World's Most Powerful Passports In The Age of Coronavirus


Performance is relative

Japan is at No. 1 in the Passport Index and the United States at No.7, but the Quality of Nationality Index places them at No. 26 and No. 25 respectively."Japan's a great country, but you can only live in Japan," explains Kalin. "With the US passport you can only really live in the United States. You even need a settlement permit to go to Canada."Compare that to the generous settlement rights enjoyed by citizens in the European Union, or the 15 countries which make up the Caribbean Community.As for the repercussions of Brexit for the United Kingdom, "there will probably be not be much change" on the Passport Index, says Kalin, "because you will still be able to go on holiday to Spain."But on the Quality of Nationality Index, Britain will probably lose significantly. Suddenly you can't just settle in Spain [if you hold a British passport], you need a permit."

'Beyond our control'

Ireland is just one place above the UK on the Passport Index, at No 6. However, a record-breaking 900,000 Irish passports were issued in 2019, due to a steady rise in applicants from British residents since the Brexit vote in 2016.That surge can be attributed to the desirability of the freedom of movement afforded by being an EU citizen. "In terms of passport power, Ireland is remaining similar to the UK, but in terms of quality of nationality, Ireland is suddenly better," explains Kalin.Said Kalin in a press release today, "The last few weeks have made it apparent that travel freedom is contingent on factors that occasionally can be utterly beyond our control."As public health concerns and security rightfully take precedence over all else now, this is an opportunity to reflect on what freedom of movement and citizenship essentially mean for those of us who have perhaps taken them for granted in the past."

The best passports to hold in 2020 are:

1. Japan (191 destinations)2. Singapore (190)3. South Korea, Germany (189)4. Italy, Finland, Spain, Luxembourg (188)5. Denmark, Austria (187)6. Sweden, France, Ireland, Netherlands, Portugal (186)7. United States, United Kingdom, Belgium, Norway, Switzerland (185)8. Czech Republic, Greece, Malta, New Zealand (184)9. Canada, Australia (183)10. Hungary (182)