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Expats chose to relocate overseas for all manner of reasons, but along with life in a new country comes the opportunity to apply for citizenship. Those lucky enough to be granted a second passport can enjoy an array of additional opportunities associated with their new home nation.
Based on some of these opportunities, Global Citizen Solutions has launched its 2021 passport index.
Instead of just looking at visa-free access, this year researchers also took into account mobility, investment opportunity and quality of life offered by each destination to determine each passport’s “strength”.
Patricia Casaburi, managing director at Global Citizen Solutions explained that there was a need to develop a new citizenship ranking that went beyond travel mobility.
She said: “From feedback obtained via years of experience working directly with our clients, we realised that what really mattered for them when looking at a second citizenship was not only mobility but also lifestyle and investment opportunities.
“It quickly became apparent that the time was right to develop a passport index that took these factors into account, making a relatable, real methodology for comparing countries and their attractiveness for real-life choices.”
However, by using this methodology, the results of the index may be surprising to some.
Taking the top spot for the “strongest” passport in the Global Passport Index was the US.
This may come as a surprise since, as Ms Casaburi points out, the US did not win in any of the single indexes used to determine the world’s most powerful passport.
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For example, in terms of quality of life, Sweden came out on top, while Singapore was found to offer the best investment opportunities.
When it comes to enhanced mobility, Singapore also took the top spot.
Yet, when it came to determining the Global Passport Index, researchers took into account scores across the entire index.
Ms Casaburi said: “The findings of the Global Passport Index confirm a common concern, even in the relative comfort of the highest-ranked countries, a plan B is still important. Having scored well in the Investment, Quality of Life and Enhanced Mobility Indexes, the US sits at the very top of the table, but it didn’t win in any single Index.
“Depending on one’s priorities, there are destinations that are potentially seen as better alternatives.”
The top 10 ‘strongest’ passports ranked in the Global Citizens Solutions’ Passport Index 2021:
- United States of America
- The Netherlands
- United Kingdom
- New Zealand
However, as the experts point out, the ranking alone won’t determine where is the best destination for every expat.
Instead, it is important to consider what is the most important factor for yourself.
Dr Roberto de Pinho, one of the two senior analysts behind the Global Passport Index said: “The overall objective of this project was to develop a quantitative tool that could provide useful information on how countries rank on a number of dimensions relating to their attractiveness as destinations to relocate to or obtain citizenship.”
Vladimir Lopez-Bassols, STI analyst working in partnership with Mr de Pinho added: “The new methodology provides a more comprehensive view of mobility and country attractiveness that includes three broad dimensions, each one summarised in a standalone index constructed using several indicators from a variety of fields.
“We took special care in creating the Enhanced Mobility Index because a simple list of countries that offer visa-free travel is not enough to rank a passport.”
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