The best passport in the world has now been unveiled by offshore consulting firm Nomad Capitalist. The Nomad Passport Index – now in its third year – rated 199 different passports. It looked at five key criteria including how much visa-free travel it gives the passport holder, taxation of citizens, the international community’s perception of the country, the ease of obtaining dual citizenship and levels of personal freedom. Luxembourg was revealed to have the number one best passport in the world for the second year running.
Luxembourg citizens are able to travel to 186 countries without needing a visa.
According to Nomad Capitalist: “Luxembourg’s small size not only grants its citizens high levels of freedom but excellent passport perception as a country that bothers no one.
“And fortunately for expats living there, it recently became easier to naturalise as a citizen.”
It was not such good news for UK citizens, however, as the British passport came in 27th place, which is five places lower than last year.
This is due to the Brexit uncertainty which has gripped the UK over the last year.
The top ten passports were all located in Europe and nine were part of the European Union.
The second spot for the best passport in the world was shared by Switzerland and Sweden.
“Swiss citizens enjoy high levels of liberties and privacy… they are perhaps the most respected travellers around the world,” said Nomad Capitalist.
Sweden has seen its personal freedom slightly reduced – in part due to the return of conscription – causing it to fall from its previous number one position. It does enjoy “an excellent global reputation” and visa free access to 189 countries, however.
In tied fourth place were Ireland and Belgium. “Ireland offers one of Europe’s lowest corporate tax rates, yet its passport’s visa scores are among the highest,” stated Nomad Capitalist.
“Due to its opt-out from Europe’s Schengen Area, Irish passports have slightly lower visa-free scores than mainland EU countries, however the country’s excellent reputation makes travelling as an Irish citizen generally hassle-free.”
As for Belgium: “[It] has one of the world’s most respected passports. In addition to being the home of the European Union, Belgium is home to high levels of personal freedom and transparency.
“Taxes in Belgium are high and loopholes have been tightened, leaving the tax system still easy enough for expats.”
The remaining top 10 were taken up by Italy, Finland and Portugal in joint sixth place and Spain and France in joint ninth place.
The worst passport in the world was identified as Iraq, which only has access to 27 countries.
A shock new poll revealed last week by Direct Line Travel Insurance involving 2,000 Britons suggested passport holders have 159 days on average left on their travel document when being forced to renew under the new guidelines.