The best passports to hold in 2023 have been revealed in a new index.
The 199 countries in the list, compiled by offshore consulting firm Nomad Capitalist, were ranked according to five criteria: visa-free travel opportunities, taxation of citizens, dual citizenship possibilities, personal freedom and perception.
The UAE has taken top spot in 2023, having only entered the top 10 for the first time this year. It was ranked 35th in 2022, but has shot up the rankings due to the country’s “recent changes allowing foreigners to apply for dual citizenship, combined with the travel freedoms afforded by a UAE passport, the business-friendly environment and its enviable tax system”. The Gulf nation scored 110.50 overall.
The UK has fallen four places this year, occupying 30th position. Having been ranked in 15th place in 2020, it fell year-on-year with the finalisation of Brexit and the subsequent difficulties this placed on international travel, especially within the EU.
Global perception also played a part, with the “disastrous and short-lived Truss government and subsequent drop in the value of the pound” worsening the UK’s score. Nevertheless, the UK remains ahead of both Australia and the US, which rank 38th and 43rd respectively.
Ireland, meanwhile, placed joint-fourth on the list (alongside Portugal), praised for its low rates of corporate tax, its membership of the Common Travel Area (and right to work in the UK) and an “excellent reputation [which] makes travelling as an Irish citizen generally hassle-free”.
Meanwhile, Portugal was ranked highly due to its “warm welcome to expats, with high levels of English fluency plus a favourable tax exemption programme” and the fact that its citizens are “highly welcome around the world”.
After two years at the top, Luxembourg has been bumped to second place despite “high levels of freedom” and “excellent passport perception”. It sits in joint-second place alongside Switzerland, which rose from fifth place and whose citizens “enjoy high levels of liberty and privacy”. In addition, “the country’s famous neutrality, meanwhile, ensures that Swiss nationals remain some of the most respected travellers around the world”.
At the other end of the scale, Afghanistan and Yemen were the worst ranked nations, with scores of 26.50 and 29.50 respectively.
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