen’s big dream are to get global freedom, and you are now thinking that your passport is your key through the doorway to the rest of the world.
At least, that’s how we like to think of it. But the truth for many it’s not any passport that can help us achieve this dream. And that’s because different passports carry different powers to give you access to where you want to go.
The majority of people can’t choose which passport they want, as it’s decided for you at birth when you first become a citizen of your native country.
Are you looking to examine the power of your nation’s passport?
The Henley Passport Index, which annually ranks the world’s most travel-friendly passports, has released its first report of the new decade.
Let’s start counting!
These are top 10 most powerful passports in the world:
1 – Japan : 191 destinations
The title of the world’s most powerful passport went to Japan for the third year in a row its holders can visit 191 destinations with visa-free or visa-upon-arrival access.
Japan is an island country located in East Asia. It is bordered by the Sea of Japan to the west and the Pacific Ocean to the east, and spans from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and the Philippine Sea in the south.
You may want to live in Japan as a Japanese national. The Naturalization process takes more than just declaring your eagerness to become a Japanese national. The legally required conditions are described below.
- Continued residence in Japan for more than 5 years.
- Must be over 20 years old
- Be of good moral character
- Financial stability
- Agree to hold only Japanese citizenship
Though, don’t permit all those conditions to prevent you as the rate of citizen permission sits around 90%, so as long as you tick all the cases, you’ve got a large-good chance.
2 – Singapore: 190 destinations
Singapore follows closely behind in second place with visa-free access to 190 destinations.
Singapore, officially the Republic of Singapore, is a sovereign city-state and island country located in maritime Southeast Asia. The island country shares its southern maritime border with Indonesia’s Riau Islands, its northern, western, and eastern maritime borders with the Johor state of Peninsular Malaysia, and is in the vicinity of Sumatra to its west and Borneo to its east.
As is the case in any other country, owning a Singapore passport is closely linked to being a citizen of the country. In Singapore, only citizens may apply for a passport.
Although the process of becoming a Singaporean citizen can be complex, receiving the passport will certainly make it worthwhile.
To become a Singapore PR, the applicant must be one of the following:
An aged parent of a Singaporean citizen; an Employment Pass (EP), Personalised Employment Pass (PEP), EntrePass, or S Pass holder; or a spouse or unmarried child (below 21 years of age) of a Singaporean PR or citizen.
3 – South Korea: 189 destinations
South Korea tied for third place with access to 189 destinations.
South Korea, officially the Republic of Korea is a country in East Asia, constituting the southern part of the Korean Peninsula and sharing a land border with North Korea.
Today, Korean citizens enjoy visa-free travel or visa-waivers to 189 countries around the world. The list covers the USA, Canada, virtually all of Europe, Australia, New Zealand and every country in Latin America except Belize.
If you’re serious, fitting for a Korean passport is NOT that difficult. Frequently, five years of official residency qualifies you to apply.
But, if you have a Korean spouse, and have been married for at least three years, the residency requirement drops to as little as one year.
You will also need to demonstrate that you can support yourself financially by having a regular job or enough accumulated savings. And, you’ll need a — basic knowledge of Korean language and culture.
4 – Germany: 189 destinations
Europe’s first entry, Germany, with 189 accessible places.
Germany, constitutionally the Federal Republic of Germany, is a country in Central and Western Europe, lying between the Baltic and North seas to the north, and the Alps and Lake Constance to the south.
The validity of the biometric passport is 6 years for applicants under the age of 24, otherwise 10 years.
The requirements that you need to fulfill to qualify for naturalization are as follows:
- Have lived in Germany on a residence permit for at least 8 years, or a residence permit for 7 years and attended an integration course (this becomes 6 years on special integration circumstances)
- Prove German language proficiency of at least B1
- Be financially able to support yourself and your family without any help from the state
- Be a law-abiding citizen with no criminal record
- Pass a citizenship test
- You must renounce any previous citizenships
5 – Finland: 189 destinations
Finland is the Fifth most powerful passports in our list today, allowing the citizens access to 189 destinations.
Finland is a Nordic country in Northern Europe bordering the Baltic Sea, Gulf of Bothnia, and the Gulf of Finland, between Sweden to the west, Russia to the east, Estonia to the south, and north-eastern Norway to the north.
You are lucky because Finland accepts multiple citizenships. This means that a Finnish citizen may also hold the citizenship of some other country.
To get a Finnish Passport you must go through a process called ‘naturalization’.
To succeed and get a positive decision in their applications, they must fulfill the following requirements:
- Fastened identity.
- Sufficient language skills
- Sufficient period of residence.
- Means of support.
- Fulfilled payment obligations.
6 – Italy : 188 destinations
Besides Finland, Italy is also allowing its citizens to get free visa travel to 189 destinations.
The Italian Republic is a European country consisting of a peninsula delimited by the Alps and surrounded by several islands. Italy is located in south-central Europe, and it is also considered a part of western Europe.
If you are interested in getting Italian Dual Citizenship, you need to ask yourself: do I qualify?
You can apply for citizenship to get your Italian passport if you have Italian parents, or in some cases grandparents, if you’re born in Italy, or if you marry an Italian.
Otherwise, you might be eligible for citizenship through residency if you live in Italy for long enough. The waiting time, in this case, depends on your circumstance – from four years for people with some Italian heritage, to 10 years, for those coming to Italy from outside of the EU.
7 – Spain : 187 destinations
Our top 5 passports on the list go to Spain with 187 destinations.
The Kingdom of Spain is a country in Southwestern Europe with some pockets of Spanish territory across the Strait of Gibraltar and the Atlantic Ocean.
Many people find that enjoying the Spanish lifestyle is well worth the complex process of applying for citizenship.
If you’re unable to apply for citizenship by birth or origin to get your passport, there are some other ways to become a Spanish citizen. The most common route is naturalization, for which you’re eligible to apply if you have resided legally on a permanent visa in Spain for 10 or more years, or if you’re married to a Spanish Citizen.
8 – Luxembourg : 187 destinations
Luxembourg’s passport is the sixth most powerful in the world.
Its passport allows you to visit up to 187 countries without a visa.
The Grand Duchy of Luxembourg is a landlocked country in western Europe. It is bordered by Belgium to the west and north, Germany to the east, and France to the south.
Before any submission of the application for naturalization form to be able to get your passport, the candidate must have passed the language tests and attended the civics classes.
9 – Denmark : 187 destinations
Tied with Italy and Luxembourg, Denmark is the next top powerful passports in 2020.
Danish passports are issued to citizens of the Kingdom of Denmark to facilitate international travel.
Different versions exist for nationals of Denmark, Greenland, and the Faroe Islands although all citizens have the same nationality. Danish nationals residing in Greenland can choose between the Danish EU passport and the local Greenlandic passport.
Every Danish citizen (except for those residing in the Faroe Islands) is also a citizen of the European Union. The passport entitles its bearer to freedom of movement in the European Economic Area and Switzerland.
10 – France : 186 destinations
France, and who doesn’t know the romantic country!
Every French citizen is also a citizen of the European Union. The passport, along with the national identity card allows for free rights of movement and residence in any of the states of the European Union, European Economic Area, and Switzerland.
Passport eligibility is based on French citizenship. To get French citizenship, you must have lived in France for five continuous years and be able to prove that you have integrated into French society through knowledge of French language, culture and citizenship responsibilities.